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Creative hands host holiday showcase

St. Albert Seniors Association holding handmade Christmas market
0412 Scene-Seniors Market sup 1

Delightful doll clothes, oh-so-warm homemade mittens and hats, multicoloured mugs and elegant earrings are just a few of the creative wonders St. Albertans can find Friday at the St. Albert Seniors Association's holiday homemade pop-up sale.

The holiday shop is a chance for local seniors to put their time-honoured hand crafting skills on display – and maybe make someone's Christmas in the process.

“It's a bunch of handmade goodies made by our volunteers and local artisans. Our knitters' group does a lot of things,” said Jenna Sparrow, who is responsible for bookings at Red Willow Place.

Sparrow said the market is one way for the 50+ club to give back to a community they love so much.

“This community has been very impactful for a lot of our members and people in the community. So it's always great to have some of those people who are able to and talented enough to make certain things,” Sparrow said.

Sparrow said hosting the market is also a great way for the organization to thank the volunteers for their hard work.

“It's also great for us to be able to showcase them, kind of as a way of thanking them for all their hard work and time,” Sparrow said.

The market will have handmade and handcrafted products that were knitted, crocheted or sewn by seniors, including shawls, afghans, gloves, hats, scarves, baby items, bags and lap blankets. The woodworking shop will also have items for purchase, including barbecue grill scrapers, birdhouses, stools, planters and boards to do puzzles on.

All of the handmade goods are donated to the seniors centre and proceeds from the events will go back into the St. Albert Seniors Association.

“One of the biggest things that we're working on is to combat social isolation,” Sparrow said.

“It all comes back into just bettering the community of seniors in St. Albert.”

One of the ways the organization is helping to combat seniors in isolation is to run more programs and activities.

“There's a lot of seniors who are lonely,” Sparrow said.

Sometimes, local seniors don’t know about the organization or don’t have the means to get to Red Willow Place, or have a financial barrier to participating in the programming.

“We have lots of different kind of behind-the-scenes things working to ensure that if there is a barrier for a senior getting here or if it's financial or whatever that barrier is, we can help them with that,” Sparrow said.

Right now, the group has just over 1,600 members and is always looking for more seniors to join up.

The organization offers a variety of programs, including yoga classes, dance classes, fitness classes, courses on technology like websites and apps. Artists can get their fill with art classes like portrait classes and painting with acrylics. The organization even offers a class on the basics of happiness.

“There's really something for everybody,” Sparrow said.

The pop-up shops are running on Friday, Dec. 6, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesday, Dec. 11, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The sale will be set up in the St. Albert Seniors Centre lobby and at Willows Gift Shop at 7 Taché Steet.

Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

About the Author: Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Jennifer Henderson is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for Great West Newspapers based in St. Albert, Alta.
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