For 25 years FIESTA WORLD CRAFT BAZAAR has been bringing the wonders of the world to our Valley. This Nov. 18th and 19th, from 10 am to 4 pm each day, vendors will once again transform both floors of the Filberg Center into the exotic bazaars of Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. It will be a friendly fun meeting place, an opportunity to visit with friends over a delicious ethnic lunch or snack, and talk to vendors about a Tibetan carpet or a shea butter face cream.

The joy of FIESTA continues to be not just the amazing unique handmade crafts and edibles, but also the many faces of FIESTA. The large eye catching portraits that decorate the walls; the smiling faces of the hardworking vendors and volunteers who are dedicated to selling quality fairly traded toys, house wares, clothing, jewellery, art pieces, and much more; the faces of the skilled artisans shown in the videos and photos, and the delighted faces of the shoppers who are finding just the right gift for that special someone!

FIESTA is politically correct and it has been “green” before it was in fashion. Almost all of the wares are made of natural resources or recycled materials. Almost half of the FIESTA vendors live in the Valley. Ten are supporting carvers, weavers, potters, tailors, knitters, painters, … who live in nine countries on four continents. These resourceful, committed and caring people are giving the marginalized of the world a hand up, giving them dignity not charity! Come and meet these outstanding Valley residents who are making such a global difference. You can make a big difference by buying an alternative Christmas gift. Aldea Maya works with students in ChukMuk Guatemala and you receive a beautiful handmade card to give and explain what your donation will be used for.

FIESTA also provides local non-profit organizations the opportunity to raise much needed revenue. The Art Card project sells gorgeous handmade cards. Two Refugee Support Groups will be selling a large selection of slightly used scarves, jewellery and paintings. L’Arche will sell their popular soup mixes and candles. The Merville Grandmothers will be selling more of their fabric treasures. The Glacier Grannies create wonderful felted pictures and delicate little birds and the ever exquisite African Aids angels. Both groups continue to raise funds for African grandmothers and their grandchildren.

All our stores will be back, 10000 Villages from Victoria continues to surprise with its eclectic collection from around the globe. They believe that trade should have a conscience. They partner with 270 fair trade organizations and cooperatives in 60 countries. They also sell a variety of delicious food products, as does The Gathering Place with its carefully sourced spices and teas. This year Mondo Trading Co. from Saltspring Island is bringing twice as much stock! Global Village Nanaimo and Mystic Lotus from Parksville will cover any gaps in your wish list.

Three of our new vendors this year are Nancy Bev selling Haitian Jewellery, Pippa Muser selling South African wire and traditional baskets and Judith Sherin of Concern for the Girl selling a variety of crafts from Uganda including purses, jewellery and baskets. Amy and Taffy Matamba of the Zimbabwe Music Society will have you singing along and our local talented buskers will have your toes tapping. Lunch at the FIESTA Diner will feature Janette and Lorena’s El Salvadorian pupusas and butternut squash soup, and Mintra will be showing us all how to make her wonderful Thai salad rolls which we can enjoy. There will be vegetarian and gluten free options. The Comox Valley Land Trust will have decadent desserts and of course gourmet Nicaraguan coffee and Assam tea donated by World Community.

FIESTA is an antidote for those who no longer want to listen to the world news. It is a warm positive breeze that has been blowing into the Valley for 25 years because this Valley understands! If you have by some accident not yet experienced FIESTA give yourself a global holiday. Sundays are quieter, especially earlier and later in the day. Don’t worry the vendors have lots of product to cover both days. The entrance fee to help keep it all going is $2 and the Filberg is wheelchair friendly. Please check out our facebook page, FIESTA WORLD CRAFT BAZAAR and spread the word that FIESTA is ready to have FUN, FOOD AND FAIR TRADE!

If you would like to be a part of making FIESTA happen please contact Dave Talbot at kye_bay@shaw.ca, he isn’t getting any younger!

Fiesta World Craft Bazaar