By Herald on November 13, 2020.
Submitted by the Allied Arts Council
The holiday shopping season is upon us. Social media is flooded with ads. Television and YouTube commercials are promoting the hottest “it” item. Email inboxes are clogged with holiday deals and specials. Major retailers anticipate holiday shopping to be conducted online with the coronavirus pandemic still surging and the winter months upon us. However, the arts sector is lagging in economic recovery compared to other industries.
The arts play a significant role during the holiday season. From the annual performances of holiday favourites to fine arts and craft markets, this is a time when many artists begin to benefit from a year’s worth of hard work, production and practice. Some artists earn an entire year’s worth of salary in this quarter. Local groups have been able to innovate and re-imagine how they will provide the community with their annual offerings. Shakespeare in the Park and New West Theatre will be presenting performances in innovative ways in December. SAAG and Allied Arts Council will be offering their holiday markets in online formats.
Christmas at Casa has become the pre-eminent fine arts and crafts holiday market in Lethbridge. A typical year would see more than 5,000 shoppers visit Casa over two days, supporting local and regional artists. As with all large events this year, a re-imagining of the event needed to happen. Based on safety measures and positive feedback from local artists participating in online markets across the province over the summer, the Allied Arts Council determined an online market for Christmas at Casa was the best option. Over 12 days, beginning Nov. 12, christmasatcasa.ca will be live, and shoppers can start buying their holiday gifts. More than 40 artists will be represented at Christmas at Casa Online and offering works in pottery, prints, glass, fibre arts, jewelry, soaps and woodworking.
This holiday season, consider supporting a local arts organization or artist with your gift-giving. Purchase works from artisans at the various markets, support the performing arts groups as they mount productions in innovative, safe ways, and contribute to an organization instead of purchasing physical gifts; buy a membership, purchase a subscription, and donate to an organization endowment.
As we head into the biggest shopping season of the year, we encourage you to continue to support your favourite artist and arts organizations during the holiday season.