The Cranberry Christmas Market was an incredible example of the lively spirit of a supportive community. People with uplifting spirits, came together to support local artisans. Local artisan talent was abounding from wood carvers to soap carvers, jewelry, wool, art and creative authors like me, Carol-Ann, Jeannette and Belynda.
It was fitting the Cranberry Christmas Market was held at the historic Clarke Memorial Hall in Mississauga. The fair lived up to the long-standing tradition of community spirit. The Clarke Memorial Hall has a well-known established tradition for hosting community events.
The Clarke Memorial Hall, constructed in 1923, is a beautiful one hundred-year-old heritage site, with a mix of Spanish Colonial and Baroque style architecture. The hall was named after Mary Louise Clarke’s husband, Alfred Russell Clarke, who survived the sinking of the luxury liner Lusitania in 1915. A member of the Methodist church, Mary Louise Clarke, daughter of James Bellingham Boustead (an entrepreneur of Toronto), dedicated the hall to community concerts, events, municipal and church meetings, which has continued to present day (https://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=14441).
A sense of belonging to a thriving community brimming over with festive spirit while maintaining local outreach support was well-defined by the Cranberry Christmas Market. The market was free including gift wrapping available by donation with proceeds supporting Epilepsy South Central Ontario (@epilepsy.sco) and food donations were accepted for Compass Food Bank (@compassfoodbank).
The hall was bursting with the sights and sounds of Christmas revelers looking for that special gift. The heart and pulse of the fair culminated at the stage where a group of lively festive singers gathered to provide a melody of traditional tunes to fill our ears with their hearty voices. The choir, brightly dressed in festive colors, gathered on the stage to form a semi-circle. Everyone who visited the market was treated to a delightful array of classical music.
Melodic voices from the cheerful group filled the hall with heartfelt renditions of Christmas Carols. Bubbling with enthusiasm as they rang out the tunes, the sweetness of their voices echoed throughout the hall, keeping spirits alive to the enjoyment of all.
What I enjoyed most at the fair was engaging in conversation with the many visitors to the market. It was the connection with people that really makes the difference. It was my first official book fair for my debut book launch.