Goward House filled with Christmas crafts

Craft fair runs Saturday and Sunday to raise funds for Goward House programs for seniors

Betty Aitken

Betty Aitken

The fast fingers of Karin Geppert spin the thinnest of paper strips on a skewer like she’s been doing it a lifetime.

In fact, it’s only been about one year since the Goward House quilling group started, though at times the tedious work of building thumb-sized poinsettias can feel like a lifetime.

The quilling group meets every Monday and their dynamic seasonal cards (which sell for $4 but can take hours to build), as well as the crafts of other Goward House members, are for sale at this weekend’s annual Goward House Christmas Craft Fair, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

“We do about 50 fundraising events but this old-fashioned craft fair is our biggest of the year,” said Elaine Leonard, Goward House administrator.

In addition to the crafts made during Goward House programs are crafts made at home by some of the Goward House’s 500 annual members. There will also be about 25 tables by local vendors.

Knitting, quilling and baking are among the wide variety of goods available, Leonard said.

The money raised goes 100 per cent back into the non-profit Goward House Society, a mostly self-sufficient organization focused on creating a diverse number of programs for seniors.

“All crafts are local and handmade,” Leonard said. “The main floor of the Goward House will be cleared out to make room for the many tables.”

About 500 people are expected to come through the house over the weekend. For many, Goward House is the start of Christmas shopping, Leonard added.

“I’ve heard people say, ‘Well, there’s so many community craft fairs this weekend,’ and as a crafter, that’s exactly what we look for. You can go on tour and hit three, four or five craft fairs this weekend.”

The Goward House tea room is open for business throughout the fair. The upstairs games room is dedicated for White Elephant.

Among the other craft fairs in Saanich this weekend is the St. Luke’s Christmas Bazaar, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Luke’s Hall (3821 Cedar Hill Cross Rd.), and the Victorian Christmas Craft Fair at Saanich Commonwealth Place, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tillicum elementary school will hold its annual craft fair Nov. 25 from 3:30 to 7 p.m. and Nov. 26, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.