Guest post by the fabulous Robyn Fadden, member of the Head & Hands Board of Directors
The neighbourhood of Notre-Dame-de-Grace is as creative as it is cozy – and the upcoming NDG Arts week, August 18-26, proves the case. Along with artists of all stripes, photographer, crafter and organizer extraordinaire Melinda Carrière contributes to the arty happening with a second edition of the wittily named All the Rage Craft Fair, on August 19.
With an expanded fair this year – Montreal artisans and designers will be selling everything from hand-made jewelry and beauty products to children’s clothes and vintage items – located at a new venue, Le Manoir (5319 Notre-Dame-de-Grace), a big turnout is expected. The proceeds from table rentals at this summer’s craft fair will all go to Head & Hands, as they did from last year’s holiday craft fair, also organized by Melinda.
Presence in the neighbourhood was one reason Head & Hands stood out as the obvious choice, but personal experience was also a factor: “I’ve had friends who had volunteered or worked there previously. One of them said to me that he realized how much of an impact he made as a volunteer there – kids would come up to him on the street and say hi and tell him how awesome he was for them.”
Before heading into a BFA in Photography, Melinda had thoughts about becoming a teacher – she aligns that interest in education and youth with her appreciation for Head & Hands: “The fact that there’s an organization like this available to young people is amazing. I come from a small town and there just aren’t programs like that around. The Sense Project as well – that wasn’t done years ago, and it’s so necessary. I just want to support that.”
Melinda was supported in organizing this year’s fair by friend, fellow crafter and NDG-dweller Jessie Evans, who co-curated the fair via submissions from crafters in NDG and other Montreal neighbourhoods. “Ideally we want to bring NDG crafters to the forefront,” says Jessie. “Once you start networking with other crafters, you realize how some of the bigger craft fairs are quite hard to get into,” adds Melinda, “especially for newer crafters and those outside the Plateau and Mile End – there was still an opportunity for another craft fair of a different sort.”
All the Rage is a far cry from shopping at the mall. “A lot of the crafters we have also do up-cycled and recycled work and clothing, making new things out of discarded but perfectly workable objects,” says Melinda. “It’s a positive trend right now, a part of being a conscious consumer.”
In another nod to NDG’s family-friendly atmosphere, events and workshops for kids and teens will be going on at the same time as the craft fair in different rooms at Le Manoir, so parents can peruse the tables while their kids are otherwise occupied.
All the Rage Craft Fair, Sunday, August 19, 12-5 p.m. At Le Manoir (5319 Notre-Dame-de-Grace), up the hill from Girouard Park.
Melinda makes feathered creations as Mielcoeur (http://www.wix.com/melindacarriere/mielcoeur)
Jessie’s vintage clothing and button jewelry can be found at Crime Is Beauty (http://www.etsy.com/shop/crimeisbeauty)