Two of the new events to the Bentley fair in August would be readily welcomed back again.
The Blindman Valley BazzArt Show & Sale held in the Bentley Community Hall on the Friday and Saturday showcased artists from Bentley and the surrounding area.
There were 11 booths with everything from painting, jewelry making, heirloom sewing and quilting, painting/cards, weaving, Viking shipbuilding, pottery, scarves, stained glass, and a display from the Sylvan Lake Art Club. Nine other artisans also had displays in the gallery ranging from working wooden models, sketch artist, jewelry, painting, leatherwork, and pottery.
Although foot traffic was slower than expected on the Saturday, some vendors said they found it worthwhile and would consider coming back. Many just enjoyed showing their talents and sharing their knowledge.
One of those was 14-year-old Thomas Mueller who at first glance displayed wooden model kits he had put together, but upon closer investigation was actually showing his handmade, and in many cases, self-designed working scale models of machinery and more. He loved to explain what he had done to those who asked questions. His meticulous work and the amount of detail was amazing.
There were loom weaving demonstrations and some artists were working on pieces during the show.
Lots of kids had the chance to slip outside and paint their own rock (rocks and paint supplied) and take home a keepsake thanks to head organizer Bobbie Palanuik.
For next year, a change of hours is being considered and “we would like to add more unique items,” said Palanuik. “I would like to make it a more cultural bazaar (of art) feeling.”
On the Saturday the first ever Impressions Country Living Fair trade show was staged in the Bentley High School gymnasium with an obstacle course just outside. The professionalism of the set-up, décor, and layout was amazing as the open space of the gymnasium took on a completely different ambiance and look.
“I believe there is a need for more health, wellness and fitness activities in our community (of Bentley), as well as promotion for businesses in the area, and I felt this would be a way to do both,” stated organizer Jody Gorr of Impressions Massage in Bentley in an e-mail. “The (school) gymnasium made an amazing transformation and was a perfect size for our first event.”
There were 25 different booths including a variety of charitable groups, businesses, and also some stand-alone displays.
There was a Kid’s Corner with face painting, coloring books, movies, and children’s puzzles and toys to keep the youngsters entertained while the adults were busy.
Presentations included two blacksmith demonstrations, three sets of dance performances, and music by Jeremy Mielke, Jessie Tylre Williams, Loca Madre and Denver Daines.
Fitness activities included trying out kettle bells, Zumba, Kidz Can Yoga, an outdoor boot camp course, and self-defense demonstrations. Kid Zone had Xbox Kinect set up that promotes active lifestyles for youth through video games that involve whole body movement.
Thai massage treatments throughout the day were fully booked.
A large number of volunteers and supporters were involved, not only to put on the demonstrations, man the booths, and run the activities, but also to set up in the first place and then tear down afterwards. “Thank you (to all) for helping me make this day a reality,” said Gorr.