Years ago when Terry Daniel and his wife Donna were making the rounds of antique sales and shows all over Alberta they got to thinking . . . why not Fort Macleod?
One day Daniel was thinking out loud in the presence of Chamber of Commerce members. “Why couldn’t we have an antique sale and show in Fort Macleod?” he asked.
The response was something like, “What about the Chamber of Commerce putting it on? We’re looking for something like this.”
End result of this think tank?
The Fort Macleod Chamber of Commerce is hosting its 10th annual antique sale and show Saturday and Sunday, June 18-19 at the Fort Macleod and District Sports Centre.
“It’s a great show,” Terry Daniel said.
Daniel’s wife Donna owns Samuel Roland Antiques and Collectibles in the C.W. Stevens Building just west of The Fort — Museum of the North West Mounted Police.
As usual, the Daniel will be bringing a number of things from the store over to the sale and show.
One of the most interesting things they will be displaying are ephemera — which Terry Daniel describes as “paper goods people should have thrown away, but didn’t — post cards, old calendars, maps, schedules, advertising material, old cook books . . . they’re always a hot item, the old cook books.”
“Most of this stuff you can date,” Daniel added.
So far this year 47 vendors have booked tables, and will be bringing an array of such things as antique furniture, sports memorabilia, collectibles, jewelry, clothing, dolls, magazines, and records.
The first sale and show in 2001 had 90 spaces used by 50 dealers. It brought 1,100 through the doors.
“Since then we’ve had up to 1,500 take in the show,” Daniel said.
About a third of the people who take in the show come from Fort Macleod and a third come from Lethbridge.
“People come from all over,” Daniel said. “Taber, Pincher Creek, the Crowsnest Pass, Calgary, Saskatchewan, even Montana,” Daniel said. “There’s some people from Montana who come up every year. They think our show is one of the best.”
Dealers also like the show here, Daniel said.
“One thing we do for the dealers here that’s not done anywhere else is we give them lunch when they’re setting up and when they’re taking down. They really like that. They just love it here.”
All the preparation for the sale and show is done by volunteers. Daniel gives a lot of credit for its success to its main organizer, Amanda Halbert of Young Parkyn McNab.
“Amazing Amanda is just great — all the work she does on this,” Daniel said.
Halbert said that preparations for this year’s show are going smoothly, with many of the regulars coming back again.
“The majority of vendors come from the Lethbridge and Calgary areas, but we have a few locals, and five or six from Saskatchewan, and a couple from B.C.,” Halbert said.
With the 47 vendors who have booked tables, there are still a few left.
An eight-foot table costs $75, with $15 for an additional table. Anyone interested in renting a table is asked to call Amanda Halbert at 553-3355.
Admission to the sale and show is $3, which qualifies people for a number of free draws.
Fort Macleod Chamber of Commerce president Srecko Ponjavic said the antique sale and show continues to be the Chamber’s biggest fund-raiser.
“The sale means a great deal to the Chamber,” Ponjavic said. “It’s a significant event to the town of Fort Macleod. It’s an event associated with our historical significance. It provides an opportunity for the public to purchase a piece of history in a historic town from a large variety of vendors.”
Ponjavic said the whole business community benefits from the sale.
“People who come not only spend money at the event but also at our motels, restaurants, campgrounds and other attractions and businesses,” Ponjavic said. “The event does benefit the chamber monetarily, but the economic impact is far beyond our coffers. The whole town benefits economically.”
Revenue from this year’s sale will go towards the Chamber’s operating and restructuring plans.