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Fort Macleod antiques and art sale falls victim to pandemic

-file photo-

The 19th Fort Macleod Antiques and Art Show and Sale will have to wait a year.

Event organizer Fort Macleod Chamber of Commerce cancelled the 2020 version due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That decision followed the news restrictions on the size of public gatherings will remain in place throughout the summer.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said last month gatherings of more than 15 people are not permitted even as Alberta begins to ease other restrictions.

“We did make that decision to cancel the antique show,” Chamber executive director Ashley Nelson said.

Nelson provided that update Thursday during the Chamber’s May meeting via Zoom.

Nelson told Chamber members that 15 vendors were already booked for the sale and show set for June 19-20 at the Fort Macleod and District Sports Centre.

Three vendors had already withdrawn when the Chamber made the decision to cancel the sale and show.

The fees were refunded to all the vendors.

Nelson said consideration was given to postponing the sale and show until later in the summer or into the fall but that didn’t seem feasible.

“Extending it just wasn’t looking like an option either, with the uncertainty of when things are going to open up, as well as not really having a venue to do it in,” Nelson said.

The sale and show has established itself as a popular stop for the antique dealers and artists who fill the 90 booths.

Vendors come from Fort Macleod, Claresholm, Pincher Creek, Granum, Nanton, Lethbridge, Edmonton, Calgary, Medicine Hat, B.C. and Saskatchewan.

Last year a vendor from Nova Scotia came to the Fort Macleod show and sale.

The vendors sell all kinds of antiques, from furniture, household items, kitchenware, toys, games, signs, military and native artifacts, jewelry, decor, magazines, books, newspapers, vintage electronics and appliances, to collectibles like toy tractors, cars, sports cards and memorabilia, dolls, records, coins and stamps.

Artists have brought Blackfoot jewelry and beaded moccasins, handcrafted knives, handmade furniture, artwork using barn wood and scrap metal, watercolour greeting cards and pottery.

The antiques and art show and sale is popular with buyers, attracting more than 1,000 people over two days.

People come to the show and sale from across southern Alberta, including Calgary, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and the Crowsnest Pass, as well as B.C., Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

An addition this year was a kids corner where volunteers from Fort Macleod Library were to read, along with arts and crafts and face-painting.

Also new this year, some artists were scheduled to give live demonstrations throughout the event.

“We’ll look forward to the 2021 event,” Nelson said.

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