The coordinator of the Westisle Christmas Market is disappointed the annual fundraiser was cancelled this year, but she understands that it’s something that had to be done.
“I had sent off a number of emails to the Public Health Office to see if there was any way possible around, but I knew what my answer was going to be,” said Valene Gallant. “The vendors weren’t surprised, and they said the exact same thing, that we’ve got to keep everybody safe. Because of COVID and restrictions, there would have been no way we would have been able to get our vendors, and our volunteers, and our shoppers in.”
The decision was made on Aug. 31 and was announced on social media on Sept. 2.
Ms Gallant said ever since the market was brought back in 2018, at least 3,000 people would attend the two day event, with the number of attendees increasing every year. Feedback about the Christmas Market has always been positive, and Ms Gallant said one comment she always heard was how happy residents were that the market had started up again.
“They always said that it was welcoming,” she said. “We have Christmas music playing, and it’s nice to hear the chitter chatter, and people laughing. It’s nice to sit back and listen to that.”
This year the market would have taken place on Nov. 7 and Nov. 8. The event usually raises around $8,000 for the school, which then goes toward a variety of things. Funds from past markets have gone to the renovation of the Westisle’s library, its breakfast program, sports, and more.
Ms Gallant said there are ideas for an event that can happen in place of the market, and the organizing committee plans on releasing that information in the coming weeks.
MS Gallant wanted to thank everyone for the support the Christmas Market has received over the last two years.
“We didn’t expect to have to cancel this quick after we brought it back, but unfortunately we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do,” she said. “We just want to keep everybody safe and we look forward to seeing everybody next year.”