06 Aug 14

Pitching in for Homecraft

When Fair time rolls around you see faces that you may not have seen for a good part of a year, including those who are behind the scenes to make the Fair possible. Of course, they are the volunteers— the people who organize a variety of events that we all enjoy from the derby to the cattle shows. But according to organizers of the Chesterville Fair, which just finished its 83rd run, there is one event that risks going the way of the declining Women’s Instutite if no new blood steps up to the plate in its organization – and that is Homecraft.
But why is Homecraft having such a recruitment problem? Is it often overlooked by fairgoers because of all the other activities going on, or is it just the image of of being a ‘traditional’ women’s division which needs to be revamped into a more trendy and appetizing choice to not only attend, but be part of its delivery?
The point behind Homecraft is to celebrate the varied talents of our neighbours, friends and family. It does not just represent the way the ‘home’ use to be run in yesteryear with jams, preserves and knitting being made by the ‘women’ of the community, but includes the ‘crafts’ of today such as photography.
Another point is that regardless of gender, the skills of preserving and canning, quilting and knitting have been passed down through the generations and the homecraft division is an essential part of that showcasing. The agricultural fair as a whole reflects our rural roots of everyday living, and also is a reflection of the art of today, culinary or otherwise and belongs to everyone.
Pamela J Pearson