It’s not often Wadams Way becomes a place bustling with activity, but that changes Saturday (Sept. 19).
Wadams Way Public Market will kick off with more than 60 vendors including artisans, food trucks, beer, wine and spirit vendors, and, for the first time, an Aboriginal Fair Trade Art show, which showcases the works of First Nations artists from across Canada.
The market begins at 10 a.m.
The man behind the art show is David Eddy, CEO of the Vancouver-based Urban Aboriginal Fair Trade Gallery, who will bring framed limited-edition prints, original prints, giftware licensed by aboriginal artists, as well as some carvings. The works come from the Vancouver area, with many prints from the Island.
The program works closely with the Sooke Family Resource Society and the M’Akola Group of Societies.
Eddy’s gallery is part of a larger complex which also includes a hotel, that helps struggling aboriginal artisans work and live in a safe environment.
This, in turn, allows their works to be sold for market prices, which could be well into the thousands, whereas if they sold it on the street, the price would be significantly lower.
The way it works is the gallery subsidizes the artists on a three-year tenancy, where they rent at the rate of social assistance, which is $375 a month (rent in the market for a studio apartment is $1,100 a month) with the actual break-even rent is being $900 a month.
“We put in that $525 a month per unit through the profits of the hotel and the gallery, which is $150K a year we subsidize the artists for,” Eddy said, adding that the idea of a hotel-gallery is a portable model to any town with a significant urban aboriginal populate, such as Sooke or Victoria.
He says the gallery is always looking for additional talent.
“We want to have more artists in our stable, so I’d be interested to meet some of the local artists and see the degree of their art, expertise and work, and potentially might be able to purchase some pieces there or set up some contacts,” he said.
As for the Wadams Market itself, there’s tons of stuff to do. Activities include kids’ activities such as games, face painting and mascots featuring Marty the Marmot and the Victoria Royals.
In addition, the Family Fun Run is also coming back to Sooke., with 1.5 kilometre, 2.5K and 5K runs.
Registration is by donation and can be done in person at 8 a.m. on the day of the run or participants can pre-register by calling 250-642-5152.