Humbug Bazaar was conceived by three individuals who thought a Christmas popup market would be a fun, unique shopping experience for the community of Bashaw.
As we looked for a place to pop up, a few were too small, i.e. the arena foyer, and some were too expensive.
We contacted the Bashaw Area Recreation Board (BARB) regarding the unused tourist booth as we thought they had the lease on it still. The recreation board was happy to help and sent us a letter of support on Nov. 13th.
Unfortunately it turned out their lease had expired.
So they proceeded to ask for an extension from the town on their lease and sent a letter to the town, pleading our case to council.
We got the go ahead and filled and decorated the delightful building with Christmas. We’ve had some great days with lots of visitors, some from Edmonton attending our local play, Little Women.
Everyone said how lovely it was in there with amazing artisans. Out of the blue, an article Dec. 13th appears in the East Central Alberta Review shredding us. It was filled with mistruths from people who haven’t set foot in the market.
We don’t open early to heat the building and we are not profiting for personal use. The vendors receive 80 per cent of their sales, 20 per cent is kept to help pay for the heat and electricity even though BARB asked us for a minimal donation only.
We operate the market voluntarily. No money goes to the organizers.
The concept was to have an accessible market that was open more than one day to bring Christmas spirit and fun while supporting local artisans, who are mostly seniors.
We had free apple cider, chairs to sit and visit, and even live music!
Since the article came out, business more or less stopped. It’s so sad and frustrating to be portrayed as a greedy bully when our intention was just to try something different in this town.
The market remained open until closing day Dec. 22 and then the building will go back to being empty like so many in this town. Thank you to BARB.