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Fall fair in planning stages
Open Sky looks ahead to festival with anticipation in its 15th year of operation

April Hudson
Northern News Services
Thursday, August 6, 2015

With the summer Open Sky Festival over, the Open Sky Creative Society is beginning to make preparations for its annual fall harvest fair.

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Abigail Pascua-Matte puts some delicate touches on an intricate mosaic during the festival on July 11. - April Hudson/NNSL photo

Planning is still in the preliminary stages, but the festival is all set to begin on Sept. 12.

Open Sky Creative Society president Jackie Zinger said the society already has Yellowknife band Welders Daughter confirmed to play the evening of Sept. 12 during a dance.

"We have confirmed and paid for the band ... (but) we're still in planning stages with the Garden Society and Open Sky for what the fall festival will bring," she said.

Open Sky met the evening of Aug. 4 just after press time to further discuss the festival and decide whether it would be a one-day or two-day affair.

Zinger said the event would likely be similar to what Open Sky has done in past years.

"It will definitely be on a smaller scale compared to the summer festival," she said.

Last year, the fall festival combined the harvest fair with the summer festival and included workshops, live music and an evening harvest dance, as well as displays of locally grown produce and crafts.

During the Open Sky Festival on July 11 and 12, the society saw a bustling turnout, with around 140 people showing up for the Saturday night dance.

"The music was really good. It was a fun night," Zinger said.

The festival broke from tradition in regard to fundraising efforts. In previous years, the dance was the only fundraiser. However, this year the society also held a 50-50 draw and a children's zone for a small fee. Although exact figures are not yet available, Zinger said she was pleased by the outcome.

"We did very well. It's hard to compare to previous years, but we definitely had good attendance and people buying memberships. Overall, I'd say our fundraising techniques were successful," she said.

Vendors selling artwork, jewelry and clothing also met with success.

"All the vendors were equally well-received. They were all very happy and had a really good time," Zinger said.

"It definitely gave them good exposure for the work they were selling. I heard nothing but good comments."

This year was the Open Sky Society's 15th anniversary.

Aside from vendors, the festival featured arts workshops teaching glass, soapstone carving, flower pressing and mosaics.

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