“This is an event that’s run every year before Christmas by the Local Enterprise Office here in Galway. So we look after small businesses across Galway city and county and kind of help them get up and running. A big part of that is we’d work a lot with crafters and food producers. Back in 2012, we kind of decided that there was a bit of a gap in the market in terms of when people can actually showcase their work. So, the idea was that we would set up a fair to take place from the 30th of November to the 1st of December to give them somewhere to basically engage with the public and showcase their work, get brand awareness and feedback from customers.
What we do is each year we have in and around 50 local producers, and they’re from all parts of Galway, Galway city and county. From artists to producers, people who make household items, lots of different sort of gift ideas from Christmas and all sorts of local craft. People that have been working with LEO and are now building their businesses. A lot of them would be quite well known around Galway, be involved in other markets like Tiny Traders or any of the markets that take place around Galway, there’d be a good few that would be recognisable to people in the locality that would be coming here with the Galway Craft scene.
Something new that’s worth mentioning this year, well two things really, the first is we’re actually teaming up with Galway Arts Academy which is run by Dee Beagan. She’s going to be hosting creative craft classes for children over the course of the weekend. There’s kids only classes and children – parent/guardian classes. There is a small fee for those as she uses all recyclable materials for the kids Christmas cards and decorations. To book those people can visit the Local Enterprise
The other thing would be to welcome our new charity partner. We have a charity partner for every year and this year we are supporting the Oranmore Maree Coastal Search Unit and they’re a volunteer-led group which has been helping local people entering the waterways here in Galway. So what we do with those is, our traders kindly donate prizes to the charity. So pretty much all of our fifty-five traders have agreed to donate a prize, big or small, for these raffles which will be held over the course of the weekend and all the proceeds from that goes directly to the charity.
Just in addition to that as well, the Brothers of Charity are on board with us this year. They are actually going to have a stand at the event showcasing the work of some of their services. They’ve been involved with some of our arts and crafts classes and will be showcasing their own work that they’ve been creating. So it’s nice that for them as well to get their names out there.
We’ll have Galway Bay Fm will broadcasting, we’ll be live from the Black Box Theatre on Saturday from 12 to 5. The opening hours for the fair then are Saturday 10 to 6 and Sunday 11 to 5 and that’s at the Black Box Theatre on the Dyke Rd. If I can mention as well a big thank you to Galway City Council and Creative Ireland who actually part-fund this event every year to give us the financial support, without that it wouldn’t be possible.
Words by Ashyle Cota