I was selected by the Saskatchewan Craft Council along with two other artisans (juried members) with assistance from Creative Saskatchewan to participate in the historic 11-day craft show in Montreal called Salon Des Metiers D’Arts (SMAQ). The two other artisans that participated were talented Sherri Hrycay (a milliner) of Sova Design and Mary Lynn Podiluk of Mary Lynn Podiluk Jewellery. All three of us are from Saskatoon. We were fortunate to have Alexa Hainsworth, Membership Services Coordinator from the Craft Council with us as well.
Alexa bringing the blue bins that we filled with our respective wares for the show and were loaded onto a truck from Saskatoon to Montreal two weeks earlier. Here they are - ready for us to unpack and set up.
Lots to unpack for the three booths.
Set-up of Mary Lynn Podiluk's booth.
Sherri Hrycay setting up her booth, with mine to the left.
Most mornings before the show opened at 11:00, my husband and I would visit our favourite bakery; Premiere Moisson, in the tunnel shops. Beautiful French pastries, cakes and breads.
Cakes and cakes.
Mon Dieu, look at that pie!
Oh my word…and the meringues!
About day 8 of the show, we took a quick morning trip to the famous Jean Talon market. While in Montreal we saw lots and lots of maple syrup. How wonderful to see it so readily available. We would have loved to stay longer but our booths were calling us back to the Convention Centre. While at the market we spoke to a produce vendor who told us his son plays in the NHL for the Pittsburgh Penguins - Kris Letang. Wow!
Jean LaVallee who makes beautiful shoes, holding the style (not the colour) I custom-ordered from him.
It wasn't until after I returned home to Saskatoon that I started thinking more about my encounter with Jean LaVallee. It must have been that I had time to process it after returning from the show. Somewhere, and somehow I was able to reach back in time 45 years ago and remember the name of the gal who stayed with us at our farm that summer of 1973. She came in a group of students from Quebec who were billeted at farms in the Allan area.
I called the woman from Allan whose farm Jean stayed at that summer. She was equally surprised when I related the story of meeting Jean in Montreal at Salon Metier. She said she might still have a photo from that time. Indeed she did and graciously sent me the above photo.There in the photo in the green top is the gal who stayed with us at our farm. And at the bottom, centre front in the blue shirt is Jean LaVallee!
Well, all good things must come to an end and it's the same with Salon Des Metiers D'Arts. Final blue bins are packed and ready to return to Saskatoon. Alexa, our fearless leader - mission accomplie!
I came away from the event feeling grateful for the opportunity of attending this incredible and historic craft market of such high calibre. The song running through my mind wasn't Christmas songs - although it easily could have been, but the song "It's a Small World" from Disneyland, and the delightful innocence of a bygone time, playing in my head. Indeed, it's a small world after all.