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Friday, September 27, 2013

Celebrate fall at Sainte-Marie’s Thanksgiving Harvest Festival

Gina Denne displays some samples of her pottery and designs

The Thanksgiving Harvest Festival and Arts and Crafts Show and Sale at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons October 12th and 13th provides a great family outing, featuring 42 outstanding crafters and fun seasonal activities on the historic site.

New to this year’s show is Gina Denne, an exceptional artisan from Severn Bridge.  Denne’s family has lived in the Muskoka-Georgian Bay area for generations, and for 17 years Gina has turned her talents to exquisite pottery making.

She studied Fine Art at Georgian College and is also a graduate of the School of Crafts and Design at Sheridan College.  Drawing from the surrounding beauty of Muskoka and Georgian Bay, her work is inspired by nature.  “I’ve always loved working with my hands”, noted Denne, “and lately I’ve also been experimenting with new colours and glazes, which I find very rewarding”. 

In many creations, her work also incorporates fine hand-carving, resulting in a truly distinctive product.  “I’m really looking forward to being part of the Sainte-Marie Harvest Festival event, since its connection to area heritage, the Fall season, and Thanksgiving family gatherings is a great fit for pottery”, she added.

Thirteen other new crafters to the show will combine with outstanding returning artisans to offer a terrific array of items. Sheep, lama, and muskox wool felted items, First Nations hand-crafted dreamcatchers, beaded Kumihimo jewellery, and hand-made wooden clocks are among many beautiful choices.  Other items include acrylic and mixed-media art on canvas, hand-made children’s clothing and toys, fan-carved birds, and hand drums.  Dichroic glass items, and soapstone, alabaster, and award-winning pyrographic art and carvings will add to the wide selection, plus much more. Food lovers will relish the tasty selection of savoury jellies, chutneys, pickles, and mustards. Those with a sweet tooth can check out truffles, candies, fudge, European chocolates, and biscotti.  Self-serve pumpkin and gourd sales will be set up at the main public entrance.

On the historic site, families will have lots of fun planting Three Sisters seeds, decorating pumpkins, and trying their hand at making corn-husk dolls and clay okies. Visitors can sample cornbread in the cookhouse, and even enjoy a traditional corn roast in the Native Area.  A special Thanksgiving menu will also be featured each day at Restaurant Sainte-Marie.    
The Thanksgiving Harvest Festival and Arts and Crafts Show and Sale runs Saturday and Sunday, October 12 and 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, near Midland.  Admission is just $8.00 per person and includes both the historic site and the Craft Show.  Children ages 5 and under are free.  For further information call (705) 526-7838 or visit hhp.on.ca.
Sainte-Marie among the Hurons is operated by Huronia Historical Parks,
and is an Attraction of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport.

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