After 15 years of producing the Santa Presents craft show, Marge Noble still hasn’t grown tired of bringing it all together each year.
“It’s the passion, it’s the satisfaction and it’s the enjoyment of meeting all the people and how we can inspire new crafters,” said Noble, who started the show as a family project in 1997.
“I am very fortunate to have such a family, who picked up on this legacy that we started. What keeps it going is we support each other as a family,” said Noble. “That is the biggest joy of all for me personally. I couldn’t do it without them. And I think it is mutual. We are a close family.”
In the early years of the show, funds raised at the event were donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. That tradition continues, though now they working with the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation to support the Penticton Regional Hospital. Working with the foundation gives them the chance to focus the funds on the local hospital’s particular needs.
“We have donated $50,000 from previous shows. We are now working for cancer diagnostic tools for the Penticton hospital,” said Noble.
This year, Noble is expecting 105 crafters to be coming to show and sell their wares, though in 1997 it was a far smaller show.
“We probably had about 43 and it was at the Lakeside Resort. We were there for the first while and it just grew and grew,” said Noble.
This year, the show will be taking place at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Santa Claus will be paying regular visits to the show, stopping by from 1 to 3 p.m. both days. While he will be chatting with the kids and having fun with them, there will not be an official Santa Claus photographer on hand.
Noble has 32 new crafters included in the show this year. Getting it all together takes about six months, she said.
Not only are there logistics, but the crafters that participate in the show are specially selected so that there is a good balance of high-quality crafts on display.
“Back to our grandmothers’ times, there were sewing circles and there were craft guilds and the church ladies getting together. Now people have lifted crafting to a whole other level,” said Noble.
For many of the crafters, Noble continued, this is their lifeblood, not only creatively as they make their pieces, but economically as well.
“We do everything we can to make the show the best it can be,” she said. “I have been at many craft shows and I know we put on a first-class act.”