Salish Sea Market : Ten years of celebrating artful – distinctive – memorable on the shores of the Salish Sea.
Hard to believe that it was 10 years ago today that three inspired women – sister-in-law Lauri Gwilt, the late Linda Tenney and myself – took a leap of faith to launch the Salish Sea Market in our hometown village of Bowser. I am forever grateful for the combined creative courage it took from all three partners to create the sound foundation on which this artful entity has thrived. (Linda & Lauri both set forth from the Market in the early years, called to different paths with new ventures)
Oh my, how the Market has grown – in so many ways! In the first months there was a modest but deliberate invitation extended to a handful of well known artists, on our wish list; artists that took a chance on us and we are very proud to say are still staying the course with us – Charles van Sandwyk, Jan Meads, Douglas J Fisher, Kastawayz, Wendy Adams, Waterslip Soap, Cindy Mawle, Coastal Prezence, Patt Scrivener, Patricia Banks and Kevin Mackenzie – thank you all!
Did you know that currently, within our 1600 square feet, we represent 195 artists who create their work in sight of the Salish Sea – that’s a wide circle of mutual relationships to nurture and individual stories to remember! Which brings us to acknowledge the current Market team of eight energetic women (Simone, Cathy, Vivian, Sarah, Rhonda, Laurie, Francine and moi) working seamlessly on the shop floor and beyond, quite like a synchronistic, smiling team of jugglers – keeping all the balls in the air to provide a memorable experience for both our artists and our visitors.
Which leads us to our customers – our first-timers, who have landed here from all parts of the globe and our loyal repeat visitors, those who can reach us more often from our local communities and provinces – we would not be here today without your support, appreciation and investment in our local art community – period.
Last year alone, we took great care of 20,076 customers – without fail they each turn to us with their goodbyes to say ‘we’ll be back’ – and they do, eager to explore with their family and friends. The synergy it takes to have this many people come to a destination venue, in Bowser, is a testament to the networking of artists, tourism agencies, media, the business community and our local residents – we value your word-of-mouth encouragement, it is reiterated everyday to us when we ask ‘how did you find us?”.
I was asked ‘what is something you envisioned for the Market that you haven’t yet done?’ That’s easy – it’s been a mindful build of a successful entity to pass on to another’s loving care – I’m a firm believer that there will be a right time for the right person – I will leave that to manifest …
This evening I have the honour of celebrating with our team – COVID style. As rain is in the forecast my sister & brother in law have offered us their carport for gathering – from humble beginnings to humble celebrations – there will be great conversations tonight rooted in gratitude for everyone that has contributed to the ongoing success of the Salish Sea Market.
More than ever, in this time of constant change – please continue to support your local artists – art cultivates heart in your community.
Sharon ~ Guide of Ebb & Flow