AMHERST – It takes a team to make Amherst the fibre arts capital of eastern Canada.
While the 11th edition of the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival is still four months away, Denise Corey is not waiting til the last minute to recruit new volunteers to what really is a really nice thing for Amherst and Cumberland County.
“We’ve had a lot of success building the festival up to what it is today from what it was at the very beginning, but to continue growing we need to have more volunteers,” said Corey, who is entering her first year as the festival’s organizing committee chair. “We’ve had some great volunteers over the years, but as time goes on some have chosen to move on to other things while others are still with us, but have chosen to take a diminished role.”
This year’s edition of the festival runs from Oct. 9 to 13 at various locations around Amherst and features some of the region’s top fibre artists coming together to lead courses. The five-day event attracts fibre arts enthusiasts from across Canada and the United States while recent festivals have seen participants come from as far as New Zealand to take courses such as rug-hooking and quilting, knitting, felting, dying and more.
“I don’t think people realize how big the festival has become or how many people come,” she said. “They notice during that week there’s no parking downtown. The people who participate in workshops are often squirrelled away in church basements. You don’t realize how many are here. There are hundreds here spending thousands.”
Corey said the festival brings a large financial boost to the community in hotels, restaurants and stores and the event is gaining more recognition in fibre arts circles in western Canada and the United States.
She said businesses such as the Deanne Fitzpatrick Rug Hooking Studio, Acadian Printing, Archway Insurance, Atlantic Fabrics and Dayle’s Grand Market have been huge supporters while both Amherst and the Municipality of Cumberland have both made significant contributions to the event.
Preparations for this year’s festival are moving forwards as expected, she said. The courses have all been approved and the 2018 brochure printed. However, she said, there’s a real need for new volunteers.
To volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.fibreartsfestival.com .