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Artisan market comes to Cochrane

The first Tangled Tree Artisan Market of the year – taking place Feb. 9, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Frank Wills Memorial Hall in Cochrane – will offer a chance to find “something sweet for your sweetheart,” according to organizer Kristine Thoreson.
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Handcrafted Goods
Kate Meuri of DropStitch Design sells her crocheted items at Tangled Tree Arts’ 2018 Cochrane Christmas Market. Meuri will be among the vendors at an upcoming market at Frank Wills Memorial Hall.

The first Tangled Tree Artisan Market of the year – taking place Feb. 9, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Frank Wills Memorial Hall in Cochrane – will offer a chance to find “something sweet for your sweetheart,” according to organizer Kristine Thoreson. “We thought it might be fun to do it at Valentine’s, because February is kind of a month where…it’s not spring, yet, but it’s not January, either,” she said. “I think people are just starting to get out and about again in February, and [are] looking for opportunities to do fun things.” The market also serves as an alternative date for anyone wanting to celebrate Valentine’s Day early and avoid busy restaurants, Thoreson added. With 32 vendors from Calgary, Cochrane, Airdrie and Bragg Creek, the market will boast a selection of handcrafted art, crafts and food products, featuring goods ranging from homemade fudge to quilts to photography. “There’s woodworking, homemade jewelry, homemade bath and body products,” Thoreson said. “A couple of glass artists, one making decorative objects and one making stained glass. We have a lady doing visual art in frames…made from little pebbles and rocks, and we have somebody making baby products.” Tangled Tree Artworks and Events has operated in Rocky View County for four years, and is no stranger to Cochrane – Thoreson has organized an annual Christmas market at the Frank Wills Memorial Hall for years. As an artist herself, Thoreson said she began putting on the markets after seeing a need for more avenues where artisans and the public can connect affordably. “There’s lots of markets in the city, but it’s $20 to park and then $15 to get in, and it’s all the way in Calgary,” she said. “I do mine at small rural venues.” Keeping the market small enables Thoreson to offer lower rates, which allows up-and-coming artisans the ability to sell their wares while providing an opportunity for shoppers to support local vendors. In the past, Thoreson said she’s been frustrated by the exorbitant booth prices at some larger markets. “As an artist, we don’t have a lot of room to make money, and it takes a lot of time to hand-make things,” she said. “Handmade artisans don’t make things by the hundreds, so we end up paying a higher price for our raw goods.” For both aspiring artisans and enthusiasts, Thoreson said, the market is a fun event where people can connect with creativity. The upcoming event is free, but Thoreson suggests attendees bring a donation for the Cochrane Food Bank as a “door fee.”