/ #art #faire 

René Trim’s arts and crafts: A look behind the scenes at the OVCC

Well, my summer vacation came and went, so time to get back in the swing of things! Typically, the OVCC organizes two major events each year, one in the spring and one in the winter, so by rights June, July and August are my “quiet” months. This year, however, things are far from quiet!

Homemade Sizzle

The OVCC has teamed up with Creative Creations Events from Carleton Place to bring Ottawa a spectacular summer craft event on July 25 and 26: the “HOMEmade Sizzle”. Seasoned art and craft show visitors will know that most events are hosted in schools, churches and community centers but we picked a highly unusual venue for our “Sizzle”: the former Target location at the Hazeldean Mall in Kanata. The mall is conveniently located at the corner of Hazeldean and Eagleson, just off the 417 and across from the OC Transpo Eagleson Park and Ride. We are still taking vendor applications but already, 70 artists, artisans and crafters have signed up so it promises to be a real “sizzling” event, at which you will find a wide range of locally made items. We’ll be organizing some activities to keep the kids busy, parking is free and – regardless of heat or showers – we’ll be cool and dry indoors so we hope to see you there on the 25


or 26


(10 am to 4 pm daily). You can find out more on

Art in Fashion 613

Although not through the OVCC, I am also involved in organizing Art in Fashion 613, a unique mix of fashion show and night market that will hit the Library and Archives Canada building on Wellington Street on October 17. My fellow organizer is Ottawa fashion designer Kym Brown from Bombshell Revival Designs and our theme for the evening is: “Art can be fashion and fashion can be art.”

As Kym puts it:


 I am looking for designers and artists who do their own thing, and are open to applying it to a piece that can be worn on the body in some way.  That could mean t-shirts, dresses, jackets, hats, body armour or decoration, sculptural pieces that can be placed on the body - whatever inspires them.  Of course in a fashion show setting I am looking for designers who make clothing but, I am also interested in someone, for example, who loves to paint or take photographs but has perhaps never put their work onto fabric and then had the fabric made into or applied onto garments or accessories.  We are looking for artists interested in and open to creating with the goal in mind of using their work as a wearable item....and that does not only mean wearable in day to day life.”

TV Rogers host Barbara Laurenstin will host the event that consists of a fashion show and a night market featuring 30 local artists and artisans, as well as music, food and drinks. Tickets are $20 (including a free drink ticket) and can be ordered through

Next on the list is – dare I mention it in June? – “Joy!”, our Christmas event that will take place on November 28 and 29. You may think it’s very early to even be thinking of the holidays – and I can’t say I blame you – but obviously, preparing these events takes time and vendors like to plan ahead, especially in that busy time of year. We’ve decided to go for an “ugly Christmas (or Hannukah) sweater” theme and we will be handing out a $5 gift certificate every 10 minutes to those visitors who dare show up in their ugliest seasonal “ensemble”.  Anyway, there is plenty of time to tell you more on this later in the year, so I’ll quickly move on!

Now, if you think talking Christmas is early, how about September 2016? Yes, that’s 2016 – not 2015 (and believe it or not, it has already been in the planning stage for quite some time)!  The OVCC will be going outdoors AND back in time on September  24 and 25, 2016 with Ottawa’s first ever “Capital Renaissance Faire”, a medieval festival that will take place at Wesley Clover Parks on Corkstown Road. Organizing an event of this size is extremely complicated and time-consuming so, fortunately, we’re doing this with a group of local experts in “all things medieval”. We still have a lot of work to do but I can assure you it will be a true spectacle with jousting, sword fighting, colourful performers, enchanting witches, merry jesters, artisans and crafts(wo)men, enthralling storytellers and rousing musicians!

Next week I will be back with a look ahead at what’s happening in the wonderful world of arts and crafts in July – until then, have a creative week and don’t forget to support local!