If you have been diagnosed with celiac disease or are suffering from non-celiac gluten sensitivities, Gluten Free Utopia, which will be held this weekend this Sunday at the Ukrainian Banquet Hall on Byron, is THE event to visit. GFU is the brainchild of Ottawa native Samantha Maloney, owner/baker at BEZ Gluten Free, a bakery created on the belief that everyone’s body should be able to have and eat the food it loves. Maloney, herself diagnosed with celiac disease, came up with the idea a few years ago when she found out about ‘Gluten Free Garage’, an informal gluten-free trade show in Toronto that centered on local businesses. Armed with the blessing to copy the idea for Ottawa - and after months of research and preparations – Samantha launched the first edition of ‘Gluten Free Utopia’, the first stand-alone gluten-free trade show to take place in the National Capital Region, in April 2014. Visitors were delighted to see the variety of vendors and products that Samantha had put together, and attendance was so encouraging that Samantha decided to do it all again this year! Celiac disease (and being gluten-free) disn't just about bread and baked goods alone, it includes all aspects of life and health, so you can expect a variety of vendors this Sunday. Of course there will be bakers, but GFU will also showcase vendors of skin care and cosmetics, spices, meat, specialty foods, and yes, even beer! It’s all happening this Sunday, May 31 st a t the Ukrainian Banquet Hall, located at 1000 Byron Ave., Ottawa. Admission $10 (children 12 and under free).
** HOMEmade Sizzle ** In last week’s column, I broke the news about the HOMEmade Sizzle, a unique indoor craft event organized by Creative Creations Events and the OVCC, that will come to the former Target location at the Hazeldean Mall in Kanata on July 25 and 26. We – the organizers – had to hammer out some details over the weekend but I am happy to be able to share that vendors who are interested in participating in the event can now submit their online application, which can be found [ here ](http://www.creativecreationsevents.ca/vendor-application.html) . ** Events ** Lastly, here is a selection of upcoming events for this weekend: ** May 30 (9 am to 2 pm). ** The Salvation Army’s Bethany Hope Centre presents its 3 rd annual Community Day Event at the Centre, located at 820 Woodroffe Ave., including a garage sale, artisan’s crafts, children’s activities and live entertainment. Free event. ** May 30 (10 am to 5 pm). ** Hintonburg Artspark, a community driven arts festival, returns to the Parkdale Market Part with a great selection of art, crafts, local food, music, poetry and more! Free event. ** May 30 (10 am to 4 pm). ** For those who love toys, video games, trading cards, comic books and anything "geek" related a trip to the Geeked Out Toys & Collectibles Sale in Carleton Place should be on the to do list this Saturday. Carleton Place Arena, 75 Neelin St. Admission $1. ** May 30 (9 am to 4 pm) & 31 (10 am to 3 pm). ** Almonte’s popular Handmade Harvest comes to the “Big City”! Discover designers and makers from Toronto to Montreal at the Bell Sensplex, 565 Maple Grove Road, Kanata. Admission $5 ** May 31 (12 pm to 4 pm). ** The Chinatown Craft Market will be held in the parking lot of the Shanghai Restaurant , 651 Somerset St. West with 15 local artisans. Free event. ** May 31 & June 1 (10 am to 5 pm daily). ** The McKenzie Marcotte Gallery features the porcelain of ceramic artists David McKenzie and Maureen Marcotte, as well as the work of a select group of artists from the area. The gallery welcomes you at their open house at 26 Sully, Wakefield QC. Free event. ** Saturday, May 30 th ** marks the opening of the North Gower Farmers’ Market, located in the big red barn near the corner of Fourth Line Road and Roger Stevens Drive. ** More farmer’s market news: ** The Old Aylmer Market (Marché Vieux Aylmer) is now open every Sunday from 10:00 to 15:00. It is located in the Commemorative Park at the corner of Eardly and Principale Street in Aylmer. You will find a variety of quality artisans, food and vegetable producers in a true market ambiance. That’s all for now, folks; have a creative week and don’t forget to support local!