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December 2003 - Nr. 12


The Editor
The Youth Forum
Antje berichtet
Vienna Connection
Zurich Connection
K-W & Beyond
Opera York's La Traviata
St. Martin in Canada
Christmas Fairs
The Weeping Camel
Word on the Street
Woodland Memorial
The Theater Group
Who was Mozart?
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Germans shop for Christmas
Of True Love...
"Wheel of Time"
Baroque Dresden
Definition of Culture
Art Cologne 2003
HipHop Competition
Eagle Eye Survey
Weihnachten mit Hummel
Decorative "Bierdeckel"
German Rider...
Financial Advice
Fussball-Globus FIFA
MOMA Film Fest

Christmas Fairs Galore

  Merry Christmas

  My first visit was the fair at the Tannery in Newmarket. It is a verHand-crafted wondersy beautiful location and well decorated for the season. The ceilings are low enough to create a comfortable atmosphere and – with the help of the vendors – a Christmassy feeling. But where were the customers? This is a A Christmas pyramidequestion that applied to all the fairs this year. The vendors were complaining, some barely broke even or left with a very small margin of profit. Was it the weather? Have these types of fairs run their course? Were they scheduled too early?

Alpine Gift & SoundI don’t have the answers, and no one else was able to put a finger on it for me either.

CuriousThe items offered were standard fare: Smokers (Räuchermännchen), Pyramids, woodcarvings, tree décor, Marzipan, Chocolates, Cookies and other related items.

The Flower Clock shopBut there were also items offered that had nothing to do with Christmas such as coat hangers, pots & pans or shoe polish etc., that couldn’t possibly be classified as gift items.

Can I take him home?One of the most unsanitary items that I saw at these fairs was unrefrigerated and uncovered meat items like Kaiserfleisch or fish in open display. Many people commented unfavouraIt's that time again! - Siegfried Erckbly on this to me, and they also didn’t buy much of it. I wonder what happened to the unsold merchandise after a three-day exposure (!) at the fair?

Regina's DirndlsA great favourite – as food items go – was the smoked sausage offered by the Mennonite communities. Some of the salamis and summer sausages were made from beefToo big for the tree, elk meat, turkey and other combinations, well wrapped and not in the need of refrigeration – very tasty and appetizingly presented. I wouldn’t mind finding one under the tree.


Mark Steven Hansen at workLandscape on slate





The Christmas Fair in St. Catharines was also not the success that had been anticipated by the organizers - or the vendors.

Reiner in the spirit of the seasonAt the "Donauschwaben Klub" in Scarborough a similar assortment of gift and décor items was offered. This old and well-established fair did better this year than last. Visitors showed up early on the first day, had lunch and REHA gifts for beautificationthen started shopping – especially for food items and jewellery - when the vendors hadn’t even finished setting up their booths yet. Since there was no official opening this year, the confusion was understandable.

Decorations hand-madeHeidi demonstrates the jewellery





From decorating the tree to gifts for a child

Christmas fair at the Hansa HausThe fair at the Hansa Haus did not do very well this year either and the vendors were a bit unhappy and some even blamed the organizers for lack of promotion on their part. But that may not be the only reason. Hand-carved SantasI know lots of people who think the Hansa Club should run the Christmas Fair themselves instead of an outside source that is only out to make a buck.

Bernstein - Amber in all shapes, colours and sizesMany of the visitors took advantage of the fact that delicious food was served in the "Hansa Stube" upstairs and there were often more people upstairs than in the hall downstairs, at the fair.

Nutcracker paradeThis one is for big nuts





And all is hand-crafted

Siegfried Erck's new hand-crafted pendulum clockBoys will be boys!





Honey & wax  or  products of the beeSimply mouth-watering





The Christmas Fair at City Hall in Toronto is underway already and will run until the 23rd of December. It should be more successful than last year’s fair, which was hidden between two buildings near the St. Lawrence Farmers Market and almost invisible.

This year’s location automatically guarantees greater exposure and should do well.

Another - usually successful - "Christkindlmarkt" will be the one in Kitchener’s City Hall and will run from the 3rd to the 7th of December. It features lots of seasonal entertainment to reinforce the seasonal mood and normally sees a lot of visitors during its 5-day run. (See more details in the ad in this issue)



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