New Brunswick Craft Council prepare for annual Halloween fundraising event.
With a new season’s schedule now in full swing, a whole new crop of annual events are now popping up on the calendar. And among the many Fredericton fall favourites set to take place over the next few months, the New Brunswick Craft Council’s annual Beer‘n Stein fundraiser, an event combining fine crafts from NB crafters with local beer and community engagement, is a highlight for many of the region’s artists and art lovers.
“We love this event and it’s a lot of fun to plan and attend,” said Claire Shiplett, project manager for the NBCC. “This event is a great way to support craftspeople and artists of all types in having successful, viable businesses here in New Brunswick. We invite the public to come engage with their peers, support local makers, network with craft enthusiasts, and spread more awareness and love of fine craft.”
Proceeds from the Beer’n Stein Fundraiser go towards supporting the NBCC’s continued efforts to promote many professional fine crafters and producers throughout the province.
Tickets purchased for the event include a handcrafted beer stein or stein-stuffer and Picaroon’s locally crafted beer, plus an evening of music, a spooky handmade photo-booth, delicious finger food, film screenings, handmade leather masks and props by Hammerthreads, craft silent auction, and an exciting Halloween costume contest with Vault 29 gift certificate prize.
This year’s event will be highlighted in part by an exciting new partnership between the NBCC and a new event organized by Flourish, a local arts and music festival which held its first event in April.
“We are partnering with the folks at Flourish during their mini-Flourish event ‘Perish’, which runs October 29-31,” said Shiplett. “It’s a collection of arts and music events celebrating local creative talent, through performances at The Capital Complex and a Shiftwork Studio, opening just one floor up from the Beer ‘n Stein on October 30.”
Partnerships are a growing part of the city’s healthy arts community and a great way to dismantle barriers that may exist between likeminded groups.
“It’s a way of planning different arts and culture events under one umbrella to create more community and engagement,” said Shiplett. “The council reached out to Flourish to connect with a passionate crowd of movers and shakers within the art and music scene in Fredericton, as we think a lot of the people interested in ‘Perish’ would enjoy the handmade, local fine craft at NBCC events.
“The arts and culture scene in this community is warm and inviting,” she said. “Everyone is always keen on working together and coming up with fresh ideas, so we thought it would be good to start laying down some more connections. You never know where partnerships will take you, especially in potential future collaborations. Basically, we think we’re stronger together and we can create more engaging, unique programming by drawing from a diverse pool of ideas and resources. The NBCC is lucky to have strong partners in Picaroons Traditional Ales as well, and hope to create more innovative projects with them in the future. Craft beer tastes really good in a handcrafted beer stein. It’s science!”
And at the centre of every year’s Beer’n Stein event is, of course, the steins themselves, hand crafted by some of the province’s most talented artisans.
“There’s such a diversity of work involved,” said Shiplett. “You see a huge range in colour, texture, form, technique, aesthetic, and all made by passionate, skilled hands. It is super-fun to choose which one you want to grab and there’s usually some trading that goes on as well.”
In addition to steins, there are often “stuffers” as well, donated by some of the NBCC’s juried artists who work with fibre, jewellery and leather.
While a full listing of artists involved in this year’s Beer’n Stein Fundraiser has yet to be released, last year’s event included works by Legacy Lane Fiber Mill, Maru Pottery, Beth Biggs, Hermann Suzuki Pottery, Monique Bujold Brown, MJM Pottery, Marcia Poirier, Greig Pottery, Leonard Landry’s Birdseye Bowls, Terra Bijou Jewelry, Tim Isaac Pottery, David Brewer, Bent Threads, Tiger Lily Designs, Atlantic Pewter and Glass, Karen Burk, Karen LeBlanc, Nature’s Canvas, Hidden House Pottery & Press, Chris Doiron Pottery, Constantine Designs, Nu Ceramics, Branches Pottery, Flight of the Eagle Jewellery Arts, Ghita Levin, Woodsmoke Woolworks, Billings Pottery, Echos of Erin, Poterie Ginette Arsenault and others.