Sarah Zimmerman

Sarah Zimmerman

COLUMN: Supply chains be damned, we’ve got local artisans

Sarah talks about ways to buy local this holiday season

So, it’s the holiday season and people are in the final throes of picking out the perfect gifts for their loved ones. With the global supply chain issue wreaking havoc on on-line shoppers’ holiday deadlines some folks are scrambling.

A survey conducted in the spring of this year by Interac Corp. showed that Canadians want to support businesses in their own backyards. Three-quarters of Canadians who responded said the pandemic has made shopping and supporting businesses in their community more important.

Lucky for us, Terrace is awash in opportunities to not only support amazing local retailers, but artists too. One of my favourite things to gift family and friends from out of town are boxes packed with things you can only find here – it gives them a taste of what makes this place so special.

My go-to spot to find great local art is the Terrace Art Gallery. For the last many holiday seasons, the gallery has expanded its gift shop to take up the entire upper gallery. You can find beautiful pottery pieces made by local artists such as Donna Demers, Smithers’ Susan Clay Smith and Gossen’s Red Barn Pottery studio. It’s got paintings by the likes of Terrace’s Joan Billey, Amanda Hartman and Laura MacGregor, and former Kitimat painter, Summer Breeze. I also love Kyle Boivin’s unique white mountain paintings on wood.

The gallery carries jewellery, cards and prints from many of the graduates of Coast Mountain College’s Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art including Amanda Hugon, Jaimie Davis and Kari Morgan – and stunning woodcuts by instructor and master carver, Stan Bevan.

Another great stop is at the Red Raven gift gallery where local artists have their works available. It’s not unusual to see local radio and television personality Robert Pictou behind the front desk. Not only a great human, but Robert has made a name for himself for his beautiful small beaded projects. His beaded red dresses pay homage to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and his tiny beaded orange shirts recognize the impact of residential schools in Canada – small gifts that pack a lot of meaning. But you can also find gorgeous photography, jewellery and handcrafted goods. But my perennial has to be one of Rick Goyette’s barkman carvings. The same artist who carved most of the famed faces along the Ferry Island walking trails, Rick’s unique carvings are a very Terrace gift to give.

When was the last time you went to the Terrace Tourism Visitor Centre? What? You thought it was just a place for area maps and tourism advice? Think again. Liz Smaha, the executive director for Terrace Tourism, along with her stellar team of summer students and year-round staff, have transformed the little log building into one of my favourite secret spots for sourcing local or regional gifts. The shop features the work of more than 45 regional artisans including stunning pottery from the likes of Red Barn Pottery, macraweave pieces by Cedar and Wool Maker Co. and some beautiful products from Smithers’ based Honey & Hive. You can find everything from handmade soaps to stained glass. The Visit Terrace visitors’ guide cover features the stunning work of Marie-Christine Claveau, Rosswood-based artist. Claveau’s vibrant, colourful mountainscape of Sleeping Beauty can be found on all sorts of gifts that including hats, bags and clutches. The Visitor Centre is one of Terrace’s best kept secrets AND they make a mean latte. Win-win.

This season, don’t panic over delayed shipments and supply chain issues. Embrace local – there is so much talent to be proud of and art to share with those you love.