October 21, 2021

The Allan Reuter Centre held its annual Christmas Bazaar on Saturday in Cambridge. It is the only standalone centre out of the four 50+ centres run by the City of Cambridge.

There were 23 vendors at the event and visitors had a chance to enjoy homemade soup, coffee, and shop for Christmas gifts.

The “Christmas Treasure” room, dedicated to selling lightly used Christmas items, gave shoppers the opportunity to fill a standard shopping bag for just a dollar.

“This is a fundraiser for the centre. It is an ideal place for seniors to get together to celebrate Christmas. Out of the four centres we are the only centre that hosts the Bazaar,” Rick Downton, greeter and Santa for the day, said.

Greeters
Greeters Rick Downton (L) and Joan Strome at the Allan Reuter Centre on Saturday, Nov 10, 2018. Photo by Ahmad Khan. Conestoga College/Journalism

 

Elaine Downton has been coordinating the event for the past 15 years.

“The bazaar has been going on for about 20 years and is run by volunteers,” she told Spoke.

Elaine Downton
Elaine Downton the event cordinator of the Christmas Bazzaar at Allan Reuter Centre in Cambridge, Ont. Saturday, Nov 10, 2018. Photo by Ahmad Khan. Conestoga College/Journalism

Downton spoke about the gradual expansion of the bazaar.

“For the first couple of years we had no vendors. We only had a tea room and a bake sale. Now we have 23 vendors,” she said.

Jean Leppanen was attending her fourth Christmas bazaar event as a vendor, and was happy with the sales and the general setup.

“It’s a very senior oriented place. People are not closed in. There are nice open spaces at the centre and the environment is very friendly.”

Customers
Donna Whittier (L) a customer asks Jean Leppanen the vendor a question at the Allan Reuter Centre on Saturday, Nov 10, 2018. Photo by Ahmad Khan. Conestoga College/Journalism

Visitor Donna Whittier was excited about the variety and selections on offer.

“This is my first time coming to the bazaar. I am amazed by the items on offer. Its not just hoodies and baby swatters,” Whittier said.

Linda Fleury and her husband John Fleury have been attending the event as vendors for the past 14 years. Linda was of the opinion that events like these presented opportunity for young enterprising people.

Linda Fleury and John Fleury
Vendors Linda Fleury (L) and John Fleury at the Allan Reuter Centre Christmass Bazzar in Cambridge, Ont. on Saturday, Nov 10, 2018. Photo by Ahmad Khan. Conestoga College/Journalism

“This is an exercise in entrepreneurship, and more young people should become vendors. It’s wonderful to see people coming and looking at your work and praising it.”

Visitor
Chris Kennedy a visitor at the Allan Reuter Centre on Saturday, Nov 10, 2018. Photo by Ahmad Khan. Conestoga College/Journalism

Chris Kennedy was shopping at the event for the second time, and said this event was a good way to get to know the locals.

“You get to know people in the community and look at their products. It is also a way of supporting the people in the community and [helps] build relationships.”

Sandra Lemieux was attending as a vendor for the first time.

“It has been a very challenging and rewarding experience. It is one way to give back to the community and to support it. The atmosphere has a different feel to it than a large commercialized event,” Lemieux said.

Between 300 and 400 people visited the event this year.

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