Valley artisan co-operative Bluebird Collective is ready for summer and celebrates their grand opening with a fashion show on Bay Day. Bluebird Collective was formed late last year when founder Sigrid Geddes of Sigrid’s Naturals, then aided by Amber Flokstra Radema, decided to showcase the work of other Valley artists in Geddes’ new retail space at 19582 Opeongo Line in Barry’s Bay. Christmas shoppers could choose from a curated selection of products handcrafted by about fifteen Valley artists and makers – ranging from visual arts and crafts to delicious seasonal treats. Since then Bluebird Collective has grown and now proudly sports its own delightful logo.
Now fronting the Collective on her own – but with “much help from a fantastic group of collaborators” – Geddes has carefully sourced additional products from the Valley and beyond. One exciting example is a range of basketware from Ghana that is sourced from Canadian fair trade company, Big Blue Moma. The colourful baskets are traditionally handmade by 300 weavers and their families in Bolgatanga, Ghana, who receive a fair wage for the work they do in their homes.
Bluebird Collective’s customers were treated to a Christmas storytelling and carol event late last year and Geddes promises that the fashion show on Saturday May 21 is just the first of several events to come. She says the main criterion for staging a Bluebird event is that it be “fun” – whether that includes music, dance, drama, art, food – and looking at the range of collaborators in the team, there’s no question that any event they dream up with deliver Fun.
Bluebird Collective is staffed by a rota of the artist members of the co-operative. Retail hours are 10 am to 4 pm but the open days are seasonal as follows:
- May Thursday to Sunday
- June Wednesday to Sunday
- July-August Daily 10 am to 4 pm
To keep up with events and the menu for Friday home baking, follow Bluebird Local Arts Collective on Facebook. Meanwhile, please enjoy this little gallery of just a few of the items on display. Below, clockwise from top left: Sigrid Geddes; the new Bluebird Collective logo; display of baskets, wood items, syrup, art and more; artist Bozena Hrycna; pottery, felting, art, repurposed glassware; weaver Emily Adams with leather goods.