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Taking the cash out of Christmas: Vernon event brings back the joy of bartering

A variety of goods and services will be available for trade at the Holiday Barter Fest hosted by Farm Bound.
Image Credit: Holiday Barter Fest
December 03, 2015 - 2:30 PM

VERNON - There are two rules at an unconventional Christmas fair in Vernon this holiday season, the first of which is: No cash allowed.

That’s because participants will be trading for the goods and services on hand. Hosted by Jaye Coward and her partner Mireille Gourlay of Farm Bound the Holiday Barter Fest is perhaps Vernon’s first craft fair where you can stock up on gifts without spending a dime.

“I think a lot of people are looking for an alternative to the commercial, buy-buy-buy feel of Christmas,” Coward says. “At the same time, you still want to give tokens.”

She and Gourlay got the idea for the barter-fest through their own experience of trading with other artisans at craft fairs.

“It’s actually quite common at artisan events for people to trade. It’s one of my favourite parts of the event because you end up with items you might not have spent cash on,” Coward says. “We thought it would be a really cool way of getting local people and art together in an event without cash so it’s not just this money-money-money thing for Christmas.”

The event will have a variety of goods available, including canning, soaps, art and antiques as well as gift certificates for services like massage or reiki. Anything you can think of to trade is fair game, Coward says.

“It also gives people the opportunity if they don’t have a lot of money to spend on gifts to get things for presents,” she says.

While rule number one prohibits cash, rule number two is you have to respect someone’s choice not to trade, so you might want to brush up on those bartering skills. While outdated, Coward believes trading can play a valuable role in today’s society, especially around the holidays.

“I think it would be fun for people to bring it back,” she says.

The Holiday Barter Fest is set for Thursday, Dec. 17 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Farm Bound’s warehouse on Middleton Mountain at 1935 11 Avenue. Those wishing to set up tables at the event are asked to email in advance.

Farm Bound will also be offering organic food up for trade at the event.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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