3rd annual Fair Trade Market greets shoppers Dec 1st

10407905_885689938107717_3893176976440710907_nBy Carol Christian

It will be a galactic festive theme greeting Christmas shoppers Dec. 1 when they enter Holy Trinity Catholic High School for the third annual the Fair Trade Market.

That’s because this year’s theme is One Small Step for Man; One Giant Leap for Mankind.

Think Neil Armstrong.

“We tied in the theme based on making one small change in your shopping habits has such a huge impact on developing communities around the world,” explains Meredith Macneill, the teacher advisor for the school’s Teens for Change, the driving force behind the anticipated holiday shopping event.

The Fair Trade Market is being held 6 to 10 p.m. at the school, 230 Powder Drive in Timberlea. General admission is $10 at the door. For those who want a little pre-rush shopping, an early bird special is being offered for $20, advance sale only. These advance tickets – only 100 available at the school’s box office – give shoppers a one-hour head start with doors opening at 5:00 p.m.

This year’s expanded market is being kept to the main level meaning a changed up lay-out.

When shoppers first enter the school, Macneill explains they will be directed into the theatre where Ten Thousand Villages will be set up with various goods and food items for sale.

Leaving the theatre through a different door, they will come into the main hall area for the popular pashminas and shopping from other vendors including Sangster’s and One Earth.

The Body Shoppe will be on hand with skin care and make-up demonstrations and to discuss its own fair trade practices. African bronze honey will also be for sale.

Tasty treats will be served again this year at the café along with tea and coffee thanks to the culinary students with assistance from other students.

There will also be door prizes and raffles. Shoppers are encouraged to bring cash as there are some cash only sales.

“It’s a great opportunity to purchase fair trade Christmas gifts and products at a local venue,” she notes. “The whole idea is to open Fort McMurray to a different world of shopping and consumerism.”

To learn more about shopping habits, Macneill points out the tickets include a small survey for shoppers to complete about their Christmas shopping behaviours and their commitment to buying fair trade and shopping locally.

This growing event is a key fundraiser for Teens for Change who hope to raise $35,000 for its sponsorship with Free the Children of a village in Ecuador.

This collective of social change/social justice activists is comprised of some 40 Grade 10 to 12 students.

“The kids are committed to it,” said Macneill of the market and the 13-hour days in the week leading up to it.  The students also have some help from middle school students in Me to We.

“The whole idea of the market is to bring the community together.”

To keep up with the group, it has its own Facebook page, Holy Trinity Teens for Change, teens4change_ht on Twitter and teensforchange_ht on Instagram.