Kitchener Christmas Market Revived After Previous Organizer Gambled Away Deposits
The festive spirit in Kitchener is back on track with the resurrection of a beloved Christmas market, set for November 12th, after an unexpected cancellation. The original event, known as the “It’s Christmas Market” at Bingemans, was halted when the organizer disclosed on social media that the event was off due to the loss of vendor deposits to gambling.
The sudden cancellation threw vendors into disarray, leaving them to ponder the fate of their prepared stock and the effort invested over months. The financial stakes were high, with many depending on the seasonal market for significant income.
“Many count on this event for their holiday earnings, and it’s crucial for their annual finances,” shared Jordan Butler, a member of the new organizing team. “The preparation time is considerable, and the cancellation was truly disheartening.”
A group of new organizers has stepped in, navigating through the complexities of licensing, permits, and financial hurdles to ensure the market goes ahead, now rebranded as “A Holiday Market.”
“We’ve secured all the necessary legalities, including the licensing, the permits, and the insurance,” Butler confirmed, though he acknowledged the ongoing uncertainties.
A key task is unraveling the financial entanglements: “We’re trying to determine where all the vendor payments have gone – who paid, how much, and what was promised to them.”
Local businesses have rallied in support, according to a social media announcement, contributing to the costs and supplies for the event’s successful execution.
“The community’s response has been astonishingly supportive,” Butler expressed with gratitude.
The new organizers have reassured that most vendors from the original lineup are returning, and they are reaching out to the remaining few. These vendors are not required to pay a new fee but need to present proof of their initial payment.
“Our priority is to ensure that the vendors who suffered losses are the first to benefit,” stated Keith Relf, another organizer and the proprietor of Howling Moose.
“A Holiday Market” is slated to welcome visitors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the designated Sunday at Bingemans. A modest entry fee of $2 will be collected, and attendees are encouraged to contribute a non-perishable food item for the local food bank.
Organizer Sierra Gregorio, also the founder of Sili Sie Company, shared her aspirations for the event: “I hope it warms hearts and brings joy to everyone involved.”
Describing the turnaround, she added, “It feels akin to a Christmas miracle.”