The Saskatoon Open Door Society (SODS) first opened its doors in 1980 to help establish the growing number of Vietnamese refugees. They have worked tirelessly ever since to help refugees from over 150 countries get settled in Saskatoon. They offer ESL classes, early childhood education, daycare, help finding employment and much, much more.
November 19th from 11am-4pm was SODS’s 2nd annual International Bazaar held at Station 20, which is located on 20th street in Saskatoon. This event allowed local artisans from over 20 countries showcase their work. Admission was free, and there was also free parking available in a lot, and surrounding streets.
The goal of this event is to empower local artisans and expose their talents, all while giving them a bit of an economic opportunity with selling their handmade items.
There were Moroccan leather items, Brazilian masks, Chinese paper cutting alongside jewelry, cards, paintings, Henna and of course, you can’t forget about the traditional food! I’m not even going to pretend to know what was being offered, but it looked GOOD. It must have tasted good too because we saw a lot of people standing in line to have their taste, and people carrying out containers of it.
Along with food and items for purchase, they were also showcasing another talent. Throughout the day there were various people with musical performances. I’m not sure how many were shown throughout the day, but we did get to see a kid playing an oud. What a neat instrument! He sounded great, and it’s always nice when a variety of ages can take part in something like this.
What fun would a Bazaar be without some kind of a mascot for kids to take pictures with? This panda was the perfect addition for that, there was even a second panda head that the kids could wear!
We went around noon and this place was already hopping. We were able to find a fairly close parking spot and there was no line to get in, thanks to the free admission. It was great to see so many people of all different nationalities taking part in this event, and shopping at it.
Since it was so busy we didn’t have a chance to talk to anyone, but some of the countries were listed on the tables. There were traditional items from Brazil, Thailand, Hungary, Philippines, just to name a few.
This event was a great opportunity to see traditional items from other countries and support the talents of people from all ages. And what a great opportunity to get some unique Christmas gifts for your loved ones!