Big passion for P.E.I. Women's Institute handcraft exhibition despite fewer entries
'I like the competition, and to see how good my work is'
This year marks the 95th Handcrafts, Horticulture and Arts show for the P.E.I. Women's Institute, and although organizers have seen entry numbers drop over the last decade, there is still a big passion for the tradition.
"There's good competition, but I'm finding over the years there's not as many," said Roberta Giddings, a competitor who enters every year.
Giddings usually enters in categories for quilting, sewing and other handcrafts.
"I like the competition, and to see how good my work is," she said.
Organizers say over the last decade, entries have dropped.
Pat MacKinnon, one of the chairs for the exhibition, estimates there's been about a 30 per cent decline.
Still, this year there were 322 entries in various categories.
"I certainly hope it will continue, I mean it's been going on for years now and we don't want to see it end," MacKinnon said.
She said daily life has changed for a lot of people, and some may not have time for sewing, quilting or other traditional crafts.
MacKinnon said many of the competitors are in their senior years. There's even a Golden Years category for those 75 years and older.
However, she believes younger people will join in too, when time allows.
"We hope some day they will find the time in their busy lives to join," MacKinnon said.
Passion for exhibition
A steady stream of people still check out the displays and there is admiration for the hours of work put into the entries.
MacKinnon said competitors spend countless hours perfecting their entries, whether it be crocheting, quilt making, baking or flower arranging.
"They probably spend the whole year getting prepared to exhibit," said MacKinnon.
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With files from Laura Meader