Gore Bay International Lace Camp draws 27 lacemakers

Cheryl Ford was one of 27 lacemakers on hand for the Gore Bay International Lace Camp, held in Gore Bay last week.

GORE BAY—The numbers of ladies on hand for the annual Gore Bay International Lace Camp decreased since the last lace camp was held, but everyone on hand the week of July 11 was very happy that it has returned as an in person activity.

The event draws newcomers to the event each year, but for the most part, most participants have been to most or all of the previous lace camps. The first lace camp was held in 1994.

Norma Goring of Rockwood in southern Ontario told The Expositor, “I wasn’t here for the first lace camp, and I might have missed another over the years.” She comes back every year because “of the people, the place (Gore Bay), and it gives me a bit of a vacation, which is very important for everyone; especially after we went through COVID. ”

There were a total of 27 people on hand for this year’s lace camp, when the event was held in the Gore Bay Legion.

Shelagh Wotherspoon, of Ottawa, was attending her first in person lace camp. “We spent one night in Sudbury. I like it very much. And it is nice to see everyone in person instead of virtually on zoom.” She attended last years virtual lace camp.

“I’ve been hearing about this lace camp for many years,” said Ms. Wotherspoon. As a member of the Canadian Lacemaker Gazette, “I have read many articles and heard many good things about this lace camp over the years.” Ms. Wotherspoon is skilled in many different types of lacemaking, including her favourites, Torchon, Bucks, and Honiton, the latter a British type of lace. “There are so many lace types, but most people, when they are starting out in lace, start with Torchon.”

“I started lace making in the early 1990’s, but had about a 20-year-gap,” continued Ms. Wotherspoon. “I have gotten back into lace making and I’m glad I have, I really enjoy it. No, it is not something that you can do in a couple of minutes you really have to commit time and effort. It is very relaxing.”

Gore Bay Mayor Dan Osborne welcomed everyone back for the annual lace camp at the Monday opening. “I welcomed everyone back for the 27th annual lace camp and congratulated them on this being the 27th year, and continuing after COVID,” Mayor Osborne told The Expositor.

“I attended the lacemakers to thank them for coming back this year, choosing Gore Bay for this event, and holding it here on an annual basis,” added Mayor Osborne.

 The camp was begun in 1994 by Tini Pel.