International Lace Camp an annual summer tradition in Gore Bay

Participants in the International Lace Camp gather for a group photo. Lace enthusiasts come from far and wide for this annual tradition, started 21 years ago.

GORE BAY—For one of the long-time visitors to the annual Gore Bay International Lace Camp, it is an event that she doesn’t want to miss.

“I don’t know what I would do in the summer if I couldn’t come to lace camp—I love all of it,” stated Katherine Hosszu. “I have been coming to lace camp for 21 years. I love to socialize and sometimes I lollygag and don’t get much done with the lace making, but I love all of it, the atmosphere and seeing everyone every year. I also love the town and the area.”

Ms. Hosszu explained she first attended lace camp 21 years ago. “We were coming up to our camp on Manitoulin and were on the Chi-Cheemaun from Tobermory and I was reading a brochure about the lace camp, but it didn’t mention where it was being held in Gore Bay. When I got to Gore Bay I went to the community hall and asked where the lace camp was.”

“It was being held in the community hall, so I signed up and have been hooked ever since,” said Ms. Hosszu. “That first year all I brought to the camp was a pillow and thread….I knew nothing about lace making. But everyone was willing to help me learn and supplied the fabrics I needed.”

This year’s lace camp drew a total of 48 participants to Gore Bay, with the week-long camp being held in the basement of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 514.

At the official opening of the event on July 11, the participants were welcomed to the town by Deputy Mayor Councillor Jack Clark. Lace camp organizer Lauren MacDonald introduced Mr. Clark, as being an accomplished golfer and award winning actor in the Gore Bay Theatre.

“Good morning, on behalf of Mayor (Ron) Lane, council and the town of Gore Bay I would like to welcome you back to Gore Bay,” said Deputy Mayor Clark. “Events like the lace camp don’t just happen. It takes a  lot of hard work and effort from all those involved to put this type of event on. I would like to acknowledge Lauren and all those that have organized this event. I understand this is the 23rd year of the lace camp, which is a major accomplishment.”

“I’m sure all of you have a very busy week ahead of you,” said Deputy Mayor Clark. “We would like to encourage you to visit and enjoy everything we have to offer in town. We are very proud of our town, such as our front street, a lot of work has gone into it.”

“While you are here you could take a stroll on our boardwalk and could even walk to the end of our new breakwall, which provides an amazing view of the town of Gore Bay we’ve never had before,” said Deputy Mayor Clark. “Again, thanks for coming to Gore Bay. We welcome all of you.”

The deputy mayor presented a Gore Bay town pin to the newest visitor to the lace camp, Dale Caranci, followed by the cutting of a beautiful cake made by Heather Nodecker.

Later in the week, The Recorder had the opportunity to talk to Ms. Caranci about her trip to lace camp. “This is the first time I’ve been here at the lace camp and in Gore Bay,” the Nobleton, Ontario resident said.

“I’ve been  lacing for four years,” said Ms. Caranci. “The ladies in the lacing group I am in, in Staynor, have talked about their experiences at lace camp and how much they enjoyed the camp and Gore Bay so I decided to come along as well, this year.”

“I make Torchon lace, because I am still basically a beginner,” continued Ms. Caranci. “It can be a frustrating experience, sometimes I spend more time undoing what I’ve laced than moving forward. But I enjoy it.”

Ms. Caranci also knits, sews and crochets and does tatting. “I’ve always loved lace, it is beautiful.”

“The week has been good, it has been a  lot of fun, and there are a lot of activities,” said Ms. Caranci. “It’s been a great week and I love the town of Gore Bay.”