International lace camp in Gore Bay to celebrate 25th anniversary

GORE BAY—This year’s annual International Lace Camp in Gore Bay will be celebrating a very special anniversary.

“This July will mark the 25th anniversary of International Lace Camp in Gore Bay,” explained one of the organizers, Lauren MacDonald. “In 1994 Tini Pel led the organizing committee, which included Ina Fedsin and Donna Scheib of Gore Bay, as well as Dora Hocken and Laura Peltonen from Sault Ste. Marie. Tini’s husband, Henk, worked alongside the women to set up the first camp at the Red Roof Pavilion at the harbour. These women and a few other lace makers came to Gore Bay and set up ‘lace camp’ daily lace making lessons and cooperative lace-making sessions for one week.”

Ms. MacDonald noted that between 40 and 50 lace makers have been coming to Gore Bay every July since then to learn and teach different techniques of making lace. The Royal Canadian Legion in Gore Bay has given the Lace Camp a room to use for many years.

“To honour the 25th anniversary of Lace Camp, the lace makers have planned a special event on Monday, July 9 at the community hall in Gore Bay,” said Ms. MacDonald. They have invited the community members who have hosted them at their homes and lodgings to a reception at 6:30 pm in order to thank them for their hospitality. Following the small reception, the whole community is invited to join them at the community hall for a musical evening by Paul Best at 7:30 pm “Traditionally Paul and Jane Best, along with other musician friends, have put on small concerts at Lace Camp and Jane wrote a song about lace makers for one of her albums.” The Monday evening concert will be free, but there will be a ‘donation’ jar for the Angel Bus in honour of Ina Fedsin.

The annual International Lace Camp in Gore Bay is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

Ms. MacDonald also explained, “to commemorate Lace Camp all the lace makers are bringing pieces of lace to Gore Bay in July to construct a view of the harbourfront in lace. This photo in lace (from an original photo by Sandy Anderson) will be about a meter wide and half-a-metre high to depict the harbour scene.”

“Tini, Dora and Laura have been making the lace camp logo in lace to mount on the top section of the banner,” continued Ms. MacDonald. “Lace camper Julie Nicholls designed the pattern for the logo which will be used. Josee Poupart offered lace makers her pattern of ‘25’ to make as well.”

“We hope to see a record number of visitors from across the Island at International Lace Camp this year to help celebrate this significant anniversary,” said Ms. MacDonald. “Richard Pikul will be bringing special bobbins to sell and Pat Menary will have her painted bobbins as well. For those people who have not seen lace being made, a lace maker needs a ‘pillow,’ pairs of bobbins and thread (thicker than sewing thread) to begin making lace. It can be made with as few as four bobbins or as many as a hundred.”

Visiting hours for the International Lace Camp will be from Monday, July 9 to Thursday, July 12, 2018 from 2 pm to 4 pm every day and visitors may even have the opportunity to learn the very simple techniques used in constructing lace.