Creatives have been among the hardest hit during the pandemic, but a virtual event is set to launch them back into the spotlight ahead of Christmas.
The Olive Tree Virtual Christmas Market this Saturday 28 November is hoping to draw thousands from across Newcastle, the Hunter, and the state to purchase goods from local creators.
“On the day, there will be a live virtual market directory, which will feature all of the stall holders who are participating – it will also include feature pages of each artist and discounts and specials,” market founder Justine Gaudry says.
“We need Newcastle to get on board and support this initiative, which will help creative businesses come back in 2020 because many of them are experiencing hardship.”
Ms Gaudry adds it will be the perfect time to buy Christmas gifts and that every purchase supports a local creative talent.
The day will also include live Q&A sessions with stall holders, and live music streamed through the Olive Tree Market Facebook page.
Ms Gaudry hopes the live streamed events will help create an atmosphere similar to what people experience at the in-person markets.
When she founded the Olive Tree Market 12 years ago, she had no idea she would face something like this down the track.
She says the year has been a “massive struggle”.
“We haven’t been able to operate since March so that personally means I have been drastically affected as a business,” she says.
“It has been very hard to keep the business going especially when we are competing against markets that support handmade on a national level.”
However, Ms Gaudry says the community and City of Newcastle supports the market in any way they can.
She is thankful to the council for awarding her with one of its Industry Response Grants, which allowed her to create this new platform.
Moving forward, she is hopeful the markets might be able to return to Newcastle in the next few months.
“Operating as soon as possible is very integral for us to be able to go forward,” she says.
“In some ways we just have to accept that 2020 has been a terrible year and we really hope that we will be able to go back to normal next year, with an event that has been identified as one Newcastle’s best events.”
Go to the Olive Tree Market’s Facebook page for more information about this Saturday’s event.