The first-ever Craft Trade and Mega Show took over Carlton Comprehensive High School on Saturday.
The fundraiser was a first for Carlton. It was used to assist with extracurricular activities at the school.
Vice Principal Kent Arpin, the chief organizer of the event, said the fundraiser was necessary because schools operate at a deficit.
“We don’t want kids to go without and not have the opportunities placed in front of them, so all of the funds that we bring in from the Craft and Trade Mega Show are going to be going towards extracurricular activities,” Arpin said.
He explained that it could be any extracurricular from athletics to art and music. The goal is to make sure all students have opportunities.
Arpin said the concept had been kicking around in his brain for a couple of years and to get it started this year he had to find enough vendors for the show.
“I think now it’s going to grow organically in that we are going to have people recognizing that we have got the facility to host it, but also we have got a great variety of vendors here.
The event included Rally Motorsports and Lakeland Ford, with Rally displaying vehicles and things outside and also small home businesses and other vendors.
“We also have the space to do that so that people aren’t crammed together,” Arpin explained. “They get that space. People can crowd around that booth and see what they have got.”
Arpin said the event used a large portion of the school. They’re hoping to expand it to even more areas in the future.
“We would like to continue to grow it and eventually have it in three of our four gyms plus the cafeteria and the hallways that we have got,” he said.
Arpin said that even though it was early in the day the event already had a great turnout with an expected peak in the afternoon.
The organizers were also aware that this is considered the start of a busy trade show season.
“We didn’t want to interrupt or jump on somebody else’s trade show, the PAEx is having their trade show next weekend,” he said.
The larger businesses like Rally and Lakeland were given the first opportunity and failing that they would have reached out to businesses in Saskatoon according to Arpin.
“Rally Motorsports jumped on it immediately, they were all in right from the beginning, same with Lakeland, they are always a good partnership with the corporate group, so it’s a great opportunity for everybody,” Arpin said.
For the first show, they had 76 vendors with people still reaching out on Friday.
“We can expand up to 250 booths if we get to that point someday, but being able to get just under 100 booths is a good start,” Arpin said.
Arpin added that they are already planning another show for springtime.
“That was actually by vendors requesting that. We weren’t planning that ourselves but we had vendor requests,” he said.
Arpin thanked everyone for their support of the first show.
“We are appreciative that everybody has embraced it as much as they have and it’s been a great start so we look forward to the future and growing it even more.”