The demise of the Christie Antique and Vintage Shows is not only the end of a major local event, but another blow to the declining antiques industry, said one of the founders of the biennial Hamilton market.
“Regular, full-time dealers put this show on their calendar every year,” said Jeff Gadsden, founder of the Christie’s Antique Show, “They used to count on two decent paychecks every year, and they don’t have that anymore.”
The Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA) has announced that all future Christie’s shows will be called off on May 13, just days before they stage their usual spring edition. The last scheduled event at the Christie Nature Reserve is expected to take place on May 23, 2020, before it is canceled due to the pandemic lockdown.
HCA, which has operated the one-day show in the spring and fall for the past 20 years after buying it from the Gadsdens in 2010, said costs are rising, attendance depends on the weather and interest in activities such as beachcombing and picnicking. , boating and hiking were factors in their decision.
“Closing the park to some of these activities in preparation for and hosting major events such as the Christie show is simply too difficult to justify,” they wrote in a statement Friday.
In the 2019 annual report, the nature conservation authority determined a total of 15,000 visitors for both events.
Gadsden said that in the show’s heyday, a one-day event on a day with good weather would bring in 10,000 to 11,000 people. In one case, he remembers a day with 12,000 visitors, a number they could not repeat.
The Gadsdens, along with co-founder John Forbes, hosted 90 or 100 dealers at the first Christie’s Antique Show in 1988, he recalls. By the time the reins were handed over, the area had been maxed out with 310 traders, and there was a waiting list for sellers who wanted to take part in the sale. The duo continues to operate PEI-based Antique Shows Canada, which includes the annual Elora market and annual online show.
Such a big show is “sad for the antiques business,” Gadsden says, but the bad news doesn’t end on the shores of Christie Reservoir. The industry “has been in a downward spiral for years,” he added.
Apart from the Aberfoyle Antique Market, Gadsden said there was “almost nothing” in the area.
And for those looking to take up the mantle, he says, “it’s extremely difficult to build a new show from scratch.”
Here are some upcoming antique markets in the region
Aberfoyle Antique Market
every Sunday between April 24 and October 30; Plus two Saturday performances on June 11 and September 17.
57 Brock Road South, Puslinch.
$5 Sunday, $10 Saturday – 8am-4pm
It features over 100 vendors at the Sunday markets selling furniture, folk art, collectibles and more. Saturday markets have many more guest traders.
Heritage Antique market
on May 23 at Centrepoint Mall, 6464 Yonge St., Toronto.
Admission is free from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and early admission is $25 from 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
The show features 65 dealers from Ontario and Quebec selling antique art, furniture, jewelry and more.
Ancaster Nostalgia Show and Sale
June 26 at Marritt Hall, Ancaster Fairgrounds, 630 Trinity Rd.
Early bird admission of $10 starts at 9:30 a.m., then drops in price at 10:30 a.m. and again at 1 p.m. to discourage arrivals.
The show features more than 150 vendors selling small antiques and vintage collectibles. Be prepared to pay in cash.
Hamilton Antique Mall
Open daily: 233 Ottawa St. N.
There are more than 100 vendors on four levels selling a wide variety of antiques.