The Royal Bison Art & Craft Fair has decided it’s not cancelling the spring edition of its pop-up event, but instead will be switching to an online-only format.

“The Royal Bison on average sees about 3,000 people over a weekend. So we knew right away that we were either going to have to postpone or cancel,” said Vikki Wiercinski, head organizer of the fair.

“After a couple weeks of thinking about it, we thought, ‘Well, there is a third option: going online.’”

The online-only pop-up will allow for the sales to go on while still following COVID-19 social-distancing rules, after Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw set new limits of gatherings to just 15 people last Friday.

Organizers say it’s an effort to keep the public safe while still supporting local artists.

The online fair will operate from May 8 to 10, still under the pop-up style format.

“We did really want to kind of mirror the Royal Bison experience as much as we could,” Wiercinski said. “Typically we open Friday at 5 p.m. and there’s a lineup of people out the door, and they want the best stuff first, the one-of-a-kind things.

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“In the same way, the online store won’t open until Friday at 5 p.m.”

Since the spring pop-up coincides with Mother’s Day weekend, Wiercinski said the group will be posting gift certificates to the online shop for sale in the next few weeks, so shoppers can give them away as gifts.

“There’s still a lot of people interested in helping independent ventures in this city,” Wiercinski said. “And they’re happy to do it online.”

The deliveries will take place either by contact-less drop-off or through Canada Post.

About 70 to 75 artists are involved in the fair.

Shoppers will also have the option to make a donation to the fair when checking out, due to the loss it will see from no in-person admission tickets.

More information on the show and specific vendors is available on the Royal Bison Fair website. 

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