Cherie Rensing in her Kootenay Bay store

Faeries’ Landing offering art next to Kootenay Lake ferry terminal

Faeries’ Landing is a new art market and bistro in the Kootenay Bay location known for years as Fairy Treats...

For a few decades, travellers waiting for the Kootenay Lake ferry have appreciated having food and snacks available just off the terminal’s parking lot.

Now, they can enjoy even more, with a wide selection of art available at Faeries’ Landing, an art market and bistro in the location known for years as Fairy Treats and, in 2013, Kootenay Cove Café.

Cherie Rensing opened the Kootenay Bay store in May, having run a test market there for 11 days last year. Through that, she learned food was key to the location’s success — and it had to be good, reasonably priced and fast. Ice cream was also important.

“I was told if I didn’t have ice cream that I would be run out of town,” said Rensing, who moved to Creston in 2010. “The interesting thing is I’ll have a grandma, a mom and child come in and the grandma will say, “I brought your dad here when he was a kid.

“I really discovered the long-term branding. The importance of it took me by surprise.”

Rensing sought the mentorship of a 40-year food service veteran in Calgary to make sure the light meals and snacks at Faeries’ Landing would satisfy customers — and then set out to bring in work by over 30 artists from Creston to Salmon Arm.

“I work hard at bringing the unusual and unique in,” she said, noting that she does her best to keep the selection fresh. “We get locals coming in saying, ‘What have you got that’s new?’ ”

Creston Valley artists are behind most of what’s on display, with artwork by, among others, Guy Hobbs, Win Dinn, Leone Lund, Kerry Hobbs, Eileen Hirota, Darryl Johnson, Aaron Weitman, Jan MacDonald and Trezlie Brooks, and edibles by Quintessence Cookies and Ambrosia Artisan Chocolates.

Rensing’s own Celtic Fire Design work is on display, as well. She’s been making glass beads for about 10 years, after dabbling in many mediums throughout her life.

“I was making jewelry as a lark, just buying beads and stringing them together,” said Rensing.

She used to work 70 hours a week managing cellphone stores and corporate sales teams — but a beadmaking class changed everything.

“I made my first bead and was 100 per cent completely addicted,” said Rensing.

With woodwork, watercolours, metalwork, body products, textiles and more available at Faeries’ Landing — not to mention live music on Sunday afternoons — visitors and locals alike can easily get a sense of the valley’s artistic diversity. And they’ll be able to find the artists, too, with a map of Kootenay artists in the works.

“We present ourselves as ambassadors for our artists and art,” said Rensing, who, along with her staff, is happy to pass on stories and educate others about the artists and artwork.

“Nothing here is needed,” she said. “It’s all wanted. It’s our job to connect emotions with art.”

Faeries’ Landing is open seven days a week until the end of September.

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