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Lace Camp a chance to share
Digest from The Recorder, July 20, 2001
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GORY BAY
The numbers participating in the annual International Lace Camp in Gore Bay are on the rise.
This year, a total of 38 people took part, including three new participants. This year marked the eighth anniversary of the camp, which experienced a change of venue this year, moving to the Red Roof Pavilion. In its initial year, the lace camp drew 11 participants.
Ina Fedsin is a long-time local participant in the lace camp. She said she enjoys participating in the lace camp because of all the wonderful people she gets to meet, including teachers from United States and Canada.
It provides participants an opportunity to ask questions, she noted, and every one loves the atmosphere.
"It is nice to be able to help one another" she indicated.
"That is the goal of this gathering"
Kay Swank first attended the camp five year ago as a visitor, to take a look at what the participants were making, but thought she could not do it. Then she and Ms. Wickens returned last year, at which point they saw a work of lace they loved so much, they decided to learn how to do it for themselves.
She said she has never met so many women so willing to help one another out.

She said she is enjoying lacemaking, and each time she accomplished a new move, she feels good about it.

"It is difficult to get started, because it is one of the most different things I have ever done," Ms. Swank suggested. She added the lace camp makes the experience ever better, becasue she has teachers like Tini Pel closed by when she needs help.
Ms. Wickens, who splits her time between Dundas and Elizabeth Bay, said she was really enjoying the experience, and already plans to return next year.
"This is the first time I have ever been away to camp..and I'm an adult." Ms. Wickens remarked.

Laura Peltonen is from Sault Ste. Marie, and she and a number of her friends come to Manitoulin each year to participate in the lace camp. In fact, they have never missed a year.
"If we don't come over here, we might not do as much lace." she indicated. She said she loves making lace on the island, as the scenery is beautiful to look at.

Few come as far to participate in the camp as Julie Nicholls, who makes her way each year from England,
"It is the atmosphere and company of such dedicated lace makers who work under such difficult circumstances because they come from so far (that brings me back each year)", she said. Back in England, where Ms. Nicholls teaches lace making, she said she has 50 students in one town. At the International Lace Camp, participants bridge such distances just to be together making lace, which contributed to the atmosphere of the event, she suggested. There is a lot of sharing, she indicated, and if someone knows something someone else does not, they don't keep it a secret. Instead, they share it with everyone else.
Ms. Nicholls confessed coming from a suburb of London, she also enjoys Manitoulin because it allows her to get away from the bumper-to-bumper traffic.