For people who are into collecting, whether it be antiques, coins, vintage toys, nostalgic household knickknacks or many other items, the internet has vastly broadened the search base to virtually anywhere in the world.
But some people prefer to do their hunting in a more hands-on fashion.
“There are still people who like it ‘touchy-feely’ — they like to see it,” says Valerie Loewen, a long-time member of the Rangeland Collectors Club.
The club will offer an opportunity to browse in an up-close-and-personal way when its members hold their annual Antiques and Collectibles Show and Sale Oct. 27-28 at Rocky Mountain Turf Club at Exhibition Park (3401 South Parkside Drive). Admission is $3.
The annual show attracts vendors from across Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan and features a vast array of antiques and collectibles. Organizers try to bring in a diverse lineup of collectors, says Loewen. Visitors are likely to see exhibitors showcasing jewellery, dolls, toys, military items, and “man-cave stuff” such as old signs, oil cans, etc.
Older items are a great attraction, not only for older people who enjoy seeing items from the “old days,” but also for the kids who attend with their parents or grandparents.
“People come by for the nostalgia,” says Loewen.
Loewen and her husband have been club members for 35 years and got into through their collecting of antiques. She jokes that collecting becomes so addictive, “We call it our disease. We’re always looking for the next wonderful piece for our collection.”
The club, with 25 members, features a broad spectrum of collections and collectors, with members ranging from seniors to youngsters. Loewen says two young members from Fort Macleod “gain great knowledge from the older club members.”
“We love to share our knowledge of different collections,” she adds.
While the older generation of collectors “would collect everything,” Loewen notes, “The young kids have to have a purpose” for items they collect. “They want to have something they’re going to use.”
Often they’re searching for something with which to decorate their home, and if it’s something with a sentimental family attachment, so much the better. These younger collectors want items “with personal meaning … like a spoon that Grandma used, or old Christmas ornaments. It’s memories.”
Collecting can be an environmentally friendly hobby because it’s about repurposing old items, says Loewen. She adds one member is into “recycling and upcycling” — making pieces of art out of old items.
“She’s repurposing by making it into something useful,” Loewen says.
This will mark the club’s eighth year of holding the fall show and sale at Bullys. The show, which originally featured only club members, started in the Moose Hall but eventually outgrew the facility and moved to different venues, including the Lethbridge Senior Citizens centre.
Proceeds from the event go to benefit local charities, and over the years, the club has assisted organizations such as Harbour House and the Royal Canadian Legion. The proceeds from this year’s sale will benefit Wood’s Homes for youth and the Children’s Ward at Chinook Regional Hospital.