Incredible Student Effort at the Heart of Annual Medieval Market in Williams Lake November 24 & 25

Submitted by the Medieval Market Committee –

“Kids nowadays.” How many of us have heard, or perhaps even uttered this phrase with a tone of frustration or even derision? Although many people argue that “kids have changed,” others truly believe that kids have not changed, but rather the world around them has changed. This is never truer than in the case of the 2018 Medieval Market being held at Lake City Secondary (LCS) in Williams Lake on November 24-25. Back in Medieval times, children would be put to hard service in the houses of other people and would be responsible for cleaning, creating, and cooking. While times have indeed changed and it is true some youth would rather be playing Fortnite than spending a fortnight preparing for the Medieval Market, the students’ involvement in cleaning, creating, and cooking for this artisan showcase exemplifies that the underlying work ethic of youth has not changed much since the Medieval era.

Medieval Market poster contest finalists from L to R: Nat Kiatsirikulthorn, Jonny Russell, Jay Julius, Sydney Thompson (with winning poster), and teacher, Siobhan Wright holding poster by Rachel Hutter-Tolmie. Photo: Kimberly Nowotny

While the Medieval Market is home to an amazing collection of talented musicians and artisans, and is an unparalleled opportunity to immerse oneself in the beauty of the Medieval environment, countless hours of work are needed to ensure that the market lives up to its reputation. Without the involvement and dedication of over 200 students, the market would not be able to thrive as it does each year. Without students involved in the artistic design, music compilation, initial set-up, advertising, and general support, the market would not be able to run. From the inception of the official Medieval Market poster, which is designed by art students, to the students who both design and then sell the tickets at the door, and the amazing tapestries that transform an ordinary school environment into a beautiful Medieval showcase, the Medieval Market is truly a student-powered event.

Students assist with the electrical system set up to provide more 90 booths with power and ambient lighting, and they complete all the decorating required to catapult a school into the Medieval Market environment. Students are on site to help vendors carry truckloads of wares to the appropriate booths. They serve the vendors their ploughman’s lunch and then sort the waste from the recyclables. Students are also responsible for helping with the preparation, sale, and clean-up of the Medieval Pantry, from which delectable foodstuffs such as cookies, wraps, and soups are sold. For students who prefer to be less in the wings and more on the stage, they also have the opportunity to display their musical talents as wandering minstrels or by doing a musical set on one of the stages.

Original artwork by Siobhan Wright, WLSS art teacher.

The money raised by the market goes directly back into the school as fundraising; students also earn volunteer credits for graduation or financial credit to cover items such as club fees, team expenses, yearbooks, school clothing, and graduation. Every year, money raised through the Medieval Market is used to enrich the students’ overall school experience. More importantly, the Medieval Market provides students with a situation that allows them to become involved, have a sense of ownership in a pivotal community event, and experience the pride that accompanies a job well done. As well, students garner an appreciation for their building and the effort of the team that makes this market a success with each passing year.

It is definitely true what they say about “kids nowadays”; they are forced to adapt and change and evolve, just as their Medieval predecessors did, and they are managing to do it with a grace, maturity, and work ethic that has carried forward for centuries.

You are hereby invited to relish the effort of these students while experiencing all that the Medieval Market has to offer. Come one come all to the Williams Lake Campus of LCS on November 24 and 25 from 10-4 p.m. and prepare to immerse yourself in the music, attire, and food of the Medieval era, while perusing the craftsmanship and artistic expressions of the talented vendors from around the province.

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