By Brett McKay
The Miniature Enthusiasts of Edmonton (MEE) are hosting their annual show and sale in person on Sept. 18 after two years of running the event digitally.
It will be a relief to return to a live set-up, welcoming devoted miniaturists from across the region to mingle and show off their creations, said MEE workshop coordinator Tina MacDonald. The club's adaptation to online meetups and workshops is here to stay, however.
"The pandemic has actually been quite good for our club," said MacDonald. "We had a very smooth transition from face-to-face into Zoom. And we've never looked back."
Being something of a tech geek, MacDonald said she quickly transitioned her local Edmonton group's meetings and workshops online. Before long, the group was picking up new members in Calgary, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and other far-off places.
"We've expanded to include all these new people," MacDonald said of the members choosing to keep the online format going. "If we go back to in-person, they all end up dropping out of the club."
Dawn Rogal is one of those far-flung members. Her interest in miniatures grew out of her art practice of stitching three-dimensional pieces from felt, fabric, and found objects. One custom order required her to make an owl and a handful of accompanying tiny books and records. With the commission completed, Rogal kept working on making the books smaller, until her micro-library was large enough to require a shelf and eventually a doll house to store it all.
"As luck would have it, I was visiting a local hobby shop here in Saskatoon and spied a dollhouse that the proprietor was wiring for a local miniaturist. A few phone calls later, and I was on weekly Zoom meetings with several like-minded individuals across Western Canada," Rogal said.