‘We’re scared’: Sydney Christmas craft show organizers receive threats
Those organizing a Christmas craft show that's forced the Sydney Remembrance Day ceremony to a different venue say they've been receiving threats and now fear for their safety.
Home Crafters president Susan MacDonald says members have been dealing with verbal threats and hate mail over the last 48 hours.
“We’re scared,” MacDonald said. “If we are getting this kind of negativity and hate mail now, what's it going to escalate to?”
For 29 years the crafters have been filling Centre 200 on the second weekend of November. This year the show falls on Remembrance Day. It's the first time the dates have coincided since veterans began using the building for their ceremony.
“We covered every area that we thought we had to cover to make this a great fair and it's taken a bad turn,” said treasurer Beverly Cathcart.
The fair is at the centre of a controversy because Remembrance Day ceremonies have been moved to a smaller venue, meaning fewer people able to pay their respects. MacDonald is blaming miscommunication for the mix-up.
“There’s no disrespect on our end,” MacDonald said. “We're caught in the middle of this. It was a miscommunication. Paperwork fell through somewhere.”
The legion says they only received word last week that Centre 200 was booked, while the municipality says a notice was sent out months ago.
Either way, MacDonald is now left defending her show and the crafters.
“I have 140 crafters I have to protect,” she said. “How do you do that, because they don't deserve to be treated that way. We are caught in the crossfire.”
The three-day craft show will begin on Nov 11, but not until 2 p.m. when all ceremonies are complete. Organizers say they're left with the extra cost of adding security because they fear for their safety.
“These are home crafters, tiny little crafters who depend on this show, some of them to get through winter for oil and heat because they knitted all year and are going to sell it at the fair,” said MacDonald.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.