People were welcomed to the ‘current middle ages’ as members of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) gathered for their Summer Faire in Chilliwack on Saturday.
The event, which took place on Aug. 6 at Atchelitz Hall in Chilliwack, was hosted by the local branch of the SCA called the Shire of Lionsdale which has members from Maple Ridge to Hope.
The SCA is a worldwide community pursuing research and re-creation of pre-seventeenth century skills, arts, combat and culture.
The Summer Faire featured archery, thrown weapons, rapier fighting, armoured combat and the Bardic arts. Their attire covers several generations from the 1600s and earlier.
They’ve been meeting at the Atchelitz Hall since April after acquiring rental of the facility thanks to City of Chilliwack councillor Jason Lum, said member Cameron Hull.
He messaged Lum back in October, and after the city was gifted the hall and property last year by the Atchelitz Farmers Institute, Lum arranged to get the Shire of Lionsdale into the building for its twice-a-month practices where they use weapons including axes, knives, daggers and swords.
Hull pointed out that unlike other cities that have a ban on archery, the City of Chilliwack has an archery bylaw stating how folks can practice it safely.
Shire of Lionsdale mayor Tamara Kelly – who goes by the name Duchess Dalla and has been playing for 25 years – stressed that they are an inclusive society for people of all ages. They welcome children including toddlers, and have members with mobility issues.
They support whatever love a member has, be it weapons, armour-making or fibre arts.
“The thing I love about the SCA is it is what you make out of it,” Kelly said.
She points out that some folks simply like to come and show off their craft of leather making, while others get fully involved with organizing events and fighting in tournaments.
“Whatever turns your crank, the society will support you.”
With about 65 people attending every practice, the Shire of Lionsdale has a better turnout than the branches in Victoria and Vancouver, Hull added.
The group meets every second and fourth Thursday of the month at Atchelitz Hall (6542 Lickman Rd.) at 7 p.m. The drop-in fee is $5, and minors (aged 19 and younger) get in for free.
Everyone is welcome.
For more, check out the Shire of Lionsdale Facebook pages. The main page is at www.facebook.com/LionsdaleSCA/ and the ‘Lionsdale Community Practice’ page is where you can find more info about their twice-a-month practices.