*Paid Business Feature*
This fall, rock and gem enthusiasts will gather at St. Lawrence College (SLC) for the Kingston Lapidary & Mineral Club (KLMC)’s annual Gem Storm.
Dealers from across Ontario and Quebec will set up shop at the Event Centre at SLC from October 13 to 15. The show features unique jewellery, crystal treasures, exotic fossils, gemstone carvings, minerals, gemstones, the children’s Slim Pickens mine, and jewellery-making workshops – plus hourly door prizes. Fun for the entire family!
KLMC is a non-profit organization that promotes and encourages all aspects of lapidary work, mineral, fossil, and specimen collection through field trips, as well as silversmithing and jewellery creation.
This will be the second time Gem Storm will be at SLC, and the club plans to hold the event there on an ongoing basis. This also is the second Gem Storm event post-COVID, and organizers said there seemed to be no decline in attendance after the two-year hiatus.
“Gem Storm was previously at the Portsmouth Olympic Harbor for many years in the fall, but was moved when we were advised the venue was going to be closed and renovated,” shared Eileen Moss, Vice President of KLMC, who noted they tried two other local venues before hitting the mark at SLC.
Moss noted that there is always lots of excitement and awe at the fossils and natural gemstones that vendors bring for sale at Gem Storm.
“Many attendees, especially younger ‘rockhounds’ are seeking out fossils or gemstones to add to their collections and others are there to purchase tools and books related to their craft – or some really beautiful one-of-a-kind jewellery,” she explained. “The children also really enjoy the Slim Pickens Mine where they can find gemstones that are identified once they exit the mine, along with the jewellery-making workshops.”
KLMC has grown considerably since its founding in 1962. Originally intended to bring together Kingstonians who were interested in mineralogy, lapidary, and their associated fields, the club now offers field trips, classes, and workshops on rock cutting and polishing.
“The first silversmithing courses were offered in 2001 and have since snowballed from two volunteer instructors in 2001 to fifteen instructors today, who all volunteer their time and expertise in teaching a very diverse number of courses,” Moss said proudly. “Membership in the Club has also grown to almost 468 members.”
Inspired by their participation in local arts and crafts fairs, the KLMC held their first Mineral and Gem Show in 1969. According to Moss, this show was extremely popular with Kingston residents and has grown exponentially over the years to become one of their signature events, with attendance ranging from 1,800 to 2,500 over the course of the event.
Gem Storm is open for everyone to attend. Tickets are $5 and children twelve and under are free.
The 2023 Gem Storm will be their 52nd annual show and will be held in the Event Centre at St. Lawrence College, 100 Portsmouth Ave., Kingston. St. Lawrence College and the Event Centre are wheelchair accessible and there is ample parking available.
This article is sponsored by the Kingston Lapidary & Mineral Club. Interested in a Business Feature on Kingstonist? Contact [email protected]