It’s officially time to start shopping for the holidays. This year, avoid battling your way through crowded malls by shopping at one of these curated, one-stop holiday markets that showcase locally made and locally designed products by Canadian artisans and designers. Whether you’re looking for apparel, accessories, leather goods or sweet treats, you can find a high-quality, handcrafted version here.
Got Craft? Holiday edition, Vancouver
When: December 10 and 11
Vancouver’s Got Craft? is the biggest indie craft fair in the city. Head to The Pipe Shop building in North Vancouver to shop for a variety of handmade products such as ties by Benjamin Bayle Company, cheese-making kits by Make Cheese Inc. and raw-concrete planters by EM’SAY. About a third of the vendors at the 88-vendor holiday fair are new, but many old favourites are back for another year.
When: December 2 to 4
Halifax is full of crafty artisans and designers, the best of which are showcased at the bi-annual Halifax Crafters Society market. Held at the Olympic Community Centre, this year’s winter edition features the wares of more than 80 vendors, making it easy to pick up unique gifts such as mouth-watering caramels by LURE Caramel Co., woven table runners by Doak Textile and sophisticated jewellery by Sarah Sears Jewelry. And if you’re not ready to buy on your first visit, the market’s free admission makes it easy to pop in again later to seal the deal.
Market Collective, Calgary
When: December 2 to 4, December 9 to 11, December 16 to 18
If you didn’t make it out to a Market Collective weekend event earlier this year, you’ll have plenty of opportunity this month. Its holiday edition runs for three straight weekends in December at the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre. While some of the vendors will make multiple weekend appearances, some will attend for one date only, so check the website, and plan your visits wisely. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss out on beautiful statement jewellery by CoutuKitsch, whimsical cards by Little Me Paper Co. or enamel pins made by Heather Buchanan. Listen for the MC Holiday Carol Choir singing onstage while you shop.
One of a Kind Show & Sale, Toronto
When: November 24 to December 4
North American artisans and designers have flocked to Toronto for the bi-annual One of a Kind Show & Sale for more than 40 years. The 2016 holiday show, held at the Enercare Centre in Toronto’s Exhibition Place, will feature the products of more than 800 vendors. Browse the market’s five “districts” for plush toys by Little Bellwoods, vegan soap by Aide Bodycare and wristwatches by Wilk Watchworks. When you’re done shopping, check out the fashion shows on the Main Stage, or do some cookie decorating at one of the event’s free workshops.
The Royal Bison Art & Craft Fair, Edmonton
When: December 2 to 4 and December 9 to 11
Just steps from the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market, The Royal Bison Art & Craft Fair is the spot to find all things quirky, whimsical and local. While not all the vendors will be present at both markets, you can attend on either weekend and still find a great range of products. Look for manly smelling soaps by Bro Brick, raw-concrete necklaces by Béton Brut and apparel by Salgado Fenwick. Be sure to stop by the Biblio-Bison, the newest addition to the fair, for books and magazines by Edmonton writers and publishing companies.
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