The Christmas season is finally upon us, and with it comes a time of stressed out shoppers looking for that unique gift for their loved ones. This year, instead of getting lost in the sea of consumers that crowd the halls of Metropolis at Metrotown or the Pacific Centre, why not check out a local craft fair?
Craft fairs are found all over metro Vancouver, and are year round events. Throughout December and the weekend before the beginning of the month, their numbers grow and these markets seem to sprout up out of nothing. So for, those of us who have never attended one can wonder what first comes to mind when hearing the word, “craft market”? For me, it was grandmas.
I attended the Dunbar Holiday Craft Fair and although it was grandmothers galore, it still blew my expectations out of the water! There were over 140 stalls sprawling through the corridors and halls of the Dunbar Community Centre, all of which were adorned with merchandise handcrafted by local artisans.
The kind of things you can buy? Surprisingly, not just knitted sweaters and the odd knick knack that you will probably never use again, but also really well crafted items like wooden cutting boards, various artisan jewelry, and handmade greeting cards. From Christmas tree decorations to phone sweater accessories, the market had a unique gift for everyone to enjoy and appreciate. The girl selling wooden cutting boards and jewelry boxes was filling in for her father while he had a look around the craft fair himself. Her name was Leigh Anne Asperin, where she has been helping out with her dad’s stall at craft fairs for years. She ended up explaining to me how people with no cash bought items from the vendors. Most vendors use Square, which is an iPhone app that turns one’s iPhone into an interac machine. With this app in hand shoppers at the craft fairs are free to make purchases without the need to withdraw cash from an ATM, making convenience yet another reason to stop by for a look around.
DIY culture has been taking Vancouver by storm over the last decade, and it is clearly seen in the popularity of these annual markets. A few upcoming craft markets include Got Craft? at the Maritime Labour Centre on Triumph Avenue and The Vancouver Farmers Holiday Market on Commercial Drive, both taking place Saturday December 14th. They will be stuffed with an overflow of not only unique artisans gifts but unique winter produce as well.
For more information on Craft Markets in Vancouver,visit: http://gotcraft.com/aroundtown
Photo Credit: www.arttrunk.ca