Looking for one-of-a-kind gifts? Avoid the mall and get all your shopping done at local holiday craft fairs this season
Have more fun shopping and support local artists and craft makers during the holiday season. Whether you prefer them big and flashy or homegrown and humble, every holiday market on our list is worth checking out...
1. Circle Craft Winter Market – Wednesday, November 8 to Sunday, November 12
Circle CraftThe massive Circle Craft Winter Market features an extensive lineup of popular local vendors selling every kind of gift imaginable. You’ll find artisanal toys, blown glass, clothes, wood and metal works, pottery, sculptures and more. Make a day of it and immerse yourself fully in the holiday goods of more than 300 vendors, with 50 new to the event this year alone.
Vancouver Convention Centre West, 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver; Event times vary; Tickets $7.50 to $15
2. Refresh Winter Market – Friday, November 17 and Saturday, November 18
Refresh Winter MarketWhat do you get the girl who has everything? You’ll find something beautiful and bespoke at the Refresh Winter Market in Squamish. This is not your grandma’s craft fair. The Refresh Market is a celebration of maker culture where you can shop from a curated collection of locally made goods, clothes and jewellery. The truly ambitious should show up early because the first 50 shoppers each day will get a swag bag.
West Coast Railway Heritage Park, 39645 Government Road, Squamish; 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; Tickets $3 to $5
3. The Eastside Flea Holiday Market – Friday, November 17 to Sunday, December 17
Facebook/Eastside FleaMake your holiday shopping more like a party at the Eastside Flea Holiday Market. This year, the market will be on every weekend throughout the season with a special edition Friday night event in the works! Grab a steaming cup of boozy apple cider and go shopping with friends in search of gifts. From organic skincare and handmade ceramics to vintage clothes and locally made treats, you’re sure to find something amazing here. This event is all ages and pet-friendly so your whole family can come.
Eastside Flea, 1024 Main Street, Vancouver; Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., (Fridays TBA); Admission $3 or $5 weekend pass
4. West Coast Christmas Show and Artisan Marketplace – Friday, November 17 to Sunday, November 19
West Coast Christmas ShowAbbotsford's 10th annual holiday celebration combines over 200 vendors with special presentations by local chefs and designers on the "Home for the Holidays" stage. Attend to not only pick out special gifts made by craftspeople and artisans, but also gather useful tips on holiday cooking, hosting and decorating. And don't forget your best duds for the annual Ugly Christmas Sweater contest.
Tradex Exhibition Centre, 1190 Cornell Street, Abbotsford; Various times; Tickets $7 when purchased online (Seniors $6, children under 16 free) with free re-entry all weekend
5. Julmarknad: A Swedish Christmas Market – Saturday, November 18 and Sunday, November 19
PixabayWith all the hype around hygge last year, you owe it to yourself to check out the Swedish Christmas Market and see how they celebrate. In addition to craft vendors, the Swedish Cultural Society’s event will have traditional Swedish treats and drinks. You’ve got to try the glogg, a festive mulled wine. Sounds gross, tastes delicious.
Scandinavian Community Centre, 6540 Thomas Street, Burnaby; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Free admission
6. Vancouver Christmas Market – Wednesday, November 22 to Sunday, December 24
Facebook/Vancouver Christmas MarketThe Vancouver Christmas Market is worth visiting for the photo ops at the gorgeous carousel, but there’s plenty more to see at this annual German-themed event. This year will be the largest yet with a massive walk-in Christmas tree, live entertainment and family activities. Shop for traditional decorations and come hungry because there will be authentic German snacks for sale.
Jack Poole Plaza, 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Tickets $5 to $10
7. Dunbar Holiday Craft Fair — Saturday, November 25
Facebook/Dunbar Community Centre AssociationThe Dunbar Community Centre Association’s 35th annual craft fair promises 140 local artisans for an authentic holiday experience. Enjoy live entertainment and visit the food trucks to keep your energy up for all the holiday shopping you have to do.
Dunbar Community Centre, 4747 Dunbar Street, Vancouver; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Admission $5 at the door, kids under 12 free
8. Strathcona Winter Craft Fair — Saturday, November 25
Facebook/Strathcona Winter Craft FairStrathcona is a thriving maker community and it’s even home to the communal studio space Maker Labs! The neighbourhood's Winter Craft Fair is a fun way to shop local this holiday season and pick up one-of-a-kind gifts and goodies. Feel the grassroots energy and be a part of the community as you shop.
601 Keefer Street, Vancouver; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Admission $2, kids under 12 free
9. Bloom Handmade Christmas Market – Saturday, November 25 and Sunday, November 26
Facebook/Fort LangleyThe Bloom Market runs a few times a year and their Christmas market is not to be missed! Come out to historic Fort Langley for unique handmade gifts fashioned by artisans from around the province.
Fort Langley Community Hall, 9167 Glover Road, Langley; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Free admission
10. Portobello West Holiday Market – Saturday, November 25 and Sunday, November 26
Portobello WestNon-profit society Portobello West has been connecting artisans with their communities for 11 years and their annual holiday market is a can’t-miss event. Shop from over 90 craftspeople specializing in jewellery, fashion, kids items, home decor and art.
Olympic Village Plaza, 1 Athletes Way, Vancouver; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Admission $2, kids under 12 free
11. River District Winter Craft Fair – Sunday, November 26 to Sunday, December 17th
Instagram/River DistrictHead down by the river this season for your holiday shopping. Running over four Sundays in the lead-up to the holidays, the River District Winter Craft Fair is a burgeoning place to get handmade goods.
River District Centre, 8683 Kerr Street, Vancouver; Sundays, November 26, December 3, 10, and 17; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Free admission
12. Toque Fundraiser and Craft Fair – Friday, December 1 to Sunday, December 3
Facebook/Western FrontToque, the annual fundraiser and craft fair, is the East Van indie darling on our list. The Western Front Society invites designers and artisans from around the province to come together in an effort to raise funds for local art and music programs. Every Instagram-addicted teenager on your list is going to love a gift from here. Come hungry for the winter backyard barbecue and bake sale!
Western Front Society Luxe Hall, 303 East 8th Avenue, Vancouver; December 1, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m, December 2 & 3, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Admission by donation
13. The Christmas Market at John Henry's – Friday, December 1 to Sunday, December 3 and Friday, December 8 to Sunday, December 10
John Henry's Marina & ResortJohn Henry's Marina is a year-round favourite on the water for boats visiting the area around Pender Harbour—and, specifically, Garden Bay. But, this holiday season, twinkling lights and festive decor will lead visitors on a shopping adventure around the property. Over two weekends in December, visit the resort to snap up local artwork and handicrafts plus enjoy mulled wine, hot chocolate, a food truck and more.
John Henry's Marina & Resort, 4907 Pool Road, Garden Bay; Various times; Free admission
14. Kensington Holiday Craft Fair – Saturday, December 2
Flickr/Nicole VaughanCross names off your list at the Kensington Holiday Craft Fair thanks to a great selection of handcrafted jewellery and innovative local products. Get inspired by the makers in this arty, Eastside community and pick up something for yourself while you’re at it.
Kensington Community Centre, 5175 Dumfries Street, Vancouver; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Free admission
15. Make It! – Thursday, December 7 to Sunday, December 10
Facebook/Make It!Make It brings a "handmade revolution" to the PNE Forum with one of the most fun craft fairs on our list. It boasts an indoor beer garden, awesome food trucks and more than 260 vendors. You’ll find gifts for everyone on your list thanks to the wide array of makers, crafters and artisans. Give a gift with a creative backstory this season, it’s so much better than a gift card.
PNE Forum, 2901 East Hastings Street; Various dates and times; Admission $8, free for kids under 12
16. Got Craft? Holiday Edition – Saturday, December 9 and Sunday, December 10
Facebook/Got CraftImmerse yourself in the crafting experience at the Got Craft? Holiday Edition. This interactive event lets you meet local designers and hear about their creative process. You can join in workshops and make your own crafts too!
Maritime Labour Centre, 1880 Triumph Street, Vancouver; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Admission $5 at the door, $3 online
17. Shiny Fuzzy Muddy Holiday Show – Saturday, December 9 and Sunday, December 10
Shiny Fuzzy MuddyVancouver-based artisan collective Shiny Fuzzy Muddy is dedicated to bringing people and art together. Their holiday show focuses less on Christmas kitsch and more on quality craftsmanship. Visit their show at the Heritage Hall in Mount Pleasant for a chance to meet local artists and buy exquisite handmade goods.
Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street, Vancouver; December 9, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., December 10, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Admission $3
18. Nat Bailey and Hastings Park Outdoor Winter Markets – Sunday, December 10 to Saturday, December 23
Facebook/Vancouver Farmers MarketsHoliday gift ideas abound at Vancouver farmers markets. Visit Nat Bailey Stadium or Hastings Park to find all the usual farm-fresh produce you need to set the table as well as gourmet and artisanal food. Instead of buying an impersonal bottle of wine, try picking up an fresh shrub—a creative drinking vinegar—from Mixers & Elixers at Nat Bailey. Hitting the Hastings Park Winter Market? Stock up on jars of East Van honey from Six Legs Good Apiary.
Nat Bailey Winter Market, 4601 Ontario Street, Vancouver; Saturday, December 16 and Saturday, December 23; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Hastings Park Winter Market, 3000 East Pender Street; Sunday, December 10 and Sunday, December 17; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m; Free admission
19. Women's Winter Faire – Saturday, December 16 and Sunday, December 17
Facebook/Women's Winter FaireThe Women’s Winter Faire is a collection of all-female craftswomen selling handmade gifts. You'll find clothes, jewellery, accessories and gourmet food—a little bit of everything. Feel good about supporting women in your community by shopping at this 24th annual event.
Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street, Vancouver; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Donation at door $3 to $5
20. Weirdos Holiday Market – Saturday, December 16 and Sunday, December 17
Facebook/This Monkey's Gone to HeavenThis Monkey's Gone to Heaven (a local curio shop on Main Street) will present the first annual Weirdos Holiday Market, which will showcase an eclectic array of local artisans and unconventional gift ideas. Vendors will include: Mush Appreciated, an educational jewellery collection crafted with real, freshly foraged mushrooms; Jaik Puppyteeth, an artist and designer whose work is typically bleak, cynical, and funny; Paper Skull Studios, working with pencil, ink, and watercolour to create illustrative images informed by a love of science, nature, and a touch of the existential; along with all the incredible artists and artisans currently featured at the shop.
Betamax Studios: 2244 East Hastings, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., $2 cover charge