Forget the smoked salmon, soapstone carvings or Olympic apparel. If you want BC-themed gifts that go beyond the stereotypes, wrap up these 10 homegrown products
This year, delight your friends and family with BC gifts that go beyond what they expect of a typical Canadian-made present (read: maple syrup, Beaver Canoe sweaters and the ubiquitous smoked salmon packages, which, while delicious, can get tiresome year after year).
These gorgeous, unique and desirable holiday gift ideas support local merchants and homegrown merchandise. So get your provincial pride on and give the gift of BC — products that are grown, crafted, and manufactured right here at home. Ho-Ho-Ho!
Bus Scroll Accent Pillows — Museum of Vancouver — $70
It might have been easier to get a seat on the bus back in 1955, but today anyone can own a piece of Vancouver transit history with a Bus Scroll Pillow.
The Museum of Vancouver (MOV) has partnered with local businesses to bring cultural artifacts back to life. This unique retail collection includes canvas/linen pillows based on Vancouver bus scrolls (3 different designs), listing destinations along bus lines circa 1955. Purchase pillows at Country Furniture, 3097 Granville Street, Vancouver.
The MOV Retail Collection is only available at partner businesses and cannot be purchased at the museum.
Grandma Wears Hiking Boots — Laurie Carter — from $9.95
Once a self-professed coach potato (and proud of it), Laurie Carter traded in her comfy spot on the sofa for a comfy pair of hiking boots — plus a handful of other footwear from flip-flops to snowshoes — all in the name of exploration.
Carter tackles vineyards, eateries, trails, farm tours and more with wanderlust — excursions are punctuated with detailed maps and eye-candy colour photos, trusty visuals for armchair travellers or an essential handbook for your authentic taste of the Okanagan. Buy at bookstores and online from $24.95 or eBook (Kobo & Kindle) $9.95.
Seaweed Body Polish — Seaflora — 250 ml/8 oz, $34.20
If your friends and family can't seem to fit seaweed into their diet, this gift will help. Chock full of vitamins and minerals for the epidermis, Seaflora Seaweed Body Polish can smooth and revitalize any skin type.
Nourish their skin from head to toe with the entire seaweed skincare line, sustainably harvested on the Pacific coast. The oil-free polish is an exfoliating and clarifying body polish that removes impurities and dead skin leaving it refined with its elasticity restored.
Lavender Eye Pillow — Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm — $16.95
Hand-crafted on-site at the Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm, this lavender eye pillow will help tired eyes, soothe nerves, and reduce tension headaches. Lavender's scent has been employed for its sedative effects for centuries. Perhaps the perfect antitode for your loved ones' post-New Year's Eve revelling!
Visit their gift boutique in South Kelowna for a range of products or order online.
Casual Classics — Rob Feenie $19.76
Home cooks won't likely be referred to as a "Food Concept Architect" — Rob Feenie's Cactus Club moniker — even if they do master these recipes, but fortunately their food will speak for itself.
Rob Feenie's Casual Classics brings together the best of his family-style recipes' innovative and approachable meals. From fundamental recipes such as roasted tomato sauce and juicy poached chicken to globally inspired dishes like barbecued duck spring rolls, these real-life recipes are adaptable to budgets, dietary restrictions, and busy lives. Available at Amazon & Indigo online.
Routine Jacket II — ivivva athletica — $78
For the dancer, gymnast, ice skater, or simply for the movers and shakers in your life; don’t let the name of this jacket (“routine”) fool you — it’s anything but humdrum.
Created by ivivva athletica (sister company to BC’s yoga clothing darling Lululemon), it's geared toward young, active girls. Keep your nieces, daughters or grand-daughters fit and stylish in this season's hot new colour, Tahiti, sure to rock their workout wardrobe. Full colour selection online.
Caramel Apples — Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory — from $11.99
If visions of sugar plums dance in their heads, can caramel apples be far behind? Give the wholesome goodness of a crisp BC Granny Smith apple dipped in thick and chewy handmade caramel, complete with confection trimmings from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
Bacon Sea Salt — Sea to Sky Seasonings Inc. — 30g. $4.95, 220g. $9.95
If your recipients prefer salty over sweet, go with the Bacon Sea Salt from Sea to Sky Seasonings Inc., a natural hand-harvested sea salt with roasted Oyama Bacon (heritage breed, ethically raised).
They can add it to almost anything — it’s bacon after all. Think hot buttered popcorn, eggs, roasted potatoes, or salt-rimmed Caesars.
Alpaca Socks — Sierra Vista Alpacas — $35
Similar to cashmere and seven times warmer than wool, alpaca fleece is hypo-allergenic (no itch); an ultra soft and silky natural fibre. Superior moisture wicking properties makes them invaluable when you want to keep your tootsies toasty.
Additional products: duvets, sweaters, gloves, scarves and mittens. Socks: small - extra large, colours: tweed mix white and brown.
Pacific Reed Diffuser — Escents Aromatherapy — $24.95
No matter where they celebrate the holidays, the fresh scent of BC's lush rainforests can invigorate their space. The new My Canada line pays homage to the country's landscapes with regional artwork labels. Representing BC, the Pacific Reed Diffuser Air Therapy is a blend of clean, crisp pine with earthy cedarwood and eucalyptus — slightly salty — like sea air.
Escents Aromatherapy's reed diffusers don't just mask odours, they clean the air by reconstructing the scent. The unique reeds diffuse, acting like micro-mini straws that pull liquid up and release it into the air. A natural solution to improve air quality.