Credit: Diane Selkirk

Gift ideas to support the arts in Vancouver

Christmas is fast approaching and, like most years, I’m woefully under prepared. I have a friend who has decided that all of the presents she gives this year will be handmade, regifted or second hand—a goal I truly respected, until I was the recipient of The Rhinestone Stapler.

I like office supplies as much as the next person, but creating gifts that require a visit to the craft store and a glue gun just don’t fit in my life right now. Similar to my friend, I like setting myself rules for gift giving. Gifts that get stashed in the closet seem a bit pointless, so my aim is to give sustainable or organic products that are edible, useful or consumable. In other words, I’m hoping to avoid giving a rhinestone stapler or, even worse, a toxic toy. This year, I’m also adding a new goal to my gift giving—I’d like to help people stay employed.

If I listened to the news reports warning about the pending economic depression I’d know that the only heartfelt gift worth giving this year would be to spend big, spend often and purchase our prosperity back. The thing is I’m pretty sure we can’t shop our way out of this situation. The flip side of not spending money, though, is that real people are losing their jobs and good companies are failing. So, despite the fact that I love the idea of handcrafting fabulous Martha-esque presents for people, I’m spending some cash.

I know my little Christmas budget isn’t enough to save anyone’s job, but when Ballet BC announced they were in dire economic straits I was reminded just how marginalized the artists in our community are (what the Harper government started, the economy is finishing). I also know that it’s unlikely that we’ll see a bailout for authors and artists. So while it’s not quite the simple toy, made from a renewable resource, which most kids dream about, Maia’s going to the ballet for Christmas. To further support the arts, the other people on my list will be attending concerts, heading to the theatre or getting a copy of a Canadian book or movie.

Next year, I might try making things—I’m already researching the right project to make for my friend…

Give a gift of the arts: