Find unique gift ideas at Vancouver's artisan markets, and discover a whole wide wonderful world of indie arts and handmade crafts

 

You know the drill: Secret Santas, stocking stuffers, gifts big and small, and the desire to be the coolest, most thoughtful aunt/dad/sibling/offspring/pal/coworker/minion/pet owner, etc. Gearing up for the holidays is exciting, but sometimes it also means a shopping list that just goes on and on, in direct correlation with a mounting headache.

 

Relax! There is a great line-up of holiday markets happening in Vancouver where you're sure to find inspired, original gifts (and ideas) to suit every age, every interest and every budget.

 

From fashion, jewelry and accessories to natural bath and beauty products; from home decor pieces to kitchen goods and gourmet foods; from baby clothes and kids' toys to pet treats; from woodwork and ceramics to eco-friendly wares, vintage re-works and much, much more, Vancouver's incredible community of independent artists, artisans, designers and craftspeople has got you covered.

 

Circle Craft Christmas Market

November 17–21, 2010

New Vancouver Convention Centre West, 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver

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Perhaps the most widely known holiday market in town—and certainly one of the largest—the Circle Craft Christmas Market features an impressive roster of BC talents producing a diverse range of exciting and beautiful artisan wares of exquisite craftsmanship.

 

>>> Five reasons why you should go, with Michelle's stocking stuffer picks

 

Holiday Shopping Extravaganza

Thursday, November 18, 2010 | 6–11 p.m.

Heritage Hall, 3102 Main St, Vancouver

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Comparatively speaking, the Holiday Shopping Extravaganza may not have many exhibitors, but it is certainly a choice list with both local and international design labels and a sizable presence of ecofashion. Enjoy live music and great one-night-only deals. And check out live models showing off outfit ideas while you sip on drinks from the wine and beer cash bar.

 

Christmas at Hycroft

November 18–21, 2010

Hycroft Mansion, 1489 McRae Ave, Vancouver

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This beloved tradition of the University Women's Club returns for its 38th year. Not only will you find great creations by local nonprofits and artists, the price of admission also includes a tour of the beautiful heritage house, which will be all decked out in a "Winter Wonderland" theme. There will also be a silent auction and a special showing in the art gallery.

 

Make It! Vancouver

November 19–21, 2010

The Croatian Cultural Centre, 3250 Commercial Drive, Vancouver

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The "Handmade Revolution" returns to Vancouver to kick off the holiday season. Everything you find there will be one of a kind, handcrafted with exquisite care and skill by top artisans in Canada. Local DJs will be on hand to keep things groovy and fun.

Fab Fair Winter Show

November 20–21, 2010 | 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Heritage Hall, 3102 Main St, Vancouver

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Got a few fashionistas on your gifting list? Want to punch up the glitter and glam on your party clothes? This is the place to be. Feast your eyes on great selections of stunning jewelry, from the elegant and sophisticated to the funky and bold, by local designers and explore other enticing accoutrements such as handbags, hats and scarves.

Portobello West Fashion & Art Market

November 27–28, 2010 and December 4–5, 2010 | 12–6 p.m.

Rocky Mountaineer Station, 1755 Cottrell St, Vancouver

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Devoted fans of Portobello West have come to anticipate the last Sunday of each month with fevour, as the monthly market regularly brings together top Vancouver and BC artists, designers and craftspeople to dazzle the savvy shopper with trendsetting style and quality crafted goods. And thank the stars, there will be additional markets during the holiday shopping season to satisfy the demand for unique fashion and art.

Urban Artisans Craft Fair

November 27–28, 2010 | 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Roundhouse Community Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver

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More than 60 vendors from the local artisan community have been jury-selected to showcase their handmade designs for your shopping pleasure.

 

Women's Winter Faire

November 27–28 and December 18–19, 2010 | 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Heritage Hall, 3102 Main St, Vancouver

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Now in its 17th year, the Women's Winter Faire continues to showcase and celebrate beautiful handmade works by top women artisans, artists and craftswomen from Vancouver and BC.

 

Blim Monthly Community Market

Sunday, November 28, 2010 and Sunday, December 19, 2010 | 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Chinese Cultural Centre, 50 Pender St E, Vancouver

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Craft lovers unite! Shop handmade, one-of-a-kind gifts, or load up on supplies and advice to make your own. The community market, with over 60 vendors, is not limited to crafts, either. Expect to find great food, fashion, accessories, fine art, vintage works and records. There will be music and entertainment as well.

 

Got Craft? Holiday Show

Sunday, December 5, 2010 | 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Royal Canadian Legion, 2205 Commercial Drive, Vancouver

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More than 50 local artists showcase their individual styles in an incredible array of handmade wonders. Stationery, skincare products, kitchen goods, cuddly toys, fashion accessories, jewelry, coffee sleeves, ceramics... you name it. There's also a DIY table for those gifted with nimble fingers. Be one of the first 45 people through the door and score one of Got Craft's famous free swag bag of goodies, which include handmade items from vendors at the show!

One of a Kind Show & Sale

December 9–12, 2010

New Vancouver Convention Centre, 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver

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The name pretty much says it all, doesn't it? Shop—you guessed it—one-of-a-kind gifts and wares from over 300 exhibitors from Vancouver and across North America, each has been jury-selected to meet criteria in quality and ethical production standards. You will find great gifts at every price point for every age range. And with five "specialty neighbourhoods"—food, fashion, rising stars (showcasing up-and-coming talents), visual arts and green living—to explore, along with fashion shows, art exhibitions and DIY stocking stuffer seminars, be prepared to spend the whole day there. (Parents, don't worry, daycare services are available on site; there is also a quiet diaper change area.)

Vancouver Farmers Market, holiday edition

Saturday, December 11, 2010 | 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Croatian Cultural Centre, 3250 Commercial Drive, Vancouver

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Get your shop on, get your munch on and get your groove on. Local musicians entertain as you check out the best in local food and artisan crafts from more than 90 vendors.

 


Davinia Yip

 

Davinia Yip enjoys discovering new things, especially ones that she can eat or wear. She feels lucky to be living in Vancouver, and even luckier to be able to write about it from time to time. Twitter