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Get into the holiday (and DIY) spirit with these festive craft markets sprinkled throughout the city.
Yes, you informed consumers, Etsy is often the besty when searching for handmade, one-of-a-kind gifts. But here’s one better: at Vancouver’s many holiday craft markets, you can meet clever artisans in person and soak up that festive holiday spirit lacking from the banner ads that festoon web shopping.
Browsing holiday markets means human interaction, music, tasty eats, hot choc and even mulled wine—a key budget lubricant.
Follow the zeitgeist to this Deutsche-style Christmas market, which Frommer’s ranked as one of the top ten holiday markets around the world. Situated next to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, the market boasts 40+ rustic huts with vendors selling roasted chestnuts, carved wood and glass crafts, sweet Stollen, mulled wine and hearty brats.
Stroll among rows of glowing Tannenbäume and marvel at Vancouver’s diverse cultural representations.
Nov. 24 – Dec. 24; Plaza at Queen Elizabeth Theatre; $5 adults and teens; $2 kids 7 – 12
A vendor plies her trade. (Image: Make it)
Head out to the Croatian Cultural Centre on Commercial Drive, which doubles as command central for Van’s DIY revolution. Shop for one-of-a-kind handmade items from over 110 of Canada’s hottest urban artisans/designers/crafters. Craft fairs have long been an Indie statement. The Make It show takes hipster spirit one step further with a fully licensed bar and live music from local bands.
Nov. 24 – 27; Croatian Cultural Centre; $5
The Copper Hat at One of a Kind Show. (Image: One of a Kind Show)
Premiering in the 1970s, the first One of a Kind Show was the brainchild of Steven Levy, Martin Rumack and June Bibby—an artisan who couldn’t find a place to sell her work. Held at the Vancouver Convention Centre, the 2011 show includes work by emerging artists, artisans and foodies from across North America.
Come to shop, but stay for new and creative add-ons like the “Home Sweet Home Gingerbread House Competition,” or the “Raw Canvas Paint and Wine Bar.”
Granville Online is giving away two pairs of tickets to the One of a Kind Show, so hurry up and enter!
Dec. 8 – 11; Vancouver Convention Centre; $12
Got Craft?; (Image: Vancouver Mom)
Got Craft?, also on Commercial Drive, ups the DIY event ante by adding a DIY lounge to the basic set-up of artisans with awesome jewelry, clothing, paper arts, ceramics, fine art, and foods. If you can’t find something to buy, you can just craft your own trinket on site.
Another bonus: the first 45 people through the door score a free swag bag. This semi-annual craft fair is held in May and December and showcases over 50 local artists and artisans.
Dec. 4. Royal Canadian Legion Commercial Drive, $3 adults; Kids 10 and under are free