Get crafty this Christmas at these local holiday fairs
Credit: Flickr

Get crafty this Christmas at these local holiday fairs

Christmas and crafts go together like coffee and Baileys, or hot cocoa and marshmallows. Whether you’re looking for personal DIY inspiration, interested in supporting local artisans, concerned about staying on budget or dedicated to avoiding the mall this season, local craft fairs can help satisfy your Christmas gift needs and give you something fun to do during the dull, dark weekends of winter.

Circle Craft Christmas Market

Circle Craft Christmas Market

Where: Vancouver Convention Centre West
When: November 7-9: 10 am to 9 pm; November 11: 10 am to 7 pm; November 12: 10 am to 5pm
Cost: Adult Admission: $12; Student/Senior Admission: $10; Kids under 12: Free
Purchase tickets online to save

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of this expansive Christmas Market as you browse locally produced products. For the very first time, participating designers and artisans will be flaunting their fashions on the runway. The event’s inaugural fashion shows will take place at 1 pm and 6 pm from Thursday to Saturday, and at 1 pm and 3 pm Sunday and Monday.

Or come browse throughout the day; with over 250 vendors you can tackle your entire Christmas list in one convenient stop.

While you’re there be sure to check out the Fiveleft and Roberto Fioravanti joint booth, where three one-of-a-kind collaborative pieces will be raffled off with proceeds benefitting Variety – The Children’s Charity. To decorate your own home for the Christmas season, take a look at Craftworks’ booth, where handmade advent calendars and ornaments take the stage.

Vancouver Christmas Market

Vancouver Christmas Market

Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza
When: November 22 to December 23: 11 am to 9 pm; December 24: 11 am to 6 pm
Cost: Adult Weekdays (11 am to 4 pm): $3; Adult Evenings (4-9pm) and Weekends: $6; Youth 7-12 years: $3; Kids six years and under: Free

Whether you're looking for a great meal, special Christmas gifts, a family outing or an escape from the office, the Vancouver Christmas Market will satisfy your wish list this season. Located in the heart of downtown, conveniently located near public transit and parking, this outdoor market has become a local favorite for international products.

The Vancouver Christmas Market is a traditional German holiday fair featuring vendors from Germany, Poland, Austria, Russia, Nepal, and Ecuador. But don't count out local participants, such as the Surrey-based Honeybee Centre. Their gift selection ranges from pure honey and honey-infused spreads to natural body care and beeswax candles.

Simon Fraser University Winter Craft Fair

Simon Fraser University Winter Craft Fair

Where: North Academic Quadrangle, Burnaby Campus
When: November 26-29: 9 am to 5 pm
Cost: Free Admission

The SFU Student Society hosts this annual affair at their Burnaby campus. Gain shopping energy with complimentary coffee and cookies as you scrounge the Academic Quadrangle for the best and most beautiful seasonal products. Fill stockings (and maybe your own home) with a fine assortment of quality foods and locally produced art.

SFU student Eleanor Li will be exhibiting her brilliant knit mug cozies at this year’s event.  Or check out A. Brown designs for some beautiful handcrafted jewelry pieces that will impress even those hard-to-shop-for females on your list.

 

Make It! Craft & Art Fair

Make It! Craft & Art Fair

Where: PNE Forum
When: November 28-29: 10 am to 9 pm; November 30: 10 am to 6 pm; December 1: 11 am to 5 pm
Cost: $7 at the door. Purchase tickets online to save

Brother-sister duo Chandler and Jenna Herbut established Make It! as a marketing solution for local artists and artisans. Their strategy has proven successful, with Make It! now recognized as Vancouver’s largest independent art, fashion and craft event. Swing by the PNE grounds to find everything from fashion pieces and accessories to home décor and self-published books.

Satisfy your sweet tooth, or that of someone on your Christmas list, with seasonal treats from Fudge in a Round, like this year’s Candy Cane Fudge. And keep an eye peeled for Stationery Bike Designs to fulfill all your holiday stationery needs. Their products range from ready-made seasonal paper goods to customized graphic designs, such as these coffee-themed wedding invites.

Dunbar Holiday Craft Fair

Dunbar Holiday Craft Fair

Where: Dunbar Community Centre
When: November 30: 10 am to 5 pm
Cost: $3 at the door

This popular community event has grown over the years from a traditional booth-style fair to a full day of fun. Besides the 140 local artisans, the Dunbar Holiday Craft Fair features live entertainment and door prizes. Plus, with childcare assistance available, event organizers take the oxymoron out of stress-free family Christmas shopping.

Jewelry designs from (featured clockwise from left) Valerie Gobert, Lenka Lace, and Elle Madera will give you just the right amount of glitz for this festive season.

Strathcona Winter Craft Fair

Strathcona Winter Craft Fair

Where Strathcona Community Centre
When November 30: 10 am to 5 pm
Cost $2 at the door

The Strathcona Community Centre hosts their winter craft fair at the end of November, with a full-day event in downtown Vancouver. Featuring local artisans with an emphasis on crafts, this fair is sure to stock your tree in time for the holidays. Make a point to come hungry, as you’re guaranteed to be tempted by the food trucks and bake sale.

For a great kid’s gift this holiday season, consider the Fun Flags Colouring Book pictured above. Lisa from Draw Me A Lion suggests pairing the colouring book with one of her holiday greeting cards to surprise someone special. Or as a more mature gift idea, consider Tracey Maynard's handcrafted ceramics.

Bizarre Bazaar

Bizarre Bazaar

Where: Whistler Conference Centre
When: November 30: 11 am to 7 pm; December 1: 11 am to 5 pm
Cost: Admission by donation

Let the wintery appeal of Whistler help get you into the Christmas spirit at the Bizarre Bazaar. Featuring all sorts of handmade crafts and products, your snowy surroundings will inspire you to get your Christmas shopping done early. The event includes live music, a silent auction and child-specific activities, so bringing the whole family won’t interfere with your productivity this year.

Start your Christmas gifting scent-sationally with quality products from Dam Good Soaps. With soaps made from pure olive oil, “it’s not just soap. It’s skincare.”

Toque: Western Front Annual Fundraiser and Craft Sale

Toque: Western Front Annual Fundraiser and Craft Sale

Where: Western Front
When: December 6: 6 pm to 10 pm; December 7: 11 am to 7 pm
Cost: Admission by donation

Recognized as “the most artful of all the artisan fairs” by the Georgia Strait, Toque turns a Christmas market into a glam grown-up evening Friday, Dec. 6 with a reception that includes cocktails and bbq. The fair continues Saturday, Dec. 7 and will be capped off with a draw prize giving away a Whoa! Nellie bicycle to one lucky winner.

This year’s artisan products include a line of AW by Andrea Wong handbags and backpacks, offering a local spin on this season’s most popular styles. And we dare you to make it home (never mind all the way to Christmas!) without opening your assortment of fine chocolates from Cocolico.

Portobello West

Portobello West

Where: Creekside Community Centre
When: December 7-8: 11 am to 5 pm
Cost: $2 (or free with donation of office appropriate handbag)

Looking for winter fashions that are locally made? Check out Portobello West at the Creekside Community Centre. This year’s event will host a silent auction supporting Dress for Success Vancouver: an organization that provides professional attire and career development tools to disadvantaged women hoping to acquire economic independence. But don’t be fooled by the fashion friendly theme, with jewelry, accessories, art, sweets, and children’s items this market is a one stop Christmas shop. As an added bonus, be among the first 25 visitors each day and receive a free “swag bag” full of vendor gifts.

Cherish your inner weirdo, with A Cagey Bee's curious-eyed characters on canvas or in pendant form, or add some glitz and glamour with Pink Gargoyle Designs' golf leaf earrings and Irit Sorokin Designs' jewelry. 

Got Craft? Holiday Edition

Got Craft? Holiday Edition

Where: Maritime Labour Centre
When: December 14: 10 am to 8 pm; December 15: 10 am to 5 pm
Cost: $3 at the door

Got Craft? doesn’t just keep you in the loop about upcoming DIY events, they also host their own holiday fair leading into Christmas. This weekend of arts and crafts features handmade goods, tasty treats, D.I.Y. workshops, and even beer and wine event on Saturday. Plus the first 50 attendees each day will receive a free bag filled with goodies from Got Craft? vendors and sponsors.

Accessorize a stylish lady in your life with help from Fox and Fancy, and learn why everyone is obsessing over macarons by testing Bon Ami Bakery’s colourful – and flavourful - assortment.

Refresh Market

Refresh Market

Where: West Coast Railway Heritage Park, Squamish
When: December 14: 11 am to 4 pm
Cost: Admission by suggestion donation of $2

This Squamish market located en route to the Sea to Sky Highway describes itself as a cross between, "European bazaars, indie craft fairs, vintage flea markets and retail pop-up shops". The result? A fun event with strong local roots that has a little something for everyone. The annual event has raised over $2000 to date for local non-profit charities, so make the scenic trip to Squamish and help them grow that number this year.

Edit's philosophy is to combine style and sustainability with equal priority. They make scarves, mitts and handbags, but we particularly love their leather totes. And if outdoorsy Squamish leaves you feeling inspired, take Justine Brooks Design's beautiful Double Deer Antler Necklace home with you. It's sure to keep thoughts of nature nearby in the city.