Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Your Guide to Indie Holiday Craft Shows

Originally published on Couch Assassin.

As much as we hate to admit it, the holidays are right around the corner. You know what that means? Holiday shopping! Indeed, it is that time of the year.

Does the thought of crowded shopping malls make your skin crawl? Don’t worry! Ottawa has lots of indie holiday craft events to fulfill all of your festive needs. You can support local artisans and designers while getting your holiday shopping done. What else could you ask for?

This weekend, check out Glisten! A Handmade Holiday Event. Taking place at the Great Canadian Theatre Company on Saturday, November 16th from 10am-3pm, the free event will feature some of Ottawa's best indie craft designers and makers. The duo behind Urban Craft bring you their third annual holiday themed craft show which will feature 20 local vendors.

Back in 2011, Urban Craft was launched and the Great Canadian Theatre Company hosted the event. In an effort to give back to them for their generosity, the team decided to create a special holiday show. "We wanted to give shoppers an opportunity to shop for holiday gifts and check out some new vendors that might not have been featured at Urban Craft," said Krista Leben, co-founder of Glisten! and Urban Craft. "The response was incredible and we decided to keep the show running even after we moved Urban Craft to a different venue earlier this year."

When asked how vendors are chosen, Leben explained: "For all of our shows, we try to find vendors that are creating unique, high quality products that appeal to people both young and old. For Glisten!, our goal is to introduce you to some new vendors that you've never discovered before -- ones that have awesome gifts for everyone on your Christmas list!"

Next week, Spins & Needles presents Holiday Assembly on November 22nd. The event takes place from 8pm – 12am at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Spins & Needles has partnered with the Museum of Nature’s Nature Nocture series to create a unique night market, featuring 40 designers, makers, artists and businesses from Ottawa’s burgeoning creative scene. Emerging vendors will be selling a diversity of handmade goods for both men and women. Seasonal workshops to be taught by participating vendors. Tickets are $20 in advance.

Spins & Needles will donate Christmas hampers through the Caring and Sharing Christmas Exchange Program on behalf of all those who participate in and attend the event. To donate, inquire at the event.

The next day is the MAC Fair - Not your Grandma's Craft Fair on November 23. From 10am – 3pm, head over to Immaculata High School (140 Main Street). Admission is $1 which helps feed hungry families through the school’s Christmas Hamper program. The admission fee also earns you a free ticket to the raffle with over 100 prizes. There are also door prizes for the first 50 people who arrive at the fair, where 120 local vendors will be showcasing their handmade products.

Later that evening, it's the Ottawa Arts & Crafts BONANZA! The action takes places at the Bronson Centre from 6:00pm – 10:30pm on November 23. The evening will feature a creative lineup of music, dance, theatre, comedy, live art, and of course, local vendors. The lineup of musical acts includes The Owl Eyes Project, Weird with Cats, Dynamite Motel and Tariq Anwar. There’s an admission fee of $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Don’t miss it!

That same week-end, the Ottawa Valley Crafts and Collectibles Show presents Artisans @ the Archives | The Christmas Market. Head over to Library & Archives Canada Saturday & Sunday, November 23-24 from 10am to 3pm. Free admission and free parking means you have more cash to spend on cool stuff! The event will feature 80 artisans and designers from the Ottawa Valley. There will also be a silent auction, in support of the Barrhaven Food Cupboard.

December starts on a good note with the Idle Hands Art, Craft and Vintage Sale: Holiday Edition. Drop by St. Anthony's Banquet Hall on December 1st from 10am to 5pm. With your $3 admission fee, you can access over 50 local vendors from Ottawa, Montréal and Toronto. The event will also feature beats from DJs The Girlfriends. Be sure to check it out!

There are tons of upcoming shows and fairs that will showcase some of Ottawa’s best vendors and artisans. So get out your wallets and support our local talent, all while checking off items from your Christmas list!

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