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Best Christmas craft and gift shows across Canada

Escape the frenzied holiday shoppers at the mall this year. Instead, find something for everyone on your list at one of these can’t-miss Christmas markets.

By Amy Valm

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across Canada

Photo: iStock

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across Canada

Find the perfect gift

Looking for a unique gift? Check out one of these craft and gift shows to find that perfect something.

A version of this article appeared in our November 2013 issue with the headline "All the best: Christmas craft and gift shows," pp.129-136.

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: iStockphoto

BC: First and Last Chance Christmas Craft Fair

November 2 and 3, December 14 and 15

Local artists from around the province gather to mingle and share their art at these two events. Peruse stunning textiles, upcycled fashion and creative pottery designs. Kids can munch on locally made treats from Fudge In Around, which serves up quirky flavours like watermelon and bubble gum, while parents hunt down the perfect gift from a plethora of affordable treasures such as stonework jewellery, sock monkeys, playful cupcake-shaped ornaments and scented soaps.

Admission starts at $4; kids younger than 12 get in free.

Mary Winspear Center, 2243 Beacon Avenue, Sidney.

Get more information at firstandlastchance.ca 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: First and Last Chance Christmas Craft Fair

BC: Shiny Fuzzy Muddy Show

December 14 and 15

What’s in a name? Well, shiny is for the pretty objects you’ll find, fuzzy is for warm fashions and muddy is for items made out of clay. The intent of this show is to bring artists together while offering a high-quality and friendly solution to crowded big-box stores. Shop for bohemian-chic clothes for adults and kids, printed textiles, contemporary hand-blown glass, vintage-inspired jewellery, beautiful ceramics and more.

Free admission.

Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street, Vancouver. 

Get more information at shinyfuzzymuddy.blogspot.ca 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: Shiny Fuzzy Muddy Show, Dear Human

BC: Vancouver Christmas Market

November 22 to December 24

Step into a whimsical European village complete with wooden huts, a carousel and fresh pine boughs. Modelled after an open-air German Christmas market, you’ll find high-quality homemade goods, including knit hats and nutcrackers, and delicious eats like sauerkraut, baked apples and traditional German noodles. Kids will love the cultural experience, not to mention decorating gingerbread cookies, houses and chocolate lollipops, meeting the mascots Holly and Jolly, and having their picture snapped with the big man himself – Santa Claus.

Admission starts at $6; kids younger than 7 get in free.

650 Hamilton Street. 604-561-7597

Get more information at www.vancouverchristmasmarket.com 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: Vancouver Christmas Market

BC: Out of Hand Artisan Christmas Fair

November 29 to December 1

Celebrating their 25th year, you’ll find a bit of everything at this community gathering. Bring the stroller and navigate easily through the spacious venue. Check out handmade puppets and dolls; locally designed clothing for young and old; chemical-free, all natural and vegan-friendly lotions; fun and trendy trinkets; chocolates, spices and even locally processed and sustainably caught tinned seafood that makes for a great hostess gift. 

Admission starts at $8; kids younger than 16 get in free.

The Crystal Garden, 713 Douglas Street, Victoria. 250-737-1788

Get more information at outofhand.ca 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: Out of Hand Artisan Christmas Fair

Alberta: Spruce Meadows International Christmas Market

Open weekends from November 15 to December 1

More than 200 vendors flock to this indoor/outdoor event held at a stable-turned-Christmas village. You’ll find handmade ornaments, home decor and unique jewellery. Booths representing different countries offer one-of-a-kind items from across the globe: wooden owls sculpted in Germany, ornate Russian nesting dolls, olive oils imported from Turkey and sweet British treats. They’ve even got a dog sledding vendor with his canine friends in-tow; purchase a dog sledding package to use at a later date for a truly unique gift. Kids will love visiting Reindeer Alley where Santa’s pals can be found, while the petting zoo and pony rides offer a nice shopping break. Take in the sounds of roving carollers as you stroll through the decked-out venue. Hot eats and outdoor firepits create an enchanting environment for parents and kids alike.

Adults pay $8; kids younger than 12 get in free.

18011 Spruce Meadows Way SW, Calgary. 403-974-4200

Get more information at sprucemeadows.com 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: Spruce Meadows International Christmas Market

Alberta: Make It

November 22 to 25

Celebrating more than just the holiday spirit, Make It focuses on giving patrons a hip and modern shopping experience by showcasing trendy artists. Here you’ll find sustainable and handmade goods such as boho cuff bracelets, recycled leather handbags, vintage-inspired hair accessories and rockin’ beanies for kids. Supporting local musicians as well as crafters and designers from across Canada, there are ethically made gems and great music on offer, too. And you won’t want to miss out on the custom-made chocolates, gourmet spices and maple products for the food gurus on your list. 

Admission starts at $6; kids younger than 12 get in free.

Enjoy Centre, 101 Riel Drive, St. Albert.

Get more information at makeitproductions.com 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: Make It

Alberta: Aspen Crossing Christmas Market

November 16 and 17

Christmas comes early each year to the quaint hamlet of Mossleigh, located an hour south of Calgary. The Aspen Crossing Garden Centre transforms their heated greenhouses into a winter wonderland featuring more than 60 vendors displaying handmade wreaths, ornaments, scarves, quilts, stuffies, jams and pies. Add your name into the free draw or try your hand at “Spin to Win” for vendor discounts.

Free admission.

Aspen Crossing Garden Centre, Highway #24, 1 km west of Mossleigh. 403-534-2129

Get more information at aspencrossing.com 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: Aspen Crossing Christmas Market

Alberta: Edmonton Christmas Show

November 28 to December 1

This massive joint is bursting at the seams with an eclectic mix of manufactured and homemade gift ideas, and entertainment and fun for the whole family. Face painting, caricaturists and a magician create a captivating environment for tots while you check out unique novelty items like remote control race cars, delicious candy bouquets, gift baskets and spa essentials. Looking for something special for your little one? Check out the beautiful fairy wings, bamboo clothing, colourful bedroom accessories and pottery kits. Don’t forget to take a break for a pony ride and a snapshot with Santa. 

Admission starts at $9; kids younger than 9 get in free.

Edmonton Expo Centre 7515 - 118 Avenue, Edmonton. 866-861-4421

Get more information at edmontonchristmasshow.com 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: Edmonton Christmas Show

Saskatchewan: Wintergreen Fine Craft Market

November 15 to 17

Each exhibitor at this juried show has gone through a rigorous selection process, so everything you see on display is the crème de la crème of local crafts. Listen to carollers sing modern and classic holiday tunes while you shop puppets, stuffed animals, children’s clothing, contemporary and traditional clay work, furniture, local artist’s prints and jewellery.

Admission starts at $3; kids younger than 12 get in free.

Conexus Arts Centre, 200 Lakeshore Drive, Regina. 306-653-3616

Get more information at saskcraftcouncil.org 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: iStockphoto

Saskatchewan: Mistletoe Craft & Gift Sale

November 2 and 3

Approximately 1,500 people gather at this small-town event each year, which showcases a wealth of one-of-a-kind artists. Survey wooden knick-knacks, unique coin-cut jewellery and sweet handmade jammies and onesies for little ones. Treat your neighbours to fancy fudge and popcorn and give Fluffy and Rover their holiday thrills with yummy gourmet dog and cat treats. 

Admission starts at $3; kids younger than 12 get in free.

Exhibition Park, Junction of Highway 16 and 40, Battleford. 306-445-2024

Get more information at agsociety.com 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: iStockphoto

Ontario: BMC Christmas Arts & Crafts Show

November 1 to 3

If you’re looking for unique yet practical gifts, you’ve come to the right place. This arts-and-crafts show offers gourmet goodies, homemade candles, knitted baby gear, nifty handmade games and tiny decorative fairy doors that are perfect for kids with big imaginations. 

Adults pay $5; kids get in free.

Barrie Molson Centre, 55 Bayview Drive, Barrie. 877-803-2121

Get more information at areaproductions.com 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: BMC Christmas Arts & Crafts Show

Ontario: Bancroft Art & Craft Guild Christmas Show & Sale

November 2 and 3

Be sure to check out this artist town’s community bazaar. Find locally crafted goods made by the Algonquin Arts Council’s guild, including stained glass, quilts, wooden toys and hand- sewn children’s books. Banish hunger pains at the tearoom, which features home-baked sweets, sandwiches and cocoa.

Free admission.

Bancroft Royal Canadian Legion, 16 Station Street, Bancroft. 613-338-5431

Get more information at algonquinarts.ca 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: iStockphoto

Ontario: One of A Kind Show

November 28 to December 8

Featuring more than 800 vendors, this annual event has become one of Canada’s largest and most anticipated gift shows. New this year is the “Give-Back List,” which features designers who sell select creations to raise money for charity. Wander the multitude of aisles or check out one of the “neighbourhoods” (including fashion, green goods and flavour sections) for specific products. Parents can take advantage of free babysitting or art classes for kids eight and older, too. 

Admission starts at $14; kids younger than 12 get in free.

Direct Energy Centre, 100 Princes’ Boulevard, Toronto. 416-960- 3680

Get more information at oneofakindshow.com 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: Blackbird Pottery by April Gates

Ontario: The Stitch 'N' Kitch Holiday Show

December 14

Local indie artists showcase handmade, non-toxic toys crafted from sustainable materials like cotton, wool, natural fibres and wood, as well as baby slings and wraps, clothing, jewellery, pretty pottery and soothing body products. Pop into the by-donation photo booth, complete with fun props, while you listen to the DJ spin hip and festive tracks. Gourmet grilled cheese is on the menu when your stomach starts to growl.

Free admission.

First United Church, 16 William Street West, Waterloo.

Get more information at stitchnkitsch.com 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: The Stitch 'N' Kitch Holiday Show - Studioloo

Quebec: Christmas Market at the Old Port Market

November 21 to December 31

This famous farmers’ market gets a Christmas makeover, making it the perfect place to shop for the foodie on your list. The month-long event showcases a surplus of local handmade crafts like jewellery, tasty garden-grown foods and a plethora of breads and spreads. Shop from a variety of delicious and gourmet goodies for hostess gifts or your own festivities. Enjoy holiday music and cooking demonstrations beneath millions of twinkling white Christmas lights. 

Free admission.

Le Marché du Vieux-Port, 160 Quai Saint-André, Québec. 418-692-2517

Get more information at quebecregion.com 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: Christmas Market at the Old Port Market

Quebec: Salon Des Métiers D'Art

December 6 to 22

Check off everyone on your list by attending this massive craftapalooza. Take a break from shopping to enjoy one of the fashion shows or craft demonstrations. Jewellery, Icelandic wool hats, ceramics, handmade pillows, and wooden toys are all available from the 400-plus cross-Canada artists.

Free admission.

Place Bonaventure West Exhibition Hall, 800 De La Gauchetière Street West, Montreal. 514 -397-4807

Get more information at metiers-d-art.qc.ca 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: Salon Des Metiers D'Art - Rien ne se Perd

Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council Christmas Show

November 15 to 17

Families love the hands-on approach of this crafting show. Among the 100 exhibitors displaying glass, metal, clay and leather works, you’ll find a number of activities and demonstrations. Check out a fashion show, hone your craft skills at weaving and leather punching, or let the kids get their hands dirty by making their own tiny clay pots. 

Admission starts at $5; kids younger than 12 get in free.

Cunard Event Centre at Pier 23, 961 Marginal Road, Halifax. 902-423-3837

Get more information at nsdcc.ns.ca 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council Christmas Show - Sheep's Clothing

Nova Scotia: Dalplex Christmas Craft Market

November 22 to 24

Whether you’re after Christmas decor or gifts for teachers, friends and family, you’ll find everything you need in Dalhousie University’s rec centre. Drop the kids off at the Fun Zone while you scope out the selection of nostalgic wooden toys such as blocks, puzzles and trains, hand-knit mittens and hats, handmade leather wallets and purses, old-fashioned candies and other one-off treasures.

Admission starts at $7.

Dalplex Centre, 6260 South Street, Halifax. 902-494-3754

Get more information at athletics.dal.ca 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: Dalplex Christmas Craft Market - Christmas Dove Crafts

New Brunswick: Christmas Arts & Crafts Market

November 1 to 3 and December 6 to 8

Approximately 85 vendors fill the hall with everything from top-class woodworking ware (such as carved bowls and figures), to pewter jewellery and beautiful leatherwork (including belts and wallets). Each weekend boasts a wide variety of different vendors giving you an excuse to visit twice. 

Free admission.

Fredericton Exhibition, 361 Smyth Street, Fredericton. 506-459-3209

Get more information at frex.ca 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: Shannon Mooney

New Brunswick: Christmas Crafts Show

November 1 and 2

This captivating community event has hoards of lovely goods like smocked dresses, beeswax candles, oven mitts and aprons, fabric colouring and crayon packs, unique dolls and the always-popular peanut- butter balls. It’s an eclectic mix of high-quality crafts at affordable prices. 

Admission starts at $2; kids younger than 12 get in free.

Sackville Curling Club, 22 Landsdowne Street, Sackville. 506-536-4333

Get more information at sackvillecurlingclub.ca 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: iStockphoto

New Brunswick: Turner's Christmas at the Coliseum

November 22 to 24

Step into a whimsical Christmas village where you’ll find gourmet fudge, spices, spreads and salsa. Handmade board games, wooden trains, blocks and plush toys are sure to please the youngsters on your list. Check out the antique section to find collectible jewellery, dishes and vintage toys. Coffee, fruit smoothies and homemade lemonade provide the perfect excuse to take a delicious break. 

Admission starts at $6; kids younger than 12 get in free.

377 Killam Drive, Moncton. 506-386-1200

Get more information at christmas-at-the-coliseum.com 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: iStockphoto

PEI: 49th Annual PEI Craft Council Christmas Fair

November 8 to 10

Watch live demonstrations by potters, weavers and spinners, and peruse stained- and fused-glass mosaic artwork, beaded bracelets, necklaces and rings, as well as original framed art made with local driftwood and pebbles. Foodies will gather for specialty products like gourmet cheese, jams, jellies and homemade root beer.

Admission starts at $2; kids younger than 12 get in free.

Confederation Centre, 145 Richmond Street, Charlottetown. 902-892-5152

Get more information at peicraftscouncil.com 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: iStockphoto

Newfoundland: Craft Council Christmas Craft Fair

November 6 to 10

Crafters flock from all over the country to take part in this five-day affair. Shop coat hangers and pot-hooks made by old-school blacksmiths, Aboriginal sculptures from local artist Elias Semigak, wooden toys and precious knitwear. Enter the draw to try your luck at winning an original ceramic tea set from featured artist Maaike Charron of Blue Dragon Pottery.

Admission starts at $2; kids younger than 12 get in free. 

St. John’s Arts & Culture Centre, 95 Allandale Road, St. John’s. 709-753-2749

Get more information at craftcouncil.nl.ca 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: Craft Council Christmas Craft Fair - Blue Dragon Pottery

NL Sports Centre Craft Fair

November 15 to 17

Choose from hand-wrought pewter creations, beautifully crafted wooden toys, tutus, children’s hats and personalized ornaments. Plus, kids can drop off their letters to the North Pole at Santa’s Grotto on the way to the balloon-animal and face-painting stations. The majority of funds raised from the event go to Active Start, an activity and sports program for local children.

Admission starts at $4; kids younger than 17 get in free.

NL Sports Centre PowerPlex, 100 Crosbie Road, St. John’s. 709-764-6044 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: NL Sports Centre Craft Fair - Sum Sweet

Yukon: Spruce Bog Christmas Craft & Gift Sale

November 16

Local artists unite at this cherished community event. Find everything you need for decorating your home, filling your tummy, stuffing your stockings and gifting to your loved ones. Popular children’s items include fun hair accessories, hand-painted clothing, soft dolls and wooden toys. Adults can shop stained-glass window hangings, quilted table runners, locally made furs and natural homemade makeup. The white-chocolate-covered popcorn and gluten-free cupcakes are always a hit. 

Free admission.

Canada Games Centre, 200 Hamilton Boulevard, Whitehorse.

Get more information at sprucebog.com 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: Spruce Bog Christmas Craft & Gift Sale

NWT: Community Arts & Fine Crafts Christmas Sale

November 30

Resting on the border of northern Alberta is the close-knit community of Fort Smith. It’s here you’ll find local artists showcasing their fine art: beaded purses, rag rugs and jewellery. Drop by the bake sale for homemade shortbread, gingerbread and fruitcake (all money raised from the festive treats benefits the Northern Life Museum). Santa will also be stopping by to take photos and listen to kids’ wish lists. 

Free admission.

Aurora College, 50 Conibear Crescent, Fort Smith. 867-872-2859 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: iStockphoto

NWT: Great Northern Arts Festival Christmas Craft Fair

November 22 to 24

Shop for locally made northern art like colourful beadwork, carvings and traditional crafts. You’ll find everything from parkas to delta braids (an intricate form of appliqué created by folding and sewing squares of cloth to form colourful patchwork ribbon, which can be used as decoration or to adorn clothing). Nosh on tasty goodies like cookies and fudge too. 

Admission is by non-perishable food donations to the Inuvik Food Bank.

Midnight Sun Recreation Centre, Gwich’in Road, Inuvik. 867-777-8638

Get more information at gnaf.org 

Best Christmas craft and gift shows across CanadaPhoto: Great Northern Arts Festival Christmas Craft Fair - Gail Ann Raddi

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This article was originally published on Nov 21, 2013

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