Fringe for the Holidays

Local Craft Fairs Offer Up Unique Gift Possibilities

  • Graphic Eric Bent

The best parts of the holiday season are those things you can’t quantify: decorating your house, visiting your family, digging into fantastic meals, playing in the snow. That nice warm, cozy feeling you get when you sit back and contemplate the things you have to be happy for.

That intangible holiday happiness is often beaten over the head by the extreme corporatization that is the Christmas season, though. It’s a yuletide march that begins in earnest in Canada on Nov. 1—a month before any of the actual holidays begin.

Immediately after Hallowe’en, we’re bombarded with holiday paraphernalia—lights, music, decorations, with holiday deals attached to everything and anything.

By the time we’re out of exams and ready to start celebrating, we’re so sick of the holidays that they can completely lose their appeal. As much as there is to love about the season, the overwhelming materialism can get the best of the most starry-eyed of us—emotionally and financially.

But there are alternatives. This year, why not take the time to not only buy your loved ones something truly special and unique, but to also support local artists and artisans?
Montreal hosts a variety of arts and craft fairs where you can definitely find the perfect gift for everyone on your list.

Holiday Puces POP

Puces POP returns with a holiday version of their DIY and craft fair, featuring 85 vendors of handmade art, craft and design. Clothing, furniture, jewelry, photography, books and much, much more will be on display and ready to purchase. There will also be fair-trade food and coffee available, as well as a kid’s craft corner and a giftwrapping station provided by Hand & Hands. The weekend will end on Sunday with POP Bingo! A party with prizes, hot chocolate and empanadas. Dec. 10 and 11, from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at St-Enfant Jesus Church (5035 St. Dominique).

Pop-Up Shop Super-Presse Club

For all the print-lovers on your list, Le Super-Presse Club—a collective of 14 members of the Montreal printmaking community—will be hosting a pop-up shop at Casa del Popolo (4873 St. Laurent Blvd.). Offering posters, art-prints, books, collages, accessories, cards, gifts and more printed goodness, the fair’s hours are from 12:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m., Thursday through Sunday for the first three weeks of December, and 12:00 p.m. through 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday the week before Christmas.

The Plant Art Market

The Plant (185 Van Horne Ave.) put out an open call to artists of all kinds and talents to put their work on display in their first art market, happening Dec. 11 from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The event aims to create a supportive environment in which artists can display and sell their art, as well as check out the art of others. Plus, there will be delicious food and drinks served all day! Artists can reserve space in advance by e-mailing theplantartmarket@gmail.com

Old Skool Crafts Holiday Fair

Hosting over 110 artisans, this fair will showcase unique jewelry, beauty products, woodwork, clothing, toys and ornaments, photographs, illustrations, and much more! There will also be a kids craft area, as well as craft workshops for adults. You can bring non-perishable food items, toiletries and toys to donate to 7 local charities. The fair runs Dec. 10 and 11 at St. Michael’s Church (105 St. Viateur St. W.) from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

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