Queer, Trans, and Two-Spirit Creatives Gather for Market at Le Frigo Vert
Jewellers, Authors, Artists and More Sell Wares at Second Iteration of Maker’s Market
On Aug. 27 to 28, Le Frigo Vert held a Queer, Trans and/or Two-Spirit Makers Market at its 1440 Mackay St. storefront near the Sir George Williams campus. The event allowed artists, artisans, cooks and other members of the LGBTQ+ community to gather and sell their handcrafted wares.
This market follows a series of similar events hosted by LFV this summer. Hunter Cubitt-Cooke, a member of LFV, explained that while the organization’s lounge and café were shut during the summer months on account of staffing costs, they were still able to utilize its space for pop up events involving the LGBTQ+ community. These included a healing fair in July, as well as an earlier rendition of the Maker’s Market in late June.
According to Cubitt-Cooke, this iteration of the Maker’s Market had a better turnout of vendors. He explained this was thanks in large part to the positive word-of-mouth generated from the first Maker’s Market.
“For the first market, I got most of the vendors through asking friends and stuff like that because people didn’t really know about us as much,” said Cubitt-Cooke. “But then it caught on pretty big. This time we actually got too many [applicants] to be able to fit everyone, so we unfortunately had to turn some down.”
Inside, vendors from all corners of the LGBTQ+ community filled every available space. No two tables were lined with the same goods. Hand crafted jewelry and volumes of poetry were sold next to cat toys, custom t-shirts and patches emblazoned with “Fuck Capitalism.”
Visual artist Édouard Vanasse was present alongside dozens of prints of his surreal, dream inspired paintings. He explained that while he’s frequented LFV in the past, this was his first experience there as a vendor.
“This is only the second time ever that I’ve sold my art on a stand. I would like to sell lots, but I'm really just starting to get out here,” he said.
Poet and author Cora Wolfe said that while this was her first time inside LFV, she was optimistic about sales for her recently published book One Heart Two Ghosts Three Lovers And A Rose.
“I’m self published, but honestly for the beginning of a self-publication journey I think I’m doing pretty well. Events like this are where I usually sell most of my stuff. If I try online it rarely works,” she said.
Wolfe, who also bakes, added that the pastries she offered alongside her poetry here were a huge success. “My cookies sold out in minutes!” she said.
Also present was Heaven’s Crystal Shop run by artisan Heaven-Leigh Angel. Angel, who has handcrafted jewelry for the past seven years said she was also able to sell her work at LFV’s first Maker’s Market.
“It’s great, not only because I can sell my art, but because I can meet other queer artists, so its been a really solid experience,” she said. “Most customers have been people who were just walking by and happened to peek in, but I also get a lot of people who saw me post ads online.”
Cubitt-Cooke explained that while vendors aren’t charged for using LFV’s space for this event, they are asked to widely share their involvement with LFV. He said that this expanded outreach and positive word-of-mouth help LFV empower local businesses and serve as a space for community building–both key aspects of the organization’s mandate.
Cubitt-Cooke added that word-of-mouth is especially helpful because it generates new volunteers for LFV.
“A lot of people don’t know who we are or what we do, but once they get into our space they can really see what’s going on there and once they’re inside they often want to get involved one way or another,” said Cubitt-Cooke.
Le Frigo Vert’s lounge and café will reopen to the public on Sept. 6th. Its upcoming pop-up events include a hands-on mushroom workshop on Sept.14th.
This article originally appeared in Volume 43, Issue 1, published August 30, 2022.