The Sea to Sky is full of talented artistic people, and with numerous artisan markets, the holiday season is the perfect time to take advantage of the ever-growing local creative culture.
As nice as it is to have a “wish list” each Christmas with the newest toy or gadget, there’s something to be said about giving or receiving a gift that is thoughtful, handmade and local. Hitting up one of our area’s holiday markets is a great way to spend the day supporting local artists and discovering new, unique gifts that will cause the recipient to exclaim in wonder and appreciation. Here’s a rundown of the top must-do markets of the season:
Refresh Market – Squamish, November 17 & 18
$3 online – $5 at the door – $25 first dibs market preview, West Coast Railway Heritage Park
Refresh Market supports a community of artists, vendors and small shop owners. Offering a curated selection of clothing, jewelry, vintage, ceramics and artisan foods, you’ll find plenty of presents at this stylish fair, plus probably a few things for yourself. Snag some lunch at one of the outdoor food trucks and experience the good vibes.
Lions Bay Annual Christmas Fair – Lions Bay, November 18
FREE, Broughton Hall
Make your way a little further south to find the team at Lions Bay Art Council conjuring up warm nostalgia and Christmas cheer at their annual market. With live music and workshops for kids, as well as 20 plus local vendors displaying an eclectic mix of crafty goods, you can dip into the hot chocolate and apple cider with the family and warm your bellies as the holiday anticipation builds.
Arts Whistler Holiday Market – Whistler, November 24 & 25
Entry by donation, Whistler Conference Centre
Two days of hand baked, handmade goodness from over 100 vendors. Over the years this extensive market has proven to be a one stop shop for everyone on your list. You can expect to find talented artisans of crafts, art and food, as well as marvel in the entrepreneurial spirit of the kids at ‘Bratz Biz’, where small wonders make and create their own wares for sale. Visits from Santa and live music make it a fantastic day for the whole family.
Pemberton Children’s Centre Christmas Bazaar – Pemberton, December 1st
FREE, Pemberton Community Centre
Get into the Christmas spirit with the kids of Pemberton. Families can participate in tree decoration, sing alongs and a silent auction. Vendors will have a diverse selection of crafts, baked goods and other local products. With lots to see and do, Sea to Sky families will surely enjoy a day out at this special Pemberton event.
Bowen Island Christmas Craft Fair – Bowen Island, December 2
FREE, Bowen Island Community School
It may be a small jump across the water, but it’s worth the short ferry ride to pop over to this long running bazaar on Bowen Island. There’s no better way to get into the gift giving spirit than to check out Bowen’s largest craft fair of the year, with hundreds of one of a kind items, as well as a ‘cake-walk’ for the kids, café, raffle, silent auction and more. Snap up a pretty wreath for your door and don’t miss the creative pieces at the Youth Craft Fair.
Sip ‘n’ Shop Night Market – Squamish, December 7
FREE, Squamish Waldorf School
Enjoy an evening of #adulting while you sip, shop and socialize free from the gaze of curious children. Browse our craft and vendor marketplace in peace and pre-purchase your activity tickets for Saturday’s Christmas Fair. This event is free and all are invited.
Winter Faire and Artisan Market – Whistler, December 8
FREE, Whistler Waldorf School
Get in the spirit of this magical season with activities for the whole family, including candle dipping, natural crafts, puppet shows and a visit to the cookie house. Snack on tasty seasonal treats and sip on warm drinks as you browse our local artisan market to find unique treasures and the perfect gift for anyone on your list.
Christmas Fair – Squamish, December 8
FREE, Squamish Waldorf School
A day of magic and beauty, the SWS Christmas Fair is a seasonal favourite. For children, we have inspired activities including ornament and wreath making, candle dipping and the favourite apple twist. Young ones will be entertained by our puppet shows, Magical Gnome Village and Enchanted Cookie House. Warm up around the outdoor bonfire with soup and chili, enjoy traditional German BBQ or browse the bake sale. Our marketplace features a collection of handmade crafts and curated vendors of home decor, children’s toys, and jewelry.
The holidays are a busy time for everyone, but part of the magic of the season is to spend time with loved ones, enjoying the good cheer, the jingle of music and the tantalizing smells in the air. Seeking out that special something that you can package in colourful paper and place under the tree is part of the pleasure, and there’s no better feeling than watching someone’s face light up as they unwrap the gift you’ve been so excited to give them.
Want to find out more about each of these markets?