As small, crowded spaces, a number of holiday markets have closed their doors this winter in the interest of public health. However, there are options for Yellowknifers looking to support local merchants while shopping.
The Yellowknife Guild of Arts and Crafts is hosting a series of Sunday markets in lieu of its usual annual show at St. Patrick High School.
The market will run from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. from Nov. 1-Dec. 20.
Shoppers are required to sign up online for 30-minute timeslots. Those in attendance – limited to 15 guests at a time – will be required to wear masks and will be allowed into the Guild’s building on Kam Lake Road.
Wendy Stephenson, co-vice-president of the Yellowknife Guild of Arts and Crafts, said the market not only helps artists sell their work but also gives the public a chance to see the guild and explore the possibility of classes and workshops in the future.
Stephenson said the first two Sundays are already full and public feedback has so far been only positive.
The Yellowknife Makers Market will also be returning for its third year in an online sales format. Organizer Beth Harden hopes to make the website live by the end of next week, giving shoppers access to select vendors for six days at a time.
Harden’s own business, Shake a Tail Feather Studio, often conducts scheduled online sales, which Harden said have been a “great success.” The Makers Market is down to eight vendors this year from the usual 14. Several of the past vendors predicted holiday markets may not be running through the pandemic and decided not to create their products, Harden said.
Information about the logistics of the market, buying, and shipping procedures will be available on the website closer to the start date. The vendors in each of three block are as follows:
Nov. 14-20: Mountain Aven Designs, Beyond the Frame Art, Shake a Tail Feather Studio
Nov. 17-23: YZF Home Decor, Grace Lake Ceramics, Haylani Apparel
Nov. 20-26: Woodland Seams, Shake a Tail Feather Studio, From the Land Creations
Dec. 4 will feature a “pop-up shop” where each of the vendors will have 10 items available as a “last-chance” option.
Sutherland’s Drugs has also announced that it’s dedicating shelf space to local artisans.
In the next week of so, Yellowknifers looking to sell their products can come into the pharmacy with a sample for Sutherland’s consideration.
As the store is only able to donate limited shelf space, it’s not able to accommodate every vendor but hopes to give locals a chance to get their products out, said Aaron LaBorde, owner of Sutherland Drugs.
There could be people who work on their products for the entire year to get ready for the craft markets, said LaBorde.
“This could be the income that they rely on for a living, or for getting through the holiday season,” he said, adding that shoppers can expect to see the artisans’ products on their shelves six weeks before Christmas. “It’s been a hard year for a lot of people so we’re trying to help out and encourage people to support local.”