Holiday Market: 5 Tips for Tackling Circle’s Huge Craft Market



In its first incarnation nearly half a century ago, the Circle Craft Market was a small Christmas craft fair held in a Vancouver church. 43 years later, it fills a huge hall at the Vancouver Convention Center every holiday season.

Hundreds of vendors and a huge floor space make it one of the biggest craft fairs in the country.

We spoke to the experts, Circle Craft Market veterans, to put together five tips to make sure you get the most out of your visit, whether you’re buying a gift for family, a friend, or something special just for yourself – same. .

1. Don’t rush

Once inside, you might be surprised at the scale of the operation. The show brings together more than 300 sculptors, metalworkers, toy makers and many other types of craftsmen from across the country.

To make sure you see it all, almost everyone who spoke with Margaret Gallagher from CBC’s The first edition recommended to take the time and take a tour of the convention center before shopping.

A mother-daughter couple had planned a systematic route around each salesperson.

“You have to have that eye to see things that are really, really beautiful,” said Pamela Straker.

After years of visiting the Circle Craft Market, this year Pamela Straker (right) took her daughter, Bryana Russell (left), with her. (Margaret Gallagher / CBC)

2. Take notes

As you walk the aisles, write down what you’d like to come back to, then move on. This is the advice Straker passed on to his daughter Bryana Russell, since this is her first year on the show.

“I have already taken pictures of things that I would like to examine in more detail,” she said on Wednesday.

If you prefer to leave your phone in your pocket, bring a pen and mark one of the sitemaps available at the entrance.

3. Talk to sellers

Once you’ve completed your grid sweep on the convention floor awash in holiday color, it’s time to approach a booth.

Usually the person inside is the one who made the items, and asking someone about their wares is part of the experience.

“The people in the pits are usually more than happy to talk about what they’ve done and how they got there and the techniques they’ve used. And so it’s one of the best. items for me, ”Straker said.

The 2016 Circle Craft Market in Vancouver features hundreds of products from artists and artisans from across the country. (

4. Wait before buying

With so many craftsmen with unique skills in one place, you’ll have plenty of choices. So before you pay – which at many kiosks can be done using cards or cash – the organizers recommend that you take a step back and consider your options.

“There will be something that nags you and something that you want to come back to,” said show coordinator Rossanne Clamp.

“I find that I make the purchases that mean the most to me and suit me the best when I give it a little bit of time.”

Show director Rossanne Clamp recommends waiting after spotting a few potential purchases to see what comes to mind. (Margaret Gallagher / CBC)

5. Come hungry

It’s not just pottery and woodcarvings at the Circle Craft Market – there are also plenty of vendors selling food.

Chocolatiers, pastry chefs, fishermen, producers, there is something for all appetites. Clamp says a lunch break is a great time to think about what you’ll be leaving the show with.

The market runs from November 9 to 13. It opens daily at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, closing times vary by day.

With files from CBC’s Margaret Gallagher

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