Five Reasons to Hit Up the TOQUE Craft Fair This Year

The Western Front’s annual craft fair and fundraiser, TOQUE, is back and set to run from Friday, November 30th until Sunday, December 2nd.

Over the years TOQUE has become one of our go-to events for scooping up rad, locally made goodies from some of Vancouver’s more established makers. It’s not easy to pick favourites but we’ve nevertheless compiled a short list of five (out of the more than two dozen participating vendors) who are getting us amped for some seasonal shopping…



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A post shared by Nellija Zi (@warmanddrift) on

There’s something especially and inexplicably eerie – in a good way – about the wooly wildlife crafted by Nellija Zi (aka Warm and Drift). Her aviary art installation of needle felted life size birds, “Adaptation”, has been on display at the Nineteen Home shop on Main Street since the beginning of November. Zi’s creations have spanned from chipmunks and frogs, to elves and narwhals, so you don’t have to be bird-obsessed to find something fuzzy to snag. However, we especially like the idea of an inanimate owl friend keeping a watchful eye over our home from its perch on the bookshelf.



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Sustainable, all natural knitwear has been Hendrik Lou’s thing for nearly a decade, and we’ve never stopped pining for her line of understated toques, scarves and accessories. Usually, the Vancouver Island designer’s clothing is made to order. Presales for November deliveries have long since closed, which is why we’re doubly sure that her table at TOQUE will be a major attraction among fashion-lovers. Regardless, we think it’s worth battling the hoards to snag a chunky Peruvian alpaca cardigan – which, at $550 USD on her website, are definitely an investment – or the perfect toque, which retail in a slightly more affordable $90 – 120 USD range. We’re telling you early so that you can start saving up now!



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This collaborative studio is home to furniture and object designer Joji Fukushima’s a/I studio, as well as the forward-thinking foodies at Edible Projects, who have been teasing their tantalizing fourth volume via Instagram. The collection of Shared Shortbread will be available for the first time at this event, and it features local spruce tips. Yum!



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Personal scents are very, well, personal…so it can be a bit risky to venture into the unknown when picking one out as a gift for someone else. That being said, if you’re feeling up to the challenge (or just want something for yourself), then we think that Jen Weih, the local purveyor Osmics Essentials’ line of unconventional and emotionally-driven scents, is just the person to fix you up. Her website currently lists six concoctions and each is accompanied by its own equally unusual, psychedelic collage graphic, which we’re also digging. The Hot Alabaster “megamix” is jumping out at us, though, not least of all due to its extensive (21!) ingredients list, including basil, spikenard, juniper berry, nutmeg and jasmine.



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No matter how many you may already have on the go, a new notebook is always welcome…right? How about an up-cycled version featuring a vintage classic Penguin cover or kitsch cheesy romance? Whatever genre you choose, these are the perfect option for note taking or sketching on the sly…or drawing some bookish attention.

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