Toque Craft Fair, hosted annually by the Western Front art centre, takes place December 1-6, as a re-imagined online marketplace. Known for a well-curated lineup of incredibly talented and creative people, this year’s fair is no different, featuring 31 vendors from across B.C. with a wide range of really cool things on offer.
This year has without a doubt presented its challenges as Toque organizers were faced with having to re-invent the longstanding community event. Western Front’s Meghan Latta, who has helped organized the event since 2013, describes:
“Every year we grow a little bigger and try to refine the experience. It is a huge team effort making it all happen. This year we had to start almost from scratch in terms of the event itself, but luckily we had lots of knowledge to draw on, as well as helpful advice from community contacts that are having to do the same rethink.”
Carie Helm, Western Front’s Fundraising Manager who has been involved in the event in some way or another for over a decade, says: “We will definitely miss being together as we have always done at Toque. One of the most special parts of the event is getting to visit with friends and meet the vendors while you browse, have a drink and a snack. The event is much more than a chance to shop, it is really about community.”
While there’s no gathering together this year, shopping at Toque is still a great way to support local artists and the Western Front, one of Canada’s leading artist-run centres since 1973. Through the generosity of the vendors, 20 percent of sales is donated to Western Front’s artistic programs.
There are benefits to an online edition, too, like perusing the goods on your own schedule without the crowds and long lines. Meghan points out an added convenience: “I often browse local makers online and always come up against the shipping charge as a bit of a barrier. Having all these vendors in one place for pickup really makes it so much easier, and great not to have to pay for shipping within the city.” She adds, “This year a lot of people are also wanting to spend their dollars to support people in their own community.”
Toque brings together a diverse range of goods at various price points, from home decor, to original art, to self-care products, jewellery, fashion, and kids things. We’re coveting a few objects in particular, like NEW LOok’s annual large-format calendar which hangs like an artwork, a spring flower subscription to Daisy Fung’s flowers available in small, medium, or large arrangements, anything by The Little Things (creative, edible projects), a Tony Dubroy hand-carved dish in black walnut, which always seems to sell out, or a set of ceramic artist Nathalee Paolinelli’s nesting mirror bowls (a splurge!).
Scroll through Toque’s Instagram feed to preview the goods on offer. The online marketplace goes live December 1st at 10AM.
Anita Sikma Design
AW by Andrea Wong
Cracher Dans La Soupe Parfum
Daisy Fung Flowers
Draw Me A Lion
Henderson Dry Goods
Nathalee Paolinelli Ceramics
See You Soon Studio
Simply Read Books
The Little Things
The Planet Sun Studio
Three Sisters by Emma
Tuk + milo
Your goods will be conveniently packaged together and waiting for you to pick-up (with health and safety protocols in place) at the Western Front on Friday, December 11th (4-8PM) and Saturday, December 12th (12-4PM).
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