THE COMPULSION TO buy something unique made by a skillful set of hands is not new, but the making and purchasing of crafts are becoming more popular in Ottawa. Instead of wasting time scouring Etsy looking for goods over the web, people now have the option to buy crafted goods from a variety of artisans under one roof here in Ottawa.
On the first Saturday of every month, The Irving Greenberg Theatre, located in Centretown, is filled with local artisans and their wares. Already approaching its third month, Urban Craft is Ottawa’s first monthly craft market. The show features fresh, modern finds from Ottawa’s businesses. Created by Krista Leben and Robin Sidhu, the market has been filling a void for crafters and non-crafters alike.
“The show is an opportunity for locals to shop local and handmade in a show setting throughout the year,” says Leben.
“We’ll have everything from gourmet food to independent fashion to funky accessories.”
The coordinators of the market were inspired by similar events popping up in other cities in Canada and the United States. Leben and Sidhu thought Urban Craft would fill those gaps in the year when weekend farmer’s markets ended and no holiday craft markets were on.
“One of the reasons we decided to launch this market is because we heard from so many vendors that they wished they had a consistent, indoor show where they could sell their goods.”
Urban Craft brings entrepreneurs from across Ottawa together under one roof to promote local businesses. While some artists will be found every month at the market, there will be someone or something new each month.
“For vendors, it provides that consistent, monthly, indoor venue for them to vend,” says Leben.
“For the public, we’ve put together a group of really talented vendors—both established and up-and-coming.”
Although the market is new to Ottawa, it had an attendance of over 1,000 people last month. Whether you’re looking for unique and interesting jewellery, a cup of locally roasted coffee, or some handmade goods, both popular and obscure items can be found at the market.
The Urban Craft market crowd styles itself as hip, “indie” artisans with a lot to offer for the young urbanite. That said, it’s a lively and diverse scene that features and appeals to a wide variety of tastes and customers.
“It’s incredible the range of people who come out—we’ve got everyone from Carleton [University] students to adorable grannies shopping for birthday gifts for their grandkids,” says Leben.
“I’m always impressed with the way that craft shows bring people together. You get people from all walks of life, all income levels, all parts of the city.”
Visit Urban Craft Nov. 5 at The Irving Greenberg Theatre (1233 Wellington St. W. in Hintonburg) between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.