It's becoming increasingly less cool to buy all your Christmas gifts at Walmart (esp. since the dreaded Visa debacle began). Instead, people are starting to put an effort into buying local—and Winnipeg has a TON of handmade, carefully-crafted, artisanal goods made in our very own province.
I'm a huge fan of this crafty movement (full pun intended). Not only does it benefit the knitter, the woodworker, the candle maker, and the artist—but as a consumer, you're getting high quality, one-of-a-kind goods to give as gifts or to keep for yourself. The next few months are exploding with holiday markets across the city. Here are the ones you just can't miss:
Vegan Handmade Market / Earl Grey Community Centre
When: Dec 3
Not only are all these products locally produced, they're cruelty-free and ethically made as well! Perfect for the vegan or brand new mama in your life. This event also includes a vegan bake sale—very, very dangerous.
Third + Bird Christmas Market / Transcona Country Club
When: Nov 26 and 27
Third + Bird started off small a few years ago, but it's since grown into the most popular and highly coveted market in the city. The event now stretches over three days, and shoppers pay a $2-$3 cover charge at the door. The fee is definitely worth it, and it's difficult to leave here empty handed.
Downtown Winnipeg Christmas Farmers’ Market / 360 Portage Ave
When: Dec 1 & Dec 15
Here, you'll find mostly baking, preserves, and a few cold weather veggies. It's the perfect place to pick up ingredients to prep for your Christmas dinner, or indulge in a bit of holiday baking. There's also a few craft vendors here as well!
LuckyGirl Holiday Pop Up / 300 Ross
When: Dec 17
The hippest of them all, this market is the best place to shop for your trendy friends or eclectic mother. Vintage clothes, intricately designed jewelry, and leather goods can all be found here, along with the really, really cool women who run it.
Paws for the Season / Winnipeg Humane Society
When: Dec 4
All proceeds raised go to WHS animals, so you can feel good about walking out of there with three bags on each arm. The event is free admission, and don't miss the tree lighting ceremony at 2 p.m.!
2nd Annual Last Stop Holiday Shop / 826 Regent Ave (Nashville's)
When: Dec 3
The huge space at Nashville's means lots of room for vendors—65, to be exact. This event has crafters, bakers, and artists all coming together to help make it your last stop holiday shop.
Festive Artisans Market / Manitoba Hydro Place
When: Dec 7
This is the 7th annual event for this holiday market, and the vendor you definitely can't miss is Zococo—she makes the coolest hand tooled leather jewelry. Also, check out the huge selection of infinity scarves while you're here.
W.E.S.T Holiday Etsy Market / St. James Civic Centre
When: Dec 17
A little more than 30 vendors make up this holiday Etsy market including soap, leather goods, vintage housewares, hats, and decor. This market is the one you go to expecting to shop for others, but end up leaving with an entirely new dish set and drastically different apartment decor for yourself. Oops.