The Kickoff to Christmas Makers Market is a giant winter holiday craft fair at Abbotsford Exhibition Park in November.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event did not happen in 2020. It doesn’t look like the event happened in 2021 either. Hopefully it returns in 2022.
Christmas Makers Market in Abbotsford
Put on by the West Coast Artisan Collective, the Kickoff to Christmas Makers Market is an annual event featuring around 120 or so artisans and craft vendors in years that it happens. It’s one of the Lower Mainland’s largest Christmas craft fairs and highly recommended for people who like crafts and gift shopping.
One especially nice thing about the market is the fact that proceeds from the sale of admission tickets and the Breakfast with Santa sessions benefit the Abbotsford Christmas Bureau which is a great cause.
Kickoff to Christmas
The Kickoff to Christmas Makers Market celebrated its second year in 2019. The event took place in the Ag-Rec Building at 32470 Haida Drive in Abbotsford on the weekend of November 29th and 30th.
On the Friday in 2019 the event ran from 5:00 until 9:00 pm. On the Saturday doors were open between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.
2022 dates and details are to be confirmed.
2019 Admission Rates
Early-bird tickets to the event cost $3 and were available until the end of October. General admission after that cost $4 in advance for folk ages 12 and older, or $5 at the door. If you brought a toy to donate to the Abbotsford Christmas Bureau, though, you probably saved yourself a few dollars and got in for free.
In addition to general admission people were also able to sign up for Breakfast with Santa and for photo opportunities. Parking at the event was free.
Saturday morning Breakfast with Santa cost $30 for a family of two adults and two children. Included with the pancake and sausage meal was a complimentary family photo, entry into the market and a small gift for each child. Breakfast sittings were at 9:30 and 10:30 am on the Saturday. Photo sittings with Santa for individuals cost $10 for adults and $5 for kids.
Interested in being a vendor at the event? Tables cost between about $150 and $375 depending on the size of the table, need for access to a power outlet and other factors. Click Vendor Application for more details regarding future events.
What to Expect at the Christmas Market
At the Kickoff to Christmas Makers Market you can expect to see around 140 vendors and hundreds of shoppers in years that the event occurs. It is hosted by the West Coast Artisan Collective which is made up of volunteers who are the makers, re-creators and small business entrepreneurs behind all the products you’ll see for sale. As many as 80% of the vendors are Etsy Makers.
To participate in the market vendors apply and their submissions are adjudicated, which means the quality of goods is high. Expect to see holiday treats, Christmas decorations, unique gift ideas, home-baked goods and a wide range of handcrafted artisan products.
In 2019, in addition to all the window shopping, craft ideas and gift buying opportunities at the event, on the Friday evening there was a bar serving both non-alcoholic and adult-only beverages including coffee, hot chocolate, wine, winter ale and apple cider. There was also food for purchase for those who were hungry.
On the Saturday morning there were breakfast sittings with Santa Claus at 9:30 and 10:30 am (so the first one was half an hour before the market actually begins). Participants needed to sign up in advance and arrive 15 to 20 minutes before their scheduled breakfast time slot.
During the event prizes were drawn from time to time, family photo opportunities were available and festive Christmas-y music was playing. There was also a silent auction featuring items donated by the local community and various makers who participated in the event.
Note: With each purchase made shoppers were entered into a draw for which the grand prize was a $1000 gift certificate from TPI Travel in Langley.
For more information about the organization behind the event see the West Coast Artisan Collective website.
Note: The Kickoff to Christmas Makers Market was doing a community challenge in 2019. With that they were asking area businesses to collect items and dollar donations from their employees for the Abbotsford Christmas Bureau. The company whose employees brought the most donations to the Makers Market won $500 to go toward its staff Christmas party (or to donate back into the charity or do with it whatever the employees chose).
For ideas about other things to do in the area see our articles about Abbotsford and the Fraser Valley.