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Vancouver Christmas Circle Craft Market

Circle Craft Market

Taking place at the Vancouver Convention Centre in November, the Circle Craft Market is the best place for Christmas shopping and quality art gift ideas.

Because of COVID-19, the 2020 edition of the market was cancelled. The 2021 event happened during the week of November 10th to 14th. In 2022 the Circle Craft Market runs from November 9th to 13th.

The Circle Craft Market is a big event and the artists come from all over the province. In past years the event itself has been managed by an artist’s cooperative. Since last year, however, it is now operated by an Ontario-based company called Signatures.

To learn more about the November event at the Vancouver Convention Centre, continue reading. To learn about other craft fairs elsewhere in the region, including free ones and ones that have free parking, see our article about Lower Mainland Christmas Craft Fairs.

 

Christmas Craft Fairs

 

Circle Craft Market at the Vancouver Convention Centre

The Circle Craft Market is one of the largest and most impressive craft fairs of the season in Vancouver. It features over 300 exhibitors selling everything from handmade jewellery to soaps, home decor, locally-made art and hundreds of Christmas present ideas you won’t find at most other places. In a typical year more than 40,000 people attend.

The 2020 event didn’t happen due to the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021 the event took place from November 10th to 14th. In 2022 it runs from November 9th to 13th.

 

Circle Craft at Vancouver Convention Centre

 

What’s Special about Circle Craft?

In years when it does take place, the Circle Craft Market is exceptional for a number of reasons.

  • First – it’s huge! You won’t find as many talented local BC artists, artisans and culinary creators at one place this time of year anywhere!
  • Second – the quality of the products is exceptional. This is an upscale market featuring Canadian handcrafted goods, art and artisanal products.
  • Third – Circle Craft is a BC Artist Cooperative, meaning that it’s owned and operated by artists. It’s local!

Note: As mentioned above, in past years the event has been run by Circle Craft which is a local artists’ cooperative. As of 2021, however, it’s run by Signatures which is an Ontario-based company.

If you want to support local artists and find something unique, high-quality and memorable for yourself or someone special, then this is a good place to go!

 


VANCOUVER CHRISTMAS MARKETS

One of Vancouver’s top Christmas attractions and places to find quality artisan products happens between late November and December 24th. It’s the Vancouver Christmas Market! Another great event featuring numerous local artisan vendors is the All About Gifts Expo in Chilliwack in December.


 

Circle Craft Dates & Times

The Circle Craft Fair is a five-day event that takes place in mid-November each year. In 2020 it was scheduled to run from November 11th until November 15th. The event was cancelled, however, because of the coronavirus pandemic. The event returned in 2021 and ran from November 10th to November 14th.

In 2022 the Circle Craft Christmas Market is scheduled to take place from Wednesday, November 9th, until Sunday, November 13th.

In years when it does happen, the Circle Craft Market is usually open Wednesday to Friday from 10 am to 9 pm, on the Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm, and on the Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.

 

Mislean Confections at Circle Craft
Milseán Shoppe at the Circle Craft Market

 

Circle Craft Location

The Vancouver Convention Centre West at 1055 Canada Place is where the Circle Craft Market takes place.

 

Tickets & Admission

The same as the year before, in 2019 regular admission to the Circle Craft Market cost $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and youth, and free for children 12 years of age and under. 2021 prices were the same. 2022 details are to be confirmed.

TIP: Admission after 5 pm is half price on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Note: Admission is usually good for unlimited re-entry. Tickets are non-transferable, but they are valid for the full five days and allow re-entry for the same person throughout the entire event (or at least that was the case in a previous year). Just be sure to pick up your re-entry pass before you leave on your first visit.

 

Lone Willow at Circle Craft Market

 

Circle Craft Exhibitors

Exhibitors at the Circle Craft Market include local, BC and Canadian artists and artisans. There are glassblowers, leather workers, wood and metal sculptors, fashion and jewellery designers, toy makers, chocolatiers, gourmet bakers, BC wineries and all kinds of talented artisans participating. In fact, participants typically include the following;

  • Over a dozen candle and soap makers
  • Over 30 adult fashion and kids clothing designers
  • Close to 40 fashion and fine jewellery makers
  • 20+ potters and ceramic artists
  • 20+ gourmet food manufacturers
  • Over two dozen glass, leather and metal product artisans
  • Almost 40 exhibitors offering fashion accessories
  • … and dozens of other creators of amazing  products

An example of an artisan food vendor to look out for is Sweet Thea Bakery. They don’t participate every year, but they do sometimes.

Sweet Thea has retail locations in Vancouver, Langley and Tsawwassen. Their pastry chef used to work at one of the world’s top-rated bed and breakfasts and her baked goods are amazing. We love their Stollen in particular, and their premium Christmas cake is the best we’ve ever tasted! If you like fruit cake and other Christmas-y baked goods, you’ll want to check out Sweet Thea if you can find them.

 

Sweet Thea Bakery at Circle Craft Christmas Market
Sweet Thea Bakery at Circle Craft Market

 

What Else to Expect

At the Circle Craft Market expect to see lots of people, beautiful displays of art and handmade artisanal products, festive Christmas decorations and a red carpet to walk on. You’ll also find plenty of friendly artist vendors to chat with and buy from.

In addition to all the many artists with their exhibits for sale, the Circle Craft Market also features live entertainment with local dancers, singers and musicians. As well, for the convenience of shoppers, there is an on-site restaurant and both coat check and parcel storage services.

 

Best Christmas Activities

 

Advice and Suggestions

Below are suggestions on how to make the most of your Circle Craft Market experience.

TIP #1: Don’t forget that admission is good for the full duration of the 5-day event (or at least it has been in the past). This is great if you find too many things to carry home in one visit. Just don’t forget to get your non-transferable re-entry pass before you leave on your first day.

TIP #2: If you like what you see then check out the Circle Craft Shop & Gallery at #1-1666 Johnston Street at the Net Loft next time you’re at Granville Island. It’s not as big and extensive as the fair, but it’s open 360 days a year and features works by many of the same artists.

TIP #3: In addition to window shopping and pampering yourself and friends with special gifts, be sure to enjoy the festive live entertainment. Also, look out for the live artisan demonstrations taking place throughout the venue over the course of the five days. Weavers, seamstresses, jewellers, leather makers, stamp artists and potters will all be demonstrating their techniques at various times.

 

Pottery at the Circle Craft Market
Pottery by artist Gordon Hutchens

 

TIP #4: Many of the exhibitors are themselves the artists and creators of the products you’ll see at the Circle Craft Market. Unless they happen to be totally swamped at the time with customers, chat with them and ask about their art. It’ll enhance your experience and they’ll love to tell you about their creations, how things are made and what inspires them to do what they do.

TIP #5: If you want to save a couple of dollars then don’t forget to buy your tickets online in advance. Also, if you show up after 5 pm on weekdays then admission is half price.

TIP #6: Some of Vancouver’s most expensive parking is near the Vancouver Convention Centre. Take public transit if you can. It’ll save you money and it’s better for the environment. The big disadvantage though is that you’ll then have to carry all your stuff home with you!

 

Remembrance Day Weekend Activities

 

About Circle Craft

Circle Craft LogoCircle Craft is a local BC Artist Cooperative that has been supporting local artists since the early 1970s. Its mission is “to promote the development, recognition and success of members and their work.”

The cooperative has been running the Circle Craft Market event in November annually for over 40 years, since 1973, and also has a year-round store on Granville Island.

 

Circle Craft Store Video

To give you an idea of what the Circle Craft Store looks like on Granville Island, check out the following video.

 

 

Other Information

To learn more about this event see the Circle Craft website.

For a list of other Christmas craft markets, click Vancouver Craft Fairs.

For more ideas on things to do in the Lower Mainland, see Vancouver’s November Calendar or listing of annual Festivals & Events.