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 is expected to run from November 10th to 14th. Until then, for people wanting to buy high-quality BC-made art, check out the Circle Craft Co-op‘s physical store at Granville Island. It features the work of many of the same artists that participate in the big event in the fall. The bricks and mortar location is also open throughout the year.
Circle Craft Market at the Vancouver Convention Centre
The Circle Craft Market is the largest and most impressive craft fair 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 was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021 the event is scheduled to take place from November 10th to 14th.
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!
If you want to support local artists and find something unique, high quality and memorable for yourself or someone special, then this is the place to go!
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 Wednesday, November 11th, until Sunday, November 15th. The event was cancelled, however, because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The event in 2021 is scheduled to run from Wednesday, November 10th, until Sunday, November 14th.
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.
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 will likely be similar.
TIP: Buy your tickets online before the first day of the event and save a couple of dollars. Also, admission after 5 pm is half price (or at least it has been in previous years).
Note: Admission is 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.
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
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, a red carpet to walk on and 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.
For more information see the 2019 Circle Craft Show Guide.
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, which 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.
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 any day then admission is half price.
Note: On November 11th the Circle Craft Market usually honors Remembrance Day with a moment of silence at 11 am and the playing of bagpipes.
About Circle Craft
Circle 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.
To learn more about this event see the Circle Craft website.
For a list of other Christmas craft markets, click Vancouver Craft Fairs.