It is that time of year again. (Yes, already!) Craft artists and creators are gearing up for the holiday season of craft fairs and sales. The CCF/FCMA recognizes the importance of these fairs and sales in terms of local support for craft artists and makers, and in providing the public with an alternative to online and big box store gift-giving.
According to Canadian accounting firm PwC’s latest annual report, it was projected that Canadians spend an average of $1,563 in holiday spending and that despite the rise in online shopping trends a whopping 63% of holiday shopping will still be done in big box stores. Craft shops, shows, and fairs provide a key alternative to this experience.
But how do we let customers know the difference between buying from a big box store and buying local? The CCF/FCMA has four important points to share when it comes to holiday giving:
Buying local means supporting people & your local economy
Revenue from big business isn’t staying within your community. Shop where you know you’re giving back to your community, and know that your purchase has a direct impact on the lives of the makers. As of 2017 small businesses employed 8.3 million people in Canada. By shopping local this holiday season you can be part of the system that helps small businesses and craft artists survive and thrive. Additionally, this supports the families behind their success!
One of a kind
When looking for gifts at a local business or from a local craft artist, you’re more likely to find gifts that are unique or one of a kind. Unlike chain stores, handcrafted items are gifts you won’t find anywhere else. These objects often come with unique stories from the people that made them, or the place it came from, which makes them even more meaningful to the giver and the receiver. Consider engaging in the narrative of craft to tell a story along with your gift!
Cultivating Connection & Community
Shopping local helps promote diversity and cultivates connection to and within your community. Small businesses and individual artists give personality to their cities, making them more colourful and contributing to the sense that your city is a fantastic place to live.
Influencing future generations
The next generation are looking to be inspired. Help make this happen by supporting the success stories of craft artists today. With each entrepreneur, visible artist, and skilled creator, the next generation will see infinite possibilities regarding what they can do in their own futures. By buying local, you can help others discover the importance of craft in their own lives. This can inspire the next generation to do the same, supporting the ongoing preservation of the culture of craft.
The CCF/FCMA encourages you to connect with your provincial craft council and craft artists regarding upcoming craft fairs in your region. Check out the following list of some of the upcoming events the craft councils across Canada have to offer in the coming months. Find something special for yourself or a loved one. From hand to hand, give the gift of craft.
Craft Council of Newfoundland & Labrador
Conseil des métiers d’art du Québec:
Show/Fair: “le salon des métiers d’art du québec” https://www.metiersdart.ca/salons/salon-metiers-art-quebec
Saskatchewan Craft Council:
Show/Fair: “Wintergreen” https://saskcraftcouncil.org/markets/wintergreen-fine-craft-market/
Alberta Craft Council:
Manitoba Craft Council & C2 Centre for Craft
Craft New Brunswick
New Brunswick College of Craft & Design
Craft Nova Scotia
PEI Crafts Council:
Arts Underground (Yukon)
Nunavut Arts & Crafts Association (NACA)