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7 holiday markets to check out in Vancouver this season

Shop for local crafts, goods, and foods at these festive events
There are several markets showcasing locally made goods, crafts, foods, and gifts to visit and shop from this holiday season in Vancouver, including the unique Weirdos Holiday Market.

From the traditionally festive to the ultra-chic, the downright weird (but awesome) to the decidedly wholesome, there is a winter market shopping experience to suit everyone on your holiday list -- and to get a little something for yourself, too.

Holiday markets started selling their wintry goods early this year in Metro Vancouver, taking a little heat off a very busy Jolly Saint Nick. A couple of larger markets, such as the German-inspired Vancouver Christmas Market, opened in mid-November. 

Have a look at some of the best craft and artisanal markets to check out across Vancouver in early December that feature local goods, foods, and art, perfect for holiday gift shopping.

Vancouver Night Market  - Winter Edition

The Vancouver Night Market offers one night of festive cheer outside of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Visitors can enjoy over 30 food trucks and local vendors, including a variety of cuisine options, art, and clothing.

A traditional lion dance will also make its way through the event at Robson Square.

Event attendees can visit the gallery's current exhibits at no cost or by donation. 

When: Dec. 1, 2023, from 6-10 p.m.

Where: Outside the Vancouver Art Gallery - 800-block of Robson Street

Cost: Free admission; donations welcome

Chinatown Holiday Market

The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden will be transformed into a winter wonderland for the third Community Days event of 2023. Organizers say the event will showcase the elegance of a Ming Dynasty Scholars garden and give attendees the chance to buy some distinctive gifts for the holiday season.

The Chinatown Holiday Market will feature a selection of Chinatown's most cherished businesses, as well as local vendors and artisans. Attendees can enjoy a variety of snacks and food while they browse the vendors, including the Hey Cafe & Deli, Keto options from Caveman Shamshiri Cafe,  spicy popcorn, and sweet treats from The Dessert Club. Vendors will be selling handcrafted jewellery, candles, art prints, teas, and more.

There will be several live music and dance performances, as well as public tea ceremonies on both days. A special visitor from the "Far East" Pole will also make an appearance in a lucky red suit.

Have a look at some of the scheduled event times online.

When: Dec. 2 and Dec. 3, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 

Where: Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden - 578 Carrall St.

Cost: Free for B.C. residents (ID required) 

Magkasama Christmas market

The annual, virtual Magkasama Christmas Market is up and running, offering a place for visitors to browse a selection of 23 vendors and then return to pick up their order at the "Magkasama Christmas Haul" at the Shameless Buns Restaurant on Main Street.

Magkasama (which means together in Tagalog) celebrates "local Filipino/Canadian-owned businesses in the Lower Mainland while sharing Filipino food and culture and creating a sense of nostalgia." The virtual event was created by Matt Brennan and Corvette Romero who also own Shameless Buns.

‌Organizers say that each vendor was carefully selected based on their brands and the wonderful products they sell. Some of them include Filipino Spaghetti, Longaniza Smash Burger Kits, Filipino Children's Books, Sampugita Candles, Adobo Flakes, and Chili Oil.

When: Now through Dec. 3, from 8 a.m.-midnight.; Pick-up dates: Dec. 8-10, from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. 

Where: Pick up at Shameless Buns - 5772 Fraser St.

Cost: Free

The Weirdos Holiday Market

The weirdest market of the year returns for a seventh year offering its trademark freaky, festive flair. 

Each year, Weirdos Holiday Market founder and organizer Rachel Zottenberg carefully curates the holiday offering, selecting a range of artists that each sell a bevy of weird, whimsical, or abnormal offerings.

This year the event will showcase a bounty of one-of-a-kind, unusual, and "occasionally outrageous" gifts from over 50 artists, including planters made from deconstructed doll heads, jewellery incorporating humanely sourced animal bones, pottery fused into the shape of human mouths, Pride-themed embroidery, artwork made from genuine wasp nests, mounted insects, upcycled vintage lamps, witchlike blown-glass pieces, and hundreds of other rare or one-of-a-kind collectibles.

When: Dec. 9 and 16, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Dec. 10 and 17, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday Night Markets (19+): Dec. 8 & 15; 5-10 p.m.

Where: Russian Hall - 600 Campbell Ave.

Cost: $5 for ages 11 and up (by donation for children 10 and under)

Make it 

Now celebrating 15 years, attendees to this PNE Forum event will have an opportunity to browse and buy from over 250 makers offering goods and crafts that showcase sophisticated talent in Canadian art, craft, and design.

The Make It festival kicks off on Dec. 7 and promises an "enchanting shopping experience with a festive atmosphere, food trucks, and unique sip-and-shop experiences."

One ticket is good for the entire festival, meaning that you can visit on any of the four days that it is open to the public. 

When: Dec. 7 from 5 -9 p.m.; Dec.  8 from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Dec. 9: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Dec. 10 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where: PNE Forum - 2901 E Hastings St.

Cost: $10 online, $12 at the door, and kids 12 and under are free. Buy tickets

Yactac Craft Fair

Word on the street is that there is that there will be cake at this local craft fair -- and a whole lot more. 

Now in its 10th year, the Yactac Craft Fair offers free admission and takes place on Main Street. This year, the event will feature a range of vendors selling a variety of items, including paintings, prints, photographs, holiday cards, jewellery, embroidered goods, stationaries, zines, art jamming sessions, tattoo sessions, baked goods, tea blends, textiles, and more.

Have a look at this year's vendors on the event page. 

When: Dec. 9, from 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Where: Red Gate Arts Society -1965 Main St.

Cost: Free but you can donate to the art galleries. 

First Pick Handmade – 3rd Annual Holiday Pop-Up 

Visitors can peruse an array of high-quality and handmade fashions for gifts and their homes in the 3,300-square-foot boutique for the sustainable shopping event on Main. 

The 3rd annual First Pick Handmade Holiday Pop-Up Market will feature over 30 designers with goods for all genders that were all made locally, by hand, and do not feature mass production. 

"From SINDstudio, who create modern and beautiful ceramics, to Clay Plus Jewelry, who designs bold, unconventional jewellry, we have unique designers with a vast and extensive selection of work to choose from," says Janna Hurtzig, First Pick Handmade Founder and Curator.‌

Have a look at a selection of the holiday vendors on the event website. 

When: Dec. 9-Dec. 10, from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Where: Heritage Hall - 3102 Main St.

Cost: $3 per person payable at the door or online