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This holiday market for 'weirdos' offers thousands of eccentric gifts in Vancouver

Let out your inner freak at this awesome holiday market.

Vancouver's favourite (and only) holiday market specifically for weirdos returns to the city to deck the hall with oddities galore.

The Weirdos Holiday Market takes place on two weekends in December this year, affording eccentric shoppers several opportunities to find the perfect gift for the oddball(s) in their life. 

Showcasing the work of 40 artists, the strange and festive event showcases a bounty of one-of-a-kind, unusual, and "occasionally outrageous" gifts, ranging from everything from magical pottery to witchy wares to quirky clothing to anatomical curiosities and much more. 

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.

For the first time, the market will expand its usual weekend hours to include two Friday Night Markets for adult shoppers aged 19 and up. These evenings will feature "R-rated curios suited only to (slightly more) mature eyes."

And while many of the items are holiday-inspired, others pieces are suitable for any occasion, albeit with a decidedly eccentric flair. For example, one of the vendors has been crafting "plague doctor" masks for several years, long before the foreboding, crow-like pieces became timely. They are a big hit these days, however. 

Punk Rock Pastries, a local company known for crafting impressive and eccentric cakes and goodies, will also be returning to the event for a second year. 

Some of the artisans featured at the sixth annual market include:

  • Brutally Beautiful: Photography, sculpture, and jewelry by artist Amanda Bullick, who often incorporates ethically sourced bones into her work.
  • Dirt Spindle: Unusual pottery pieces that have been fused with the shapes of human mouths, nipples, feet, and hands — but are still totally usable. 
  • Inner Wolf Jewelry: Ashya’s work is influenced by her Cree and Turkish ancestry and is "infused with elemental components of the natural and spiritual world." She uses everything from antler sheds to feathers, humanely sourced from elders. 
  • Kwest Costume Art: Handmade leather masks, including “plague doctor” masks.
  • The Paper Nest: Stunning artworks using real wasp nests, delicately placed pearls, and more, that are "made with respect to nature."
  • Phresha: Artwork that explores "whimsical, mystical themes, and featuring strange, magical creatures that reside in a universe parallel to ours."
  • Puppyteeth: Local queer artist Puppyteeth’s dark humour informs the illustrations on his internationally loved prints and cards.
  • Relic Lighting: Electrician Ira Grunwell’s handmade custom lighting pieces incorporate salvaged and vintage material.
  • Ultraviolet Oddities: A returning favourite, this popular artist uses deconstructed plastic dolls to create pieces for the body and home, including wacky planters for a variety of succulents and cacti.

And how does Zottenberg define "weird?"

"To me, it's always the stuff that not everybody is going to like. It's the stuff that's a little left of centre, and often it has something that's a little grotesque or abnormal or a little antique or a little strange or a little snarky or a little over-the-top silly," she explains. 

"But to be a weirdo is just to have those feelings in your heart while you create. To be an artist in itself is to be a weirdo."

Weirdos Holiday Market 2022

When: Saturday, Dec.10 and Dec. 17 from 10 a.m -6 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 11 and Dec. 18 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and new Friday Night Markets (ages 19+) on Dec. 9 and Dec.16 from 6-9 p.m.
Where: The Russian Hall - 600 Campbell Ave., Vancouver
Cost: $5 at the door for ages 13 and up (by donation for children 12 and under).