The 2nd annual Strathcona Artisan Market (SAM) will feature 40 vendors selling a variety of handmade goods made by low-income residents in the Downtown Eastside and Strathcona neighbourhoods.
The market offers textiles, ceramics, visual art, food, face painting and crafts for kids plus four vendor-led workshops that give attendees the chance to learn how they create their work. There will be a busker stage with capacity for 23 local performers.
Other markets in Vancouver can have table fees ranging from $300 to $500 making them inaccessible to low-income residents but SAM provides booths for free.
Organizers also work with the vendors to help them prepare for the market such as providing advice on how to price their work.
"They just need to show us that they are talented and that they are ready to sell. Most vendors don't know where to start so we provide that place so they can feel comfortable to start," says SAM marketing coordinator Greta Lin.
The market started in 2017 by a group of Downtown Eastside residents that wanted to create an accessible, low barrier market for neighbourhood creatives.
One of the vendors is a single mom on income assistance that was able to use the market as an opportunity to jump-start her catering business. She has grown her client base to catering for small businesses and will be participating in the market again this year.
Lin says they provide kitchen space for vendors to prepare their food. "We have a Chinese grandma who makes amazing dumplings so one of our coordinators is going to help her make a stand to sell dumplings and hot sauce."
One of the participating artists makes prints out of vintage neon signs in Vancouver and another carves wooden feathers -- usually from a spot in Gastown.
"I just want to encourage people to come out and have a good time. Don't see this as a charity event. We want it to be a space where vendors feel empowered by people appreciating their art and wanting to buy their creations," she says.
SAM will take place on August 4 and 5 in the 400 block of Princess Avenue from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.