Numerology: Artisanal markets in B.C. kick off the gift-buying season

Why the province's artisan community wants to craft its own guild hall


As the gift-buying season approaches, that’s about how many craft markets will set up across the province to help local potters, carvers, glass blowers, jewelry makers and other artisans get their wares into holiday shoppers’ hands. Indie fairs are growing fast, and convention-centre events draw visitors by the tens of thousands, but they alone can’t support an artisan industry facing limited opportunity the rest of the year, says Raine McKay, executive director of the Craft Council of British Columbia. That’s why her organization is considering locations for a proposed $9.9-million B.C. Centre for Craft, which it hopes to have running within seven to 10 years. “Canada is well respected for our craft tradition outside our country, but there isn’t the same audience in B.C. because we haven’t cultivated it,” McKay explains. “The centre will give the guilds space to help their artists innovate, while we can engage the corporate world a lot more, and educate the community that has the money to pay for it.”