Monday, April 15, 2013

Toronto Indie Arts Market - Shopping with a Cause

The Gladstone hotel plays host to all kinds of artsy and crafty events that are usually free or very inexpensive to attend. I normally find these pretty small and quick to check out, so tend to stop by if there are a couple of free hours in my day. This past Saturday, they hosted the Toronto Indie Arts Market, which took over most of the main floor with the three main event spaces packed with local vendors. It is an artisan market that promotes local art, crafts, food, fashion, small press, music, and more. I love local. I love cute. I love quirky. This was a no-brainer for me! 

Admission was $5, with part of the proceeds going to FoodShare. They did offer a number of ways to win free tickets to the event over the preceding week but I didn't manage to get my hands on any of those (for those of you thinking I win everything, how about them peanuts?). I personally consider $5 a small price to pay to help support those trying to make a go of it, so this was no great disappointment. And it warmed my heart to hear that they made enough on admission tickets to donate $700 to FoodShare. Yay for that.

The market itself was bigger than some of the previous art markets I had gone to at the Gladstone, since this one took up all three event spaces on the main floor. The rainy weather must've kept some of the people away and it wasn't too crowded, either, which made wading among the merchant tables a little easier. There were some really beautiful things there that I wanted to take home (there are a lot of creative and talented people out there!) but I can't have it all. In the end, I settled on a rather adorable card (that I'm quite in love with) and a sparkly new headband that I look forward to wearing out.

I believe this was the inaugural event and plans for an encore are in the works, so I would recommend checking that out when it happens. It's a cute market with a good cause.

WHAT: Toronto Indie Arts Market

WHERE: Gladstone Hotel

WHEN: April 13 - 10:30am-4:30pm

COST: $5

INSIDER DETAILS: If you plan on doing any shopping, I would recommend stocking up on some cash. Since the focus of the event is to support local, independent artisans, most of them will not have the capacity to process credit card payments. I'm pretty sure there is an ATM on site, but who likes service fees that can be avoided, right? Also, if you're not looking for anything yourself, it's never too early to start thinking of those Christmas/birthday/wedding/whatever presents. I rarely have to go on separate present-hunting trips since I tend to pick up things for my friends and loved ones whenever I see them, sometimes as much as a year (or more!) ahead of time. It saves me a lot of last-minute scrambling (you know how something always comes up at the most inopportune moment) and is a much more meaningful experience for everyone.

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