Do unique, hand-crafted artisan gifts make the best presents? Artsolutely!

Artisan market returns to the Community Arts Centre until Dec. 24

Vernon’s favourite one-stop shop for amazing hand-crafted artisan gifts has returned!

The 13th annual “Artsolutely” artisans market is filling the Vernon Community Arts Centre gallery space and two large studios with a wide array of work from more than two dozen local artists. Pottery, paintings, woodworking, photography, fibre arts … it’s all here, and a whole lot more!

An opportunity to support local artists and a fundraiser for the Vernon Community Arts Centre programming, the market runs right through Christmas Eve and features both established favourites of the long-running show and 10 newcomers, says the arts council’s Sheri Kunzli. The Arts Centre is operated by the Arts Council of the North Okanagan, a non-profit society and registered charity.

So why has Artsolutely has been a local favourite for 13 years?

  1. You won’t find this at the big box stores – “All the work is handmade by local artisans – one of a kind. So if you’re looking for unique gifts you won’t see everywhere else, we have it,” Kunzli says. And with new work arriving throughout the show, be sure to check back often.
  2. Quality – Artsolutely is a juried show which ensures high-quality product throughout, and each year the quality keeps getting better.
  3. You don’t have to pay tax! – Because the event is a fundraiser for the arts council, all your purchases are tax-free; the artists take care of the tax on their end.
  4. Did we mention it’s a fundraiser? – Twenty per cent of proceeds go to programs like Joining Hands, a twice-weekly drop-in arts program for people with diverse abilities. “Not only does it build their artistic skills, but it’s very healing, building connections with others in the community and reducing isolation,” Kunzli notes. Funds raised also support workshops and classes for youth from age 5 to 17, helping keep costs affordable for families, and the centre’s Youth Artist in Residence program. Selected teens from the local school district receive a dedicated studio space, a $200 stipend for supplies, mentorship and a show of their work at the end.
  5. There’s fabulous draw prizes – As you stroll the market, be sure to put your name in the draw for a fabulous Starbucks basket, to be drawn Dec. 20, AND a basket of handmade goods from participating artists, to be drawn Dec. 24. Random shoppers will also win small gifts from David’s Tea.
  6. You can tour the centre and get inspired! You might come for the marketplace, but stay to chat with the artists, explore the studios and discover the many possibilities for artists of all ages and experience levels. “We want everyone to feel welcome. The centre isn’t only for established artists; everyone can learn here,” Kunzli notes. Membership in the Arts Council is $30/regular; $15/youth, students and seniors and $45 for a family, which also provides discounts on workshops, drop-in sessions and more.

Visit Artsolutely Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Christmas Eve hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Learn more at vernonarts.ca, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram!

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