This year sees the return of some in-person holiday markets across the NWT after the pandemic forced many to cancel or move online last winter.
You’ve heard by now of the global supply-chain crunch that threatens to be the Grinch stealing your Christmas. NWT-based markets are an obvious solution and who doesn’t want to support local, anyway?
With public health orders in effect, time slots at many markets could fill up quickly and masks will be required for indoor venues. In some cases, proof of vaccination may be required. Check with market organizers before you go.
Here are the markets we know about so far. Did we miss one? Email our newsroom and we’ll add it in.
Saturday, November 13: The Yellowknife Seniors’ Society will have its annual craft and bake sale on Saturday, November 13 from 10am until 3pm at 5710 50 Avenue, the Baker Centre. Up to 40 people are allowed inside at a time. Proof of vaccination is required.
Saturday, November 20 and Sunday, November 21: An NWT Handmade Holiday Market will take place, organized by the NWT Chamber of Commerce in partnership with NWT Arts.
This market runs from 10am until 6pm at the Explorer Hotel with room for 70 shoppers each hour. There is no admission fee. One-hour time slots must be reserved online and proof of vaccination is required. Walk-ins may be accepted if there is room. More than 50 NWT artists will be showcased over the two days.
Saturday, November 27: The Yellowknife Quilters’ Guild holds its Christmas sale from 1pm till 4pm at the Baker Centre. You’ll need proof of vaccination to attend.
Saturday, November 27 and Sunday, November 28: The Yellowknife Guild of Arts and Crafts has a Christmas sale scheduled from 10am till 2pm each day. The sale will also run on December 4 and 5 at the same times.
Wendy Stephenson, the guild’s vice president of sales, said an online link to sign up for 30-minute time slots will be released on Friday, November 12.
Unusually, the Guild held in-person sales last year. Henderson said they “worked really well” despite the pandemic.
“People really seemed to enjoy them because there weren’t big crowds, there was lots of time to come in, so I think this format is working well for us,” she said.
Sunday, November 28: Made in the North will be hosting sales at the Seventh-Day Adventist Church from 10am until 2pm. No reservations are needed.
Shoppers must bring proof of vaccination and ID to be checked at the door. Up to 50 people can be in the market at one time.
A second market will be held on December 12.
Saturday, December 4: The Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife hosts its first holiday market from 10am to 3pm at the Explorer Hotel. More details will follow soon. A call for vendors went out on November 8. Preference will be given to artists who self-identify as 2SLGBTQIPA+, youth, and BIPOC community members.
The Yellowknife Guild of Arts and Crafts sale will run again on December 4 and 5 (see entry for November 27 above).
Sunday, December 5: A “mini-market” will be held at Bush Order Provisions on 180 Enterprise Drive from 12pm to 4pm. Handmade felted items, embroidered mixed media pieces, ceramics, and baked goods and jams will be available to purchase. A maximum of of 25 people can be in the facility at all times.
Dene Nahjo will not run its Indigenous winter market this year because Covid-19 has made it too difficult to plan the event.
The Yellowknife United Church’s Christmas Bazaar will not take place this year. Church administrator Marg Henderson said the church hopes to resume holding the event next year.
In Inuvik, the annual Great Northern Christmas Art, Craft, and Gift Fair will take place from November 26 to 28.
The event is held at the Midnight Sun Complex with handcrafted items from the eight Beaufort Delta communities available for purchase.
An entrance donation of cash or food is requested. All proceeds go to the Inuvik Food Bank.
Vendors interested in participating in the fair can still submit an application.
Hay River will hold its Handmade Market on Saturday, December 4 from 10am until 1pm at the community hall. Admission is free. Proof of vaccination is required.
In Fort Smith, the St Joseph’s Family Centre at 113 Conibear Crescent is holding a craft sale from 1pm till 3pm on Saturday, November 13.
The town’s Northern Life Museum and Cultural Centre is hosting a Christmas Max Sale on November 27 from 1pm until 4pm in the recreation centre.