The easy way to buy holiday gifts

Holiday craft fairs are popping up all over the city. Here’s what’s happening this week.

Smart Design Mart
Norwegian Wood’s booth display at last year’s Smart Design Mart. Photo by Cindy Lopez

This month, malls are even more hellish than usual, so it’s a good thing there are bazaars popping up all over the city. Whether it’s about chasing down presents to prove you like the people in your life or just to re-up the décor in your hibernation zone, the season for sentimental commerce has arrived.

Wrebbit 3D NutcrackerLes Grands Ballets’s annual Nutcracker Market occupies the Palais des Congrès through Dec. 8, offering mostly higher-end artisanal vendors plus a few private wine importers, schmancy olive oils and baked goods. This fair is heavy on food and luxury bath and beauty products, but there’s also some cool shit for kids here, like architectural puzzles by Wrebbit 3-D. 1001 Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle. Thurs–Fri 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Sat–Sun 11 a.m.–5p.m.

Smart Design Mart, happening this weekend from Dec. 6–8, is a carefully curated showcase that spotlights the city’s brightest young designers and artists. There’s no shortage of new and used clothing and jewellery, toys, food and cute things for your house and kitchen — the hard part’s not spending your whole festive wad on yourself. Best of all, the sale’s huge space in the garment district makes this one of the only places where you can do December shopping while having room to breathe. Be sure to stop by on Friday, Dec. 6, when Cult MTL hits Smart Design Mart to launch our new December print issue and pass out some free cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon for the fatigued seasonal shoppers. 5505 Casgrain, Fri 5–9 p.m., Sat 11 a.m.–6 p.m., Sun 12–5 p.m.

Felted "stuffed" animals from Felt Factory.
Felted “stuffed” animals from Felt Factory.

A few venues around town are staging pop-up fairs. Just down the street from Smart Design Mart, Studio Vintage offers deals on used clothing from a curated selection of vendors Dec. 6–8. 5333 Casgrain #807, Fri.5–8 p.m., Sat 12–6 p.m., Sun 1–5 p.m. On Dec. 7, The Plant’s Holiday Art Market brings together 10ish Mile End artists for a one-day-only sale in the indie co-op and venue. Ask Google for the address, 12–7 p.m. Galerie Fringe offers Bazaarts on Sunday Dec. 8—like all things Fringe, it’s a totally un-curated and democratic collection of art, baked goods, handicrafts, jewellery and more. Mainline Theatre (3997 St-Laurent), 2–8 p.m.

Also this weekend, Dec. 6–8, get deals on original contemporary art at la Foire du 3eme, with artists opening their studio doors to sell small works. 135 Van Horne, third floor, vernissage Dec. 6, 5–10 p.m., open Dec. 7–8 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Aprim kicks off their holiday bazaar and fundraiser Dec. 7, with free teas from David’s Teas, modestly priced art and a new show on the walls by François Morelli. Belgo Building (372 Ste-Catherine W.), #426, Sat. 12–5 p.m. Galerie Circulaire hosts its annual Prêt-à-emporter fundraising art sale through Dec. 14, with over 400 original works priced between $50–$275. 5445 de Gaspé #101, hours vary

Old Skool Craft Fair brings a broad cross-section of locally handmade goods by over 100 vendors to the Polish church on St-Viateur for two consecutive weekends, Dec. 7–8 and  14–15. While you’re there, keep an eye open for Yelp!, which will be running a wrapping and gift donation station to help out the Montreal Ronald McDonald House for sick kids and their families. Église St-Michel (5580 St-Urbain), Sat–Sun 11 a.m.–6 p.m. ■

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