I finally made it out to Stop & Shop at the Trans Alta Arts Barns (10330 84 Avenue) on Thursday night, even though I’d been meaning to check out this “alternative craft show” for some time. Based on the article I read a few days back in the Journal, I was expecting a venue that would be filled with loud, obtrusive music that would make it difficult to browse wares comfortably. What I got was something completely different, and entirely fabulous.
The Arts Barns had been transformed into a marketplace, with the lobby, the boardroom, and the Westbury Theatre showcasing over 85 vendors selling everything from accessories, home decor items, to clothing.
A small stage was set up in the Westbury Theatre, on which a folksy, acoustic-guitar slinging singer was performing. His lovely tunes were carried into the other rooms via speakers, and I found that his music set the tone for the relaxed but jovial atmosphere in the hall. Stop & Shop was really like nothing I have ever been to in Edmonton – it felt more informal than other craft sales (like the one at the Butterdome each year), and made shopping a fun experience, with music, food, and drinks.
I ended up picking up a few things – a clever greeting card from Miss Dishy, an adorable Jam book by Sarah Jackson, and a new friend (Netty, an Ugly Doll by Belua Designs – I have Jane to thank for the last two purchases).
Ugly Dolls (too cute!)
Holiday Stop & Shop is on until Saturday (remember to print the $2 off admission coupon from the website before you go), but if you can’t make it, there are a few other off-the-beaten path craft fairs to attend:
- November 18 & 19, 9am-3pm: Community Marketplace @ MacEwan South Campus (7319 29 Avenue by Room 145)
- November 21 & 22, various times: Christmas Arts Bazaar @ The Carrot (9351 118 Avenue)
- November 24, 2-10pm: Guerilla Boutique @ The ARTery (9535 Jasper Ave)
- November 28-30, varied hours: Pizzazz! Not just another craft and gift show @ Edmonton Aviation Heritage Centre (11410 Kingsway Avenue), $3 admission, $1 off with Food Bank donation
- November 29 & 30, 10am-5pm: Royal Bison Craft & Art Fair @ Cosmopolitan Music Society (8426 Gateway Blvd), $2 admission
- December 11, 5-10pm: Sip and Splurge @ Savoy (10401 Whyte Avenue), bring a Food Bank donation for admission