2008 Butterdome Craft Sale

After the great experience I had at the Holiday Stop and Shop a few weeks ago, I was looking forward to checking out the 18th annual Butterdome Craft Sale for the first time. Funny how I never thought of stopping by the event during my numerous university years, but no time like the present to rectify past omissions, right?

Mack and I should have thought ahead and planned to take the bus, but it didn’t work out that way this afternoon, and we ended up parking in the zoo on campus. At a flat rate of $3.75, it wasn’t expensive, but it still added to the overall “admission plus” charges that day.

The Craft Sale charges $5 admission for adults, providing access to 240 vendors. We saw a ton of people coming out of the building, arms laden with bags and random knick-knacks purchased in anticipation of the holidays, and we were hoping to get some shopping done in a similar fashion.


Butterdome floor

I think what surprised me the most was the the artisans came from all over Canada – I saw quite a few vendors from Vancouver, Winnipeg and Toronto. And while we did see some very unique items (including Jim Nodge’s iron sculptures, and Tin House Design’s framed squares of reclaimed tin ceiling panels), Mack and I for the most part were disinterested shoppers. It took us just over an hour to walk through the entire floor, and we even took time to pause at the occasional vendor. All we had to show for our visit were two t-shirts Mack bought from Grimm (his favourite says “shouldn’t you be on a ledge somewhere”).

The Butterdome will hold its third Spring Craft Sale from May 1 – 3, but after this experience, I think I will stick with the smaller fairs, like Stop and Shop and the Royal Bison Craft & Art Fair. Though I’m glad the Butterdome helps to push handmade crafts into the “mainstream”, the overall feel is too “corporate” and not as personal as the smaller, grassroots fairs, in my opinion.

5 thoughts on “2008 Butterdome Craft Sale

  1. I think everyone should experience Butterdome at least once in their life! I also went to the Holiday Stop and Shop and found too many vendors selling overpriced jewelry, although I did pick up some cool stuff from the Geek Ware vendor. Most of what I got from the Butterdome show was food, one vendor has the best jam! I will never go back to Kraft. The Spring show is disappointing, I don’t recommend it. Another year of craft shows over.

  2. My wife told me today that her mom paid $30 and change for 3 bowls of chili, 3 buns, and 3 waters at the show. Not all for herself, of course…

  3. I like to browse through the show and find it ideal to get gifts for those social ‘Secret Santa’ gift exchanges. I also got a couple of gifts for upcoming family birthdays. I’d say don’t go on the weekend, go Thursday or Friday night. There were a lot less people and I had nice chats with a couple of vendors. One guy from Lethbridge even remembered me from last year. Water was $3 a bottle, so it pays to plan ahead and bring your own snacks and drinks, and take the bus as you said!

  4. The butterdome was super fun this year! In fact, you can see my booth in the photo you have…. bottom left… Majesty! Glad that you attend the stop and shop show, as it is amazing and just gets amazinger.

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