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.
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.