With more than 800 designers, artists and makers on hand, the Toronto gathering – now in its 44th year – is one of the biggest craft shows in the North America. From a competition of candy-themed products to a colourful workshop with Tiffany Pratt, here’s why we’re excited to go
We don’t need to remind you that it’s One of a Kind Show season, but we will anyways: The Winter Show – which is, we should note, a phenomenal place for holiday shopping – runs from November 22 to December 2. This year, they’re promising over 800 unique exhibitors, over 150 of which are new to the Show, ranging from Canadian designers, artists and emerging makers.
Like who, you ask? There are too many to list. But you’ll find unique, handmade ceramics, jewellery, skincare products, leather goods and everything in between. Operating since 1975, a community has emerged around the show: it’s not just a place to buy things, but a place to exchange ideas, stories and objects through the culture of craft.
“Over the past few years we’ve seen a shift in the number of DIYers, makers and entrepreneurs, and as a result, One of a Kind has grown in size and in diversity. We aim to support local makers, crafters, artists and artisans and provide them with all of the tools for success. We envision One of a Kind not only as a marketplace, but also a town square, a meeting place where people come together to give craft the commanding attention it deserves,” the show’s Director, Janice Leung, says.
Key to that town square – and its ongoing evolution – is the belief that craft can enrich lives with diverse context and perspectives. Tiffany Pratt, the fairy godmother of colour, promises to transform a classic décor staple – she isn’t saying what it’ll be yet – in a DIY workshop presented by Krylon. Jessi Cruickshank will grace the Main Stage with a keynote address, followed by a moderated talk and interactive game. Down the center aisle of the Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place, you’ll find a Candy Competition, where exhibitors will draw the sweetest inspirations and create unique pieces based on their favourite holiday candies. “The competition is something I look forward to at each Show,” says Leung. “Every year, I am blown away by the creativity and hard work our exhibitors put into each entry, and trust me, your shopping list will get a little longer after perusing this display.”
Also, you can stay connected at the Winter Wonderland Wi-Fi Lounge presented by Ontario Wood. Put those feet up after a long day of craft goodness.
If you’ve ever witnessed One of a Kind, you’d know it’s a celebration of all things Canadian and hand-made. But that’s only half the story: it’s also a place to seek, discover, dig and collect. It’s where you find an item that’ll change your home, discover that perfect gift or meet your next favourite artisan. In other words, it’s one of a kind.