Now in its 25th year, the Dalplex Christmas Craft Market has developed a reputation as being one of the best craft markets around.
“A lot of people say it’s the best show in the city,” says Brenda MacNeil, the co-ordinator of the event. “A lot of new vendors contact me to come to our show saying they see other people and they say, ‘Oh, you should be in the Dalplex show.’ It’s got a good reputation.”
Karen Wilson agrees. She’s a painter and will be there at this year’s show.
“Dalplex is kind of the crème de la crème,” she says. “It’s got excellent vendors there, really good quality and a good mix.”
This year will mark her seventh year as a vendor at the show.
The show is juried, meaning getting in involves an application process.
“Somebody who wants to be a vendor, they have to come in and meet with us and we look at their product to see if it’s up to standards,” says MacNeil.
The show will feature almost 140 vendors.
“We try not to get too many of the same items,” says MacNeil, “like too many jewellers or potters. We try to have a little bit of everything.”
The show is also known for its wide aisles.
“The place is nice and roomy,” says Wilson. “There’s no crowding.”
There’s also live music, a spacious rest area and a charity coat check. There will also be two booths set-up for non-profit groups so that they can promote their group and fundraise.
There will also be a food drive for Feed Nova Scotia. People who donate a non-perishable food item will be entered into a draw for a prize.
Putting together the event is a year-round affair, says MacNeil.
“I start sending out the contracts in January to the vendors who are here the previous year,” she says.
“It’s an ongoing process.”
The three-day event starts Friday, and runs until Sunday. Regular admission is $6 and there is a $5 fee for seniors 55 and older, Dalplex members and Dalhousie students. A weekend pass for $10 is also available.