Our much anticipated Winter Market happening December 12th -15th at the beautiful Nanaimo North Town Centre will deliver the best of Vancouver Island’s local handmade artisans. With
65,000+ square feet of floor space at the old Sears building at Nanaimo North Town Centre, we support artisans and local talent in greater Vancouver Island region to create a unique opportunity to shop local for the holiday season. (Last year’s market was well attended and happened the weekend before Christmas)
Vancouver Island Market began during the spring of 2018 after owner, Mei Dunlop, with her 10 yrs. background in ecommerce as an Etsy seller and no.1 custom supplier in Canada, began planning markets after moving to Vancouver Island and was amazed by all the talented makers around her.
Even though there were many craft markets on the island, our talented artisans were not well represented and most were left doing markets like a circuit weekly to make ends meet. Hence, Mei volunteered her time and
expertise in 2016 and led a group of Etsy Sellers who at the time never saw the potential and impact social marketing and strategic planning had and successfully executed a well-attended one day event. With every market she planned, there was a growing following and trend to seek out curated and professional makers on Vancouver Island.
By March 2018, when Vancouver Island Market was first established, over 18,000 people attended this inaugural event which started within the corridors of Nanaimo North Town Centre and just 80 vendors. By December 2018, a 3 day winter market was planned, and we secured over 200 vendors including a gift shop area that attracted folks from up and down Vancouver Island. Nanaimo News Bulletin attended the event and created a social post to share on their Facebook Page.
Since then, we’ve had success in connecting vendors to local consignment stores, local businesses to artisans for local events, musicians to other markets among other opportunities for small businesses.