Say No To Mall Mayhem
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Say No To Mall Mayhem

Two of our contributors, Shari Kasman and Jenelle Rupchand, are all about arts & crafts this weekend. In this roundup, Shari brings you some of the many weekend fairs going on, while Jenelle’s stocking up on some fair trade goods.
Baby Liam wants something soft and turquoise, Aunt Priscilla needs a lavender shawl, and Herman the co-worker would love a fashionable paperweight. With crowds galore and awful renditions of the top Xmas hits, the mall is a terrible option for holiday shopping. Check out a craft fair this weekend to find something unique for that (un)special someone.
To buy crafts while being entertained by entertainment, head to Sneaky Dee’s today for the Pedal to the Metal Craft Fair. Put on by the Church of Craft, the PWYC event features 30 vendors to the sounds of live music including Aidan Baker, NAW, Jakob Thiesen, slowedownrecordsound and Picastro.
Crafters will also be selling crafts today at RADIO OPERA: A Benefit Concert for CARE Canada. Sellers at the show include bookhou design, Coldsnap Bindery, Damned Dollies Izik Levy (creator of the Sock Monkey Pendants), Nathalie-Roze and SLO. The Constantines and Jason Collett will be playing music at this afternoon’s event at Lee’s Palace. Further details can be found in this week’s Tall Poppy interview.
The Tranzac is holding an Artisan’s Gift Fair on Saturdays and Sundays until Dec 24 from 11-6pm. Admission is free! To coordinate the holiday gift shopping with music listening, check out the Tranzac’s calendar of events.
Do the art/craft shopping while confessing your sins at The 18th Annual Christmas Artists’ Market at Bellefair United Church (2002 Queen E) on Saturdays 11-4pm through Dec 23. For another repent while you shop event, visit the St. Andrew’s Christmas Art Market (383 Jarvis) which is happening today from 10-5pm. Admission to both events is free!
For art rather than craft, G+ Galleries (50 Gladstone) is exhibiting G(ift) Hunting for the holiday season. Over 50 national and international artists’ work is being sold for under $345. Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Sundays, 1-6pm.
The One Of A Kind Show and Sale will end on Sunday. Unfortunately, the cost of admission is $12 ($10 for online tickets). Since that’s a bit pricey, it’s wise to spend that money on the holiday gifts themselves and/or red wine to keep things warm for the winter season.

2006_12_1fairtradecertified2.jpgThe holiday season is a reasonable excuse to buy twenty sets of cat napkin rings to give to your friends, but why do that when you can buy things that actually won’t make them ashamed to know you?
Ten Thousand Villages is hosting the Festival Sale of Fair Trade this weekend as part of the Mennonite Christmas Festival. It launched yesterday evening, but you can still buy your gifts today until 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Brigantine Room at Harbourfront’s York Quay Centre.
Fair trade ensures that workers, producers, and the environment are respected and protected. Their products include more than the usual coffee beans, such as tea, honey, rice, sugar, cotton clothing, sports balls, handicrafts, jewelry, and even fair trade roses. Check if the item is marked by a labeling initiative of the Fairtrade Labeling Organization International (FLO International), like TransFair Canada (see image).
If you can’t make it to the Festival, you can still buy fair trade merchandise online or at one of the four Ten Thousand Villages stores in the city. Do a worker, the environment, and yourself a favour and stay away from those cat napkin rings.