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Civic Impact

Art in St. Lawrence Market now selected by jury

St Lawrence Market building exterior

Trying to take its arts and crafts offerings up a notch, St. Lawrence Market has established a new juried program designed to attract unique and high quality vendors.

Arts at the Market will feature 18 booths in a tent operating from March to October. Vendors will be able to select which weekends they’ll participate, so there will be a rotating selection of offerings over the course of the season.

Something of an evolution of the Market Cart program which was launched in 1998, this new approach aims to showcase handmade items that are unique, marketable and timely. It draws on how other famous public markets like Vancouver’s Granville Island and Seattle’s Pike Place Market have encouraged excellence among arts and crafts vendors.

Certainly having jurors who have their fingers on the pulse is a key element of the program. Lila Karim, managing director of North York Arts, Trisha Lepper, partnership specialist at Etsy Canada, Melissa Routley, program manager at Artscape’s Creative Placemaking Lab and Milyda Scott, pottery artist and committee member at The Potter's Studio for the inaugural team.

“They’ve developed criteria for what they’ll be looking for,” says Samantha Wiles, supervisor of marketing, communications and events at St. Lawrence Market Complex. “We’re really going to draw on what they’re seeing in their roles, what are the emerging trends, what are the things that do well in this environment.”

The program is part of a larger effort to bring more activity and colour to the St. Lawrence Market and the surrounding area. “We’re going to be rolling out several place-making initiatives in 2016 and 2017, different ways to build community spirit, animate the indoor and outdoor areas,” says Wiles.

Writer: Paul Gallant
Source: Samantha Wiles

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