By: Abbey Jessome

Handmade Hamilton: A Holiday Craft Show and Sale is back for its fifth annual event. Returning to The Staircase Theatre, the craft show and sale is now being held as a weekend-long event on Nov. 26 and 27 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Handmade Hamilton includes a mix of returning and new vendors of jewellery, textiles, ceramics, and more.

Event organizer, Lisa Pijuan-Nomura is a storyteller, dancer and artist from Toronto who moved to Hamilton five years ago. She has been doing craft shows for 10 years and started Handmade Hamilton, once housed in the James North Studio. While that gallery was closing down, Pijuan was holding storytelling events at The Staircase Theatre and decided to bring her craft event to the theatre.

The Staircase Theatre is located at 27 Dundurn St. N. The idea to use this building came from Pijuan-Nomura’s interest in historical buildings.

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“We set up the theatre like a cafe so people can eat and have lunch there as well when they shop. It is an experience that is a very different [from] going to the mall or going to a big box shop.”

An increase in craft shows and events in the city have played a major role in contributing to the strong local-shopping culture. The holiday season is used by local retailers and craft makers to show off their skills and unique styles.

“We have become so inundated with malls… we’ve lost the importance of hand-made in our culture… I just really like knowing that what I gave someone is uniquely made and not everyone in the world is going to have it. And knowing also that someone in our city made it is kind of cool as well.”

Pijuan-Nomura hopes to use this year’s event to provide a new opportunity for vendors to showcase their goods over a whole weekend, as opposed to one-day pop-ups.

“One of my goals is to see that the city of Hamilton can hold a two day show that is worth the time and energy of the vendors. I’m just interested in growing Handmade Hamilton and support emerging and established artists.”

An exciting new addition to this year’s Handmade Hamilton is swag bags. The first 50 guests on both mornings will receive a bag with buttons, coupons, and different items from different vendors.

There is also now an admission fee this year of $2. A portion of the proceeds will be going to The Sexual Assault Centre (Hamilton Area) and 541 Barton Eatery & Exchange.

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