The Handmade Canberra Market has been recognised as a ‘Canberra institution’ by ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr as it heads into its 10th year and draws in big dollars and big crowds.
Starting with just 35 stalls in the Alfred Hall back in 2008, the Handmade Canberra Market now attracts 120,000 visitors and generates an estimated $15 million in sales a year.
Organisers are tipping the market and will again draw in large crowds when its Autumn event hits the Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC) next Saturday and Sunday (March 17 and 18) “full to the brim with new and exclusive products”.
The holding of the market is this year being extended from four times a year to five, with the 2018 markets to be held in March, May, July, October, and December.
Handmade Canberra’s founder and owner, Julie Nichols said the market is “as Canberran as a roundabout” and she is proud of its new status as a ‘Canberra Institution’.
According to Mr Barr, the Handmade Canberra Market is “a local business that makes it easier for Canberrans to support other local business”.
Ms Nichols said it still surprises her to hear of Canberrans who have never attended the market.
“We’d love more Canberrans to come and experience what the market has to offer,” she said.
Mr Barr agreed, saying it’s “a great place to shop and a great place to take visitors”.
Ms Nichols said Handmade Canberra provides a platform for Australia’s best creative artisans to sell their designs directly to customers, with each purchase made supporting small, local businesses.
The upcoming March market will involve 266 stallholders, with 28 per cent of them being brand new to the market and 51 per cent of stallholders being exclusive to Handmade in Canberra.
“This is designed to keep it fresh and interesting for repeat and long-term customers, as well as providing the latest in design and food trends to attract new customers,” Ms Nichols said.
Canberrans and visitors are invited to attend the market and enjoy the gourmet food and drinks, shop for new and exclusive Australian-made designs, and soak up the atmosphere of the iconic market which is on from 10 am to 4 pm on March 17 and 18 at EPIC. There is free entry but donations to charity collectors are encouraged.