Good things are worth waiting for, according to the head honcho of Canberra’s Handmade Market, Julie Nichols, who welcomes the return of the very popular market at its regular venue at Exhibition Park (EPIC) with 270 stalls from 25-27 June.
The Handmade Market came close to returning in March 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic put paid to its plans, and the growing team behind the handmade venture used the time since then to think about new ideas to take the award-winning event into the future.
What was formerly known as the Handmade Canberra market will soon become Handmade Market due to its wide array of superbly crafted Australian-made goods.
“The name Handmade Canberra just didn’t quite fit us the way it did back in 2008,” says Julie of the once little market that began with 35 stalls at Albert Hall.
“While we will always have a strong emphasis on local artists and producers, our market has grown to incorporate makers from all corners of the country so it is a natural progression to now call ourselves Handmade Market.”
The previously scheduled market was cancelled just six days before opening as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in March 2020, which forced Julie and her team to quickly create an online virtual market format which has often been a lifeline to the small and indie producers it showcases.
“The way our Handmade community has rallied to find new ways to sell during the pandemic has been incredible,” says Julie.
“We are so happy to support these makers and promote handmade Australian goods in any way we can. Getting back to a real-life, in-person market is a huge step towards some normality in the current climate and is so very exciting for us all.”
Working closely with the ACT Government, the first Handmade Market will be a COVID-19-safe event.
Even though the event is free, it is ticketed. Shoppers can book via the Handmade Market link on the Eventbrite website to alleviate crowding and waiting times upon entry. Attendees will also be required to use the Check In CBR app.
Julie says the market can safely accommodate 2000 people at any time, which is enough to make the event viable for stallholders.
More than 40 local stallholders will join others from around Australia, offering homewares, gifts, fashion, accessories and a gourmet food hall full of street-food vans.
“It’s become a bit of a beast since it all began, but we love what we do,” says Julie. “We’re so glad to be back as it’s always so much better to be able to talk to the stallholders in person and learn about how their product came to life.
“Our handmade criteria is that the item being sold has to be an original design concept or a product of your making that is produced in Australia and meets the substantial transformation test set by the ACCC [Australian Competition and Consumer Commission].”
Following this upcoming market in June, Julie says the Handmade team plans to run further markets three times a year in April, July and December.
This month’s market dates:
- Friday, 25 June from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm
- Saturday, 26 June, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
- Sunday, 27 June, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm