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Craft Nova Scotia’s Designer Craft Show returns after two years

Nova Scotia’s provincially recognized craft association is gearing up for its first full-scale show since 2019.

Craft Nova Scotia, a not-for-profit organization, will hold its annual designer craft show next month over three days. The show will take place on the Halifax waterfront in Pavilion 22 and will showcase a wide range of local products from Nova Scotia’s artisan community.

Their last full show was at the Cunard Center, until they transitioned to smaller pop-up shows over the past two years due to pandemic restrictions. Everything changes on November 18.

Kelly Jerrott, executive director of Craft Nova Scotia, said she expects about 80 local vendors to set up shop for the weekend event.

“Whether it’s jewelry, metal arts, woodworking, leather pieces, ceramics, skincare, soaps, clothing or furniture, there’s plenty to choose from” , she said.

“In 2020, the craft sector contributed $2.4 billion to Canada’s culture GDP. These events, especially around the holiday season, are when most artisans make the bulk of their money, which could be 80-90% of their annual market income, up to at the holiday season. ”

Adam McNamara will showcase some of his latest sculptures exclusively at the Designer Craft Show. PHOTO CREDIT: Contribution.

One of the artisans featured is Adam McNamara, a wood carver from Upper Lahave, whose work under his Acadian Mushrooms brand has captured the fascination of thousands of people online since he started sharing his creations in 2020.

Despite the impressive quality of his products, McNamara said he only started sculpting shortly before the pandemic hit.

“I was just given a pile of wood and wanted to do something with it, so I started carving on my own,” he said. “Having a background in plant science, I was naturally drawn to the forest, and inspired by it, I started sculpting mushrooms. That’s three years later and here I am.

The biggest inspiration behind McNamara’s work is the Acadian forest region, as he draws attention to the uniqueness of the ecosystem through his work. He collects the materials needed for his projects by picking up debris that has fallen in the surrounding woods, while making sure not to disturb the surrounding environment.

“My process is either I start with a specific mushroom that I want to carve, or I start with wood, and let the wood inspire me,” he said. “From there I go through my process of carving them all, finishing them, then mounting them on a piece of natural wood, then decorating them with moss and lichens that I collect from the forest floor. .”

Kelly Jerrott expects up to 80 local vendors to set up shop at the Designer Craft Show.  PHOTO CREDIT: Contribution.
Kelly Jerrott expects up to 80 local vendors to set up shop at the Designer Craft Show. PHOTO CREDIT: Contribution.

Other featured artisans include Sorrel Van Allen and Funmilayo Odeniyi.

Odeniyi, who moved to Nova Scotia from Nigeria in 2016, owns MichNat Fashion, an award-winning African fashion brand.

“Fashion is something I always loved when I was a kid,” she said. “The Designer Craft Show is a great way for me to show my passion.”

Allen, a graduate of NASCAD’s jewelry program, is a contemporary jeweler who typically sells her work through online stores, but says she looks forward to showcasing her art in person.

“It’s been a while with the pandemic, so I’m hoping to get more out of this craft show and see people engage in the work.”

Jerrott said craft show attendees will find great products for family and friends, while supporting artists who work and live locally.

“Products are made locally, we support local and local artisans,” she said. “When we do this, we also support our communities and our communities become stronger.”

The Designer Craft Show will also feature international designers, such as award-winning African fashion brand “MichNat Fashion”.  PHOTO CREDIT: Contribution.
The Designer Craft Show will also feature international designers, such as award-winning African fashion brand “MichNat Fashion”. PHOTO CREDIT: Contribution.

McNamara said he was excited about the event and plans to showcase some of his sculptures exclusively at the craft show in November.

“I’ve been to a few craft markets, and none compare to Craft Nova Scotia,” he said. “It’s a very unique creative artisan guild, it’s been around for so many years, it’s its own market. I’ve dated other people over the years, but none are the same.

The Craft Nova Scotia Designer Craft Show will take place on November 18, from noon to 8 p.m.; November 19, 10am-6pm; and November 20, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission fees are $10 for adults and $8 for students. Advanced tickets will be available online at a discounted rate.

To book your tickets and learn more about the Designer Craft Show, visit https://craftnovascotia.ca/.