Arts & Crafts on Granville Island
There must be something about Vancouver that draws creative types, because the city is teeming with imaginative souls creating original arts and crafts at a staggeringly prolific rate. Granville Island, in particular, is a veritable real-life Etsy marketplace, where you can touch, feel and buy unique, handmade goods in person. Take a quick stroll around the island and you’ll have no trouble finding handfuls of artists’ studios and co-ops, but here are just four of our favourite places to shop on the island for arts and crafts creations.
Since 1972, the Craft Council of B.C. (CABC) has helped promote hand-made work by craft artists from BC and Canada in wood, metal, fibre, glass and clay. The non-profit organization’s Granville Island store, Crafthouse showcases this innovative work, offering artists an opportunity to participate in rotating exhibitions with special themes. The gallery shop is a perennial favorite with locals and visitors, and continues to provide unique souvenirs for those who want to bring a taste of Vancouver art back home.
Public Market Vendor Booths
Sprinkled among the Granville Island Public Market’s produce and food vendors are a bevy of artists’ booths. The artisans and craftspeople who exhibit in these spaces change booth assignments and locations on a weekly basis, so check the Granville Island Day Vendors Association website for the market schedule. Expect to find shimmering glassworks, funky woven hats, gorgeous nature photography and much more.
Comprised of Railspur Alley and Old Bridge Road, located on the east side of the island, the Railspur District is home to many of the island’s artisans. Peer into the workshop of a glassblower working with jewel-toned materials and white-hot flames, browse hand-painted silks and leather transformed into scarves and bags, try on one-of-a-kind jewellery that’s been hand-crafted with precious metals and stones, or even learn the unique and functional art of broom-making.
Right opposite the public market on the island is the Net Loft, a building full of interesting retail stores that offer attractive finds for those looking for arts and crafts to take home. Take home authentic First Nations art and gifts, block-printed and painted textiles, or ceramic pieces for the table. The Net Loft is even home to an artisan who repairs and restores antique musical instruments—step inside the studio to hear art and music woven together.