Lisa Wade, with Alumination Canada, sets up her booth before the Signatures Our Best to You Spring show at Westerner Park in Red Deer. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Red Deer handmade market event ‘a great shopping experience’

The event runs until Saturday at Westerner Park

Some of Canada’s best artisans are set to sell their products in Red Deer.

The third annual Signatures Our Best to You Spring show runs Thursday to Saturday at Westerner Park’s Parkland and Prairie Pavilions.

The handmade market event is a “great shopping” experience for all, said Etienne Dale, Signatures communication manager.

“We really pride ourselves on the quality of the vendors,” he said. “We have an eye for that quality.

“We’ve been in the industry for 39 years now. When we’re at the show I’m … amazed by, not only the quality, but the originality and the inventiveness of some of these artisans. You look at their products and ask, ‘How did they think of that?’”

Artisans have to apply to take part in the show and are handpicked to participate.

The event, which features vendors from six provinces and 20 product categories, gives shoppers a chance to speak with artisans, Dale said.

“You get to chat with them and hear the story behind their work and how much effort, heart and soul is poured into it. That’s what separates us from big-box stores and online shopping.”

While this is just the third spring show, the fall iteration has been in Red Deer for almost 30 years.

The biggest change with this year’s event is the introduction of a screen-printing workshop – the first 100 guests to sign up for the workshop get to screen-print a design onto a souvenir canvas bag.

“They get to share the joy of handmade products and … it might spark someone creatively to follow a similar path to the artisans here.”

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