The One of a Kind Show celebrates 35 years with over 800 Canadian artisans

The doors of the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto will open to a highly anticipated anniversary year for the One of a Kind Christmas Show and Sale from November 26 to December 6, 2009. Premiering in December 1975, Canada’s first national “craft show” has evolved into a modern-day array of unique holiday gifts. What stemmed from a simple desire to showcase numerous hand-crafted creations under one roof, the One of a Kind Show now features over 800 ground-breaking artisans from across Canada within one enjoyable and engaging environment.


The One of a Kind Show provides the ideal setting for holiday shopping while offering attendees an opportunity to discover, share and meet the artisans of their choice. The face-to-face interaction with the artisans allows for inspirational stories to be told about the one-of-a-kind creations and keeps customers coming back for 35 years. These emotional connections define the difference between the One of a Kind Show and your average shopping experience. And, in the spirit of giving and in celebration of its 35th anniversary, 35 cents from every ticket purchase on December 2 will be donated to the Red Door Family Shelter.


“Each year we aim to inspire our customers with beautiful things handcrafted by the most talented artisans. Our selection of makers brings together an incredible mosaic of original creations that reflect Canada’s rich history, culture and striking landscape,” said Patti Stewart, Vice President, One of a Kind Show. “The One of a Kind Show is about creating, but also about giving, whether it is providing a venue for artisans to interact with consumers or offering the public an elevated shopping experience.”


2009 Show Highlights

• Daily prêt-a-porter fashion shows will feature a wide assortment of hot fashions and of-the-season accessories such as eco-friendly products, statement jewelry and gorgeous knitwear, to name a few.

• Show-goers can cast their vote for their favourite teapot in the One of a Kind Tea Pot Competition, presented by Lipton Pyramid Teas.

• D.I.Y die-hards can participate in any of the three hands-on workshops conducted by One of a Kind artisans. Soap-making, hand-spinning and pochoir (the art of stenciling) will surely delight avid crafters and add to their understanding of craft.

• Among the 800 artisans at this year’s show, over 180 are brand new. They will feature beautifully designed gifts at all price points; from hand-felted toy elephants ($24) to cozy wool caps ($49) to hand-printed cotton cushions ($85) – just to name a few.



Designed to make shopping a more convenient experience with well-presented merchandise throughout a one-level showroom of over 230,000 square feet, the One of a Kind Show has created special “neighbourhoods” for visual art, food, fashion, new artisans and eco-friendly creations to ensure customers have easy access to niche-market items in a marketplace setting.


* One of a Kind Flavours: tempt your senses with the delectable smell and delicious taste of Carl Stryg’s Coach House Shortbreads.


* One of a Kind Fashion District (presented by Toronto Life): express your inner metropolitan woman or find the perfect gift for your best girlfriend.


* One of a Kind Green: eco-friendly home décor, organic textiles, and all-natural body care are just a few of things you’ll find in our bigger than ever Green section. Visitors can shop knowing that their gifts this year are friendly to Mother Earth.


* One of a Kind Rising Stars: meet the best of new Canadian talent and find out what inspires an up-and-coming artisan.


* One of a Kind Visual Art Gallery (presented by The Globe & Mail): be enlightened by original artwork from surrealism to landscape, retro art to pop art.


Top 10 List

The 2009 list of Top 10 Artisans to watch for who elevate the level of expectation and bring forth an exciting flair to this year’s show include: Noelle Hamlyn – pocket book purses; Kessa Laxton – kids’ clothing; Hannun Lynn – Zen-like porcelain; Basma Osama – modern ceramics; Cristina Larsen – felted animals & woven accessories; Fani Lioe – fun and affordable fashion jewelry; Guylaine Roberge – edgy fashions; Brad Turner – sculptural glass; Isabelle Veilleux – “ugly” dolls; Julie Laschuk – organic printed pillows.


Show Features

To ensure a pleasant visit, the One of a Kind Show has created a number of special services and show features to take care of each and every customer’s needs. Keep the kids busy with the One of a Kind Art School presented by DeSerres. Pizza Pizza lightens the load with free parcel check and carry-out service – directly to your car! Chatelaine editors present their “Chat” series while Canadian House & Home editors offer their favourite picks, all at the main stage. Each day, the first 500 customers will be treated to a free reusable bag courtesy of TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. Visitors can take a moment to relax in the One of a Kind Piazza to review that holiday list, enjoy a cappuccino and plan out the remainder of their show visit.


Ticket prices for adults are $12 ($10 online); seniors and youth (aged 13 – 17) $6.50; and children (aged 12 & under) free.


The Show is open on weekdays from 11:00am to 10:00pm; Saturdays from 10:00am to 9:00pm; and Sundays from 10:00am to 6:00pm.


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