Six great places to buy Aboriginal Art and Clothes

The Bill Reid Gallery Gift Shop features art and clothing made by Northwest BC First Nations people.

The Bill Reid Gallery Gift Shop features art and clothing made by Northwest Coast Aboriginal people.

Aboriginal culture is the foundation of Vancouver’s identity. Our city is located on the ancestral lands of the Coast Salish people and this is evident throughout our streets, parks and shops.

Whether you love the totem poles in Stanley Park, the Aboriginal art murals found all over the city or places with First Nation names like Capilano Suspension Bridge or Whey-Ah-Whichen or Siwash Rock, there is no mistaking local First Nations role in shaping Vancouver’s multicultural mosaic.

How better to share this vital part of our city’s cultural character with friends and family, than buying a piece of art, clothing or other gift made and/or designed by an Aboriginal person from Vancouver or B.C.?

A few years ago, Inside Vancouver featured a collection of must-visit Aboriginal art galleries and shops. This updated list is meant to complement the previous collection and highlight some of the new and seasoned places to ‘Shop Aboriginal’.  Continue reading:
Six great places to buy Aboriginal Art and Clothes

Attention Shoppers: List of New Luxury Malls and Stores Opening in Vancouver

Plans for the new Simons store in Park Royal Mall.

Plans for the new Simons store in Park Royal Mall.

It’s a great time to be a shopper in Vancouver.  Retailers from around the world are scheduled to open new flagships stores in the city in the coming months and years.  New malls are under construction and old ones are under renovation.

Here’s a quick look at some of the upcoming changes in Vancouver’s retail landscape:

Park Royal Mall RedevelopmentThe venerable North Shore mall is in the midst of a $150-million improvement and expansion project that will add an additional 300,000 square feet of retail space.  New tenants like Anthropologie and Zara will soon be joined by Vancouver’s first La Maison Simons.  The Quebec-based specialty fashion retailer is slated to open a 100,000-square-foot store in 2015.   Continue reading:
Attention Shoppers: List of New Luxury Malls and Stores Opening in Vancouver

Etsy Canada to host offline pop-up market at Robson Square

Love My Local will be selling their province-themed cheeseboards at Etsy: Made in Canada

Love My Local will be selling their province-themed cheeseboards at Etsy: Made in Canada

When it comes to online shopping for homemade, vintage and offbeat goodies Etsy has the internet market cornered.

Part virtual craft fair, part uber-searchable catalogue, Etsy the internet home to artists, crafters, collectors and artisans around the globe, including Canada.

Founded in 2005 and calls Brooklyn, NY home. Etsy has over 1 million active shops, 26 million items listed and had $1.35 billion in sales in 2013. If you search for ‘Made in Canada’, Etsy says there are 17,072 items labelled such. Small batch crafts, it seems, are a big deal.

On September 27, Etsy vendors from the Vancouver area will go offline at the Etsy: Made in Canada pop-up. The event takes place at Robson Square from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The pop-up marketplace is part of a cross-Canada celebration of the Canuck Etsy community. Similar markets are popping up in 23 cities from Quebec to B.C. More than 65 vendors are selling everything from honey to jewellery to kids clothes  at the Robson Square ice skating rink September 27.   Continue reading:
Etsy Canada to host offline pop-up market at Robson Square

End of an Era: Canadian Tire Money Going Digital

5c_aSandy McTire’s days may be numbered.

The tam-wearing Scotsman, with his bushy moustache and toothy grin, is featured as a mascot on some of Canada’s most beloved currency – Canadian Tire money.  Since 1958, shoppers at Canadian Tire stores have received Canadian Tire money as a form of cash back (.4 percent per dollar spent) on their purchases.  The distinctive paper bills come in a variety of denominations – from five cents to $2 – and can be redeemed at Canadian Tire stores.

But after 56 years, Canadian Tire money is finally going digital.   Continue reading:
End of an Era: Canadian Tire Money Going Digital

Vancouver’s Not-so-Secret Neighbourhood Shops Part II

The Found & The Freed is is tucked into a residential area on Victoria Drive

The Found & The Freed is is tucked into a residential area on Victoria Drive

They’re tucked beside small walk-up apartments. Some are located on corners. Others are on busy through streets. Corner stores and neighbourhood shops are everywhere in Vancouver.

Last year I blogged about some of Vancouver’s best, tucked away shops and markets. The sweet little corner stores that reflect an ethos of days gone by – markets that sell fresh food, fashions and gifts. Where shop owners live in the neighbourhood they operate in, know customers’ names and goods are not mass-produced.

From found industrial antiques in East Vancouver to latte and bike mechanic cafe in the Cityhall hood, Vancouver has a range of sweet stops for folks looking to caffeinate, collect antiques, go sailing or stock up on whimsical kitchenware.  Continue reading:
Vancouver’s Not-so-Secret Neighbourhood Shops Part II