Life in Olympic Village! New art and design market opens March 26

Photo Credit: Portobello West

Looking for alternatives to shopping at the mall?  The new Portobello West market coming to Olympic Village might be the answer.

Portobello West has been around for years in Vancouver, although it sometimes flies under the radar.  It’s a monthly market that brings together dozens of up-and-coming artists and clothing designers to sell their wares. The concept is borrowed from the original Portobello Market in London, which showcases hundreds of the country’s top designers.

Items for sale at Vancouver’s Portobello West are eclectic – ranging from handcrafted jewelry to gourmet chocolates, porcelain to fine art prints and haute fashions to custom-designed handbags.  The unifying factor is that Portobello is most definitely not a flea market.  Everything is crafted with a discerning eye and intended for discriminating buyers.  Here’s a somewhat dizzying look inside the market:

After a long stint at the Rocky Mountaineer Station in East Van, Portobello has now set up shop in a much more high-traffic location at the new Creekside Community Centre in Olympic Village.  The official spring launch is on March 26 and March 27, from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Admission is $2.  Subsequent markets will be held on the last Sunday of every month through November, as well as the first weekend in December.

Up to 75 vendors are expected to turn out for the market’s opening.  You can expect to meet a diverse selection of local creative types, with a heavy emphasis on promising new clothing and jewelry designers.  Also featured are artists and toy makers, a chocolatier, a hat maker and an umbrella designer.  A complete list of vendors is available here.

I think Portobello West will make a nice addition to an Olympic Village that’s slowly but surely starting to feel like a real neighbourhood, despite the lingering controversies.  There’s the gleaming new community centre right on the waterfront.  There’s Legacy, that huge new high-end liquor store (the largest private liquor store in British Columbia, in fact).  Plus a TD Bank has finally opened and it appears that London Drugs is soon to follow.

Is anyone out there a regular at the Portobello West markets?  Who are your favourite designers/artists?

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