Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring Art Show Toronto Canada One of a Kind

The renowned One of a Kind Spring Show and Sale is on in Toronto this weekend, with about 450 Canadian artisans showcasing a wide range of handmade products at the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place. Here's a sampling of what's available. Plan to spend at least 3 hours at the show. While there is a lot of walking involved, there are also lots of places to sit and snack. Get a hand stamp when you arrive and you can come and go as the spirit moves you.

Exhibition Hall Direct Energy Centre Toronto
Visitors at the exhibition hall are treated to vibrant lilac carpeting that cushions feet on the concrete floor while bringing a hint of spring to the space. Pick up a show guide for a list of all the booths and artisans. Note the hanging banners in mauve and turquoise with white letters; they denote the aisles, and each booth has a number. See One of a Kind site for information.

Wabi-Sabi Pottery Booth
First stop was at Wabi-Sabi Pottery (L-08), located near the start of the aisle as I came in. I know the potter, Adam Beales, and wanted to see his recent work. He specializes in tea pots, but has lots of other functional pieces too.

Handmade Pottery Wabi-Sabi Pottery
 A closer look at teapots, some with matching mugs, as well as storage jars, vases and bowls. Wabi-Sabi Pottery is located in the Port Credit area of Mississauga, Ontario.

Stinson Studios Wooden Bowls, Sculptural Burls
If you've been to One of A Kind shows in Toronto, then you've likely seen the gorgeous handcrafted wood bowls and burls crafted by Jesse and Don Stinson, of Stinson Studios, located in Tamworth, Ontario, northeast of Belleville. Booth K-04.

Oh Dina! Fascinating Fascinators !
Just in time for Easter: A fascinator! Milliner Nicole McInnis at Oh Dina! created these mood-lifting, perfect-for-weddings and graduations feather and ribbons and bows hair accessories, and brought them from her studio in Halifax to show them off. Booth L-10.

Pebble Art of Nova Scotia
Sharon Nolan, whose studio is in Pictou, Nova Scotia, displays some of her rocky creations at the Pebble Art of Nova Scotia Booth, L-31. We all like to pick pebbles at the beach, but Sharon turns them into something special and beautiful.

Roman's Fine Arts Handpainted Glass
Continue down Aisle L to Booth L-28, and the glittering colours of Roman's Fine Arts are sure to catch your eye. Oakville, Ontario, artisan Mella Roman offers a wide range of hand painted glassware, from platters and bowls to tear-drop sun catchers.

Atelier Tout Autre Chose Funky Footwear
What's a sale without shoes? And such colourful handcrafted leather shoes and sandals! These beauties are the creation of Denis Lapointe and Catherine Gineste, of Saint Romuald, near Quebec City. Booth L-36.

Garneau Sheepskin Slippers
If you've got cold feet, then Noemi Garneau, of Sheepskin Slippers by Garneau, Asbestos, Quebec, has just the thing to keep them warm and dry all year round. And such brilliant colours, too! Booth P-04.

Yellowdog Walking Sticks
Beautifully carved, shaped and painted, these colourful walking sticks are just the thing to take on the trail. Created by Ray Anderson, of Cambridge, Ontario, they are on display at Booth K-07. Haven't seen his work before at One of a Kind? That's because some artisans are here for the first time.

Yellowdog Walking Sticks and Wabi-Sabi Pottery are but two of the new artisans at this spring's show.

How Long to Stay at the Sale? Bring the kids - there's day care, too!
As I write this, it occurs to me that 3 hours is really not long enough to see all the artists, so consider making a full day of your trip.

There are a number of cafes and food outlets set up in the building -- there's even a place to get crepes in the exhibition hall. And mustard, chutney, jellies, fudge and other food sellers offer samplings of their fare. There is free day care/ babysitting near the entrance. And lots of handy washrooms.

Look, too, for one of a kind clothing and scarves, sun hats and children's clothing, bunting bags and goldsmiths, leather handbags, home decor, and on and on goes the list. Some 450 artisans, people! That's a lot of serious Canadian talent to see!

Have a great time, and be aware that artists are a friendly lot, so do stop and chat.

A Word about GO Transit Exhibition Place Stop:

If you plan to take the GO Train to Exhibition Place to take in the show, then be prepared for a bit of a walk once you leave the train. The signage for the entrance to the One of A Kind sale was non-existant at the time of my visit, though if staff did as promised, it will be set out by today.

  • To get to the correct entrance for the Direct Energy Centre exhibition hall:
  • Go left on Manitoba Street (the first street after leaving the GO station area).
  • Continue east to the marked crosswalk.
  • Cross the street and continue down the full length of the covered walkway. This ends in front of a wide entrance terrace.
  • Keep walking due south until you get to the south end of the Direct Energy Centre.
  • Turn left and follow the sidewalk into the building, then walk straight on til you see the ticket booths.

There is a large parking lot off Prince's Blvd, though it may be busy on the weekend.

See the google map for this area.