Check Out Vancouver’s Weirdest Holiday Market

This local holiday market celebrates all things unusual and offers up one-of-a-kind gifts for the weirdos in your life.

December 14, 2017

By Alicia Neptune

Rachel Zottenberg had one important question for vendors hoping to be a part of the Weirdos Holiday Market: “What makes you a little bit weird?”

Zottenberg regularly curates a selection of strange and unusual items at local curio shop This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven, from vintage taxidermy to tarot cards. But this weekend’s Weirdos Market will feature selections from the shop and even more quirky, edgy and imaginative items for those not satisfied by the ordinary.

Interior of This Monkey's Gone to Heaven, a Vancouver curiosity shop. Displays include taxidermy and mounted insects.
A number of items from This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven, including mounted insects, out-of-the-ordinary holiday greeting cards and alternative books will be available at the Weirdos Holiday Market.

Zottenberg wanted the market to celebrate those who create art outside the mainstream. “In terms of the types of people I was looking for, I really wanted the weirdos, the strange ones, the geeky ones, the people that had something a little dark,” she says.

The eclectic array of unconventional gifts makes it a perfect place to find something unexpected. The market’s odd offerings include hand-crafted hair ornaments with a goth twist; jewellery that incorporates animal skulls or foraged fungi; pottery fused into the shape of human hands, mouths or other body parts and blinking eyeball pins. “A lot of these things are not for everybody,” says Zottenberg, “so you know it’s something the artist really wanted to create, that resonates with them and has a strong meaning.”

Visitors can still expect Christmas-themed gifts–albeit with a weird twist. Think holiday cards inspired by Stranger Things and Christmas ornaments with a dark, occult side.

A table with a deck of tarot cards spread across it.
Erin Karl will be giving tarot card readings to visitors at the market.

As shoppers wander the market, they can warm up with a hot chocolate or a drink from the bar, experience a tarot card reading, and stop by the photo booth. Popular pop-up restaurant Handtaste Ferments will also be serving up tamales topped with fermented vegetables.

Zottenberg herself will be present all weekend, and hopes that shoppers are as impressed by the vendors as she is. “I’m so excited for people to get to walk into the market and have that same experience that I’ve had.”

Our top picks from the Weirdos Holiday Market:

A t-shirt by Jaik Puppyteeth depicting a skeleton pulling off a smiling mask. The text below the image reads "Life is a joke."

Jaik Puppyteeth

Queer artist Jaik Puppyteeth’s prints and t-shirts are cynical and hilarious. His cartoonish illustrations satirize popular culture and the disappointments of everyday life with a dark humour that’s as likely to induce laughter as existential dread.

A collection of bowls and dishware that resemble parts of a human face: features like lips or noses protrude from the sides of the bowls.

Dirt Spindle

Emma Canning’s Body Series of anthropomorphic ceramics is created from casts of body parts—mainly mouths, ears, noses and hands. Functional yet unusual, these clay creations are full of personality.

A selection of human caricature pinatas from Your Pinata.

Your Piñata

Meaghan Kennedy’s custom hand-made piñatas have appeared in restaurants across B.C., including Aphrodite’s Organic Cafe in Vancouver. Most famous for her celebrity likenesses—everyone from David Bowie to Justin Trudeau—Kennedy’s creations for the Weirdos market include more unusual subjects, like unicorns, dinosaurs and cactuses.

Mush Appreciated

Tayla Florian’s passion for the fungi kingdom inspires her jewellery and art, like this resin-encased mushroom set in a wood pendant. Those curious about the shrooms behind the earrings, prints and pendants can also pick up a fact booklet to carry with them on their next walk through the woods.

A necklace from Brutally Beautiful: a mouse skull inside a glass dome, strung on a golden chain.
Brutally Beautiful

Amanda Bullick’s haunting jewellery and prints ponder the cycle of life, death and rebirth. Many of her pieces feature ethically sourced animal skulls, each held in ceremony before being reborn as a work of art.


Weirdos Holiday Market

Where: Betamax Art Studios, 2244 East Hastings Street
When: December 16 to 17, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Admission: $2

 

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