Today is the first day of autumn. The chill in the air and rust coloured leaves are evidence. It also marks the end of summer outdoor markets. Although Victoria has an endless number of markets, I only had the opportunity to visit a few this summer. What I truly enjoy at the Victoria markets is the uniqueness in local products and crafts. As with every market, there is no shortage of vendors offering jewellery or natural home-made body products and soaps. But every so often, you find something that is unique enough to make you stop and admire. Some of my favourite finds include Inspired Wire Artin the Inner Harbour. Karen Allen, the artist twists and manipulates soft wire from a coil to create gemmed flower magnets, window decorations and personalized signs. Lenaya of Lenaya Painted Shells at the Bastion Square Market displayed hand-painted shells to drape from a neck chain or suede cord. The paintings were so colourful and intricately done that you couldn’t help but stop and take in her craftsmanship. Also at Bastion Square was a vendor who created garden toads – a take-off from the garden gnome – from regular concrete. So simple, yet so different. The Oak Bay Night Market, which held its last market for the season on Sept. 14, offered many brewers, both wine and craft. Of course I tried several of the samples as well as purchased a few bottles for myself.
It will be another six months before the outdoor markets start up again. Hopefully I’ll have an opportunity to visit many more, and even have my own booth. In the meantime, if you need your market “fix”, there will be Christmas Craft Fairs as well as some indoor markets. Maybe I’ll see you there.