The 8th annual Craft Revival will return to Thunder Bay’s downtown on Sunday, May 6th, from 10 am to 5 pm, bringing local artisans, vendors and performers to the Waterfront District.
The family-friendly event that was founded in 2014 by Maelyn Hurley, has evolved over the past four years, now featuring over 140 artisans located at 15 venues in Thunder Bay’s north core. “I had a vision to really revive the art of crafting in Thunder Bay and create an event that celebrated local artisans and talents,” says Hurley. “Artists are really pushing the boundaries when it comes to the creativity that they bring to the table and there are so many talented people in the community. You will find truly unique items at Craft Revival that are all handmade and created locally. Everything from paintings to jewelry, clothing, prints, home decor, wood carvings, baked good, and beauty products.”
Performers are also a big part of Craft Revival, with performances scheduled at several locations throughout the day. Attendees can expect to see live bands, dancers, aerial silk performances, fire spinning, jugglers and sidewalk busker stations.
Over 3,000 people attended the Christmas Craft Revival held this past December creating economic spinoffs for the community. Participating businesses and retailers reported a significant increase in sales and an influx of customers as a direct result from the event. Sweet North Bakery has been a host venue for three Craft Revival events, keeping the bakery open on a Sunday, when it’s usually closed. This creates an extra business day for customers and staff. “Craft Revival injects new life into the Waterfront District with thousands of people visiting the area. I think Craft Revival is important to the community because it supports local small businesses from crafters to the host businesses,” says Erinn DeLorenzi, owner of Sweet North Bakery. “Craft Revival is our favourite event downtown, not only because it contributes to our local economy but because it also enhances our quality of life by encouraging engagement with crafters, performers, businesses, business owners, neighbours and friends. It’s a celebration of our community.”
Craft Revival has also benefited participating artisans by providing them with a platform to showcase their talents. Sarah Johnston, owner of Lovely Body has seen much success as a local artisan. Lovely Body is the Top Bath & Beauty Seller in Canada and Top 100 Bath & Beauty Seller worldwide on Etsy. Lovely Body also filled a corporate order with Revlon Canada. The beauty company gave Lovely Body products to their beauty editors for Christmas. Craft Revival was Johnston’s first craft show. “Craft Revival helped me become for well known locally, which paved the way for me to open my shop in 2016,” says Johnston. “Craft Revival is beneficial to new and well-established local artisans providing an opportunity to interact with the local community, while increasing sales, and making connections with fellow artisans and people living here. It also encourages people away from big box stores and increases an appreciation of handmade arts and products.”
Craft Revival is a volunteer-driven initiative. Attendance is free but donations are welcome as Craft Revival supports a local charity or organization every event. Those that attend are encouraged to get their official Craft Revival passport stamped at each venue for a chance to win a two-night cabin stay at Beyond the Giant Nature Retreat.
For more details and a list of all of the participating venues and artisans, visit the Craft Revival Facebook page or thecraftrevivaltbay.com.