Why go to the mall for mass-produced, assembly line gifts when you can buy a made-in-Manitoba original canvas, a one-of-a-kind handcrafted ring or a jar of locally made pickles?

That’s one of the driving sentiments behind Winnipeg Makers and Market, a marketplace held the first Friday of every month inside Frame Arts Warehouse. 

“We’re handmade or vintage but we’re high quality. We’re not crafty, we’re artisans and artists. You get a bit of everything,” said Ali Tataryn, the market’s founder and one of three coordinators.

The public market launched in February and hosts a rotating roster of about 100 local sculptors, painters, spray-paint artists, photographers, knitters, jewellers and small-scale food purveyors, among other creative types. 

Each month, about 30 artists descend on the circa 1908 Ross Avenue warehouse, a former sewing factory, to sell their wares. Recent sellers include: hand-knitted accessories and clothing by Nojo Knitting; jam, jelly and pickles by Flora and Farmer; spray paint art by Spray your Imagination and pieces by The Artographer, a photographer and visual artist. A different musician also plays each month while people browse and shop.

Kat Pappas and Ali Tataryn

Kat Pappas and Ali Tataryn host Winnipeg Makers and Market, an art and artisanal goods marketplace, the first Friday of every month inside Frame Arts Warehouse. (Robin Summerfield)

“We’re trying to make it a night out too,” said Tataryn, while giving CBC a recent tour of the five-storey warehouse.

The market is held on the first floor in a large, bare bones room with exposed brick walls and ducting. The upper floors are rented as studio spaces for Winnipeg artists.

The market, which has gained a small but growing following, is more than just artists trying to support themselves, added Kat Pappas, a metalsmith jeweller and one of the market’s coordinators. (Ryan Poworoznik is the third coordinator.)

“It’s about supporting your local community, it’s about supporting your local economy and it’s about the environment too. It creates less carbon footprint, ” Pappras said.

While Winnipeggers are generally great supporters of artists and the arts, there’s always room to grow, she added.

Artists pay up to $45 to participate while public entry costs $2 per person or by donation.

The next market will be held Friday December 6 from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.