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Canadian Project Brings Original Haitian Art To Our Shores
November 21, 2013
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Carnival Jacmel Lion Mask
1/6 OPEN GALLERY

Here's a novel way to support local artisans in Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere and one devastated by a 2010 earthquake: give them training in marketing, and then help them sell their wares in the department stores of developed nations. That's the mission of Brandaid, an initiative launched by members of Canada's advertising industry in 2008. Since late October, a collection of masks, bowls, quilts, bottles and more have been travelling to pop-up shops in Hudson's Bay stores. The latest of these opened today on Toronto's Queen Street, and will run until January 2 (the items are also available for sale online). "There is a large and growing consumer segment that is looking for alternatives to mass market merchandise," Brandaid co-founder Tony Pigott told the Toronto Star. "They really want authentic things with cultural stories attached to them." Those stories are where the branding experts come in. The prices for the objects range from $12–$300, with the Haitian artisans getting 25 per cent of the retail price — a much-higher margin than they might see otherwise. 

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