Vintage lovers descend on Carleton for weekend antiques market

The Ottawa Antique and Vintage Market is taking place this weekend — and one collector shares his trick with CBC Radio's In Town and Out for making his items more enticing to younger crowds.

Vendor says he's catering to younger buyers in 'acquisition mode'

Don't call the items Andrew Zegers is selling at this weekend's market 'antiques.' (Catherine Knoll)

At an antiques show in 1995, Andrew Zegers had an epiphany.

The Toronto collector realized that — if he wanted his business to last — he needed to appeal to a younger generation.

And that meant getting rid of the word "antique."

"I find that 'antique' has the connotation of dusty, clutter, old, grandma-stuff, found in the basement," Zegers told CBC Radio's In Town and Out Saturday.

"I want to make a living not just today [but] for the next 20 years. So I need to appeal to the demographic that is in acquisition mode and not in 'de-aquisition' mode."

Young people buying old things

Zegers is one of dozens of vendors on hand for this weekend's Ottawa Antique and Vintage Market at the Carleton University fieldhouse.

He told In Town and Out that an increasing number of young people are shopping vintage, seeking items that are distinctive and tell a story. 

Zegers said he hopes to connect those buyers with pieces that are both affordable and make them happy.

"[With the word] 'antique,' people also think expensive," he said. "With 'vintage' [they think] it might be a bargain, it could be cheap, and it's going to be fun and funky."

Truckloads of items

Among the items Zegers carted to Ottawa in his van to sell at this weekend's market are Czechoslovakian vases and Italian plates.

Having collected items for over 35 years, Zegers said he still feels a thrill sharing his pieces with others. 

"I love... waking up everyday and finding something I didn't have yesterday, or selling something to somebody who loves it so much," he said. 

Tickets to the market, which features more than 70 truckloads of items, cost $12.

The market runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.