Toronto’s One of a Kind Show is back. Here are nine artisans to discover
The One of a Kind Spring Show is back, and it’s a dream for crafting enthusiasts.
After a long winter, we’re ready for some inspiration, and connecting with the creative community can be the boost we need.
The One of a Kind Show (OOAK) runs from March 30 to April 3 at the Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place in Toronto. With over 350 Canadian artisans to discover, it’s a chance to reconnect in person with makers while browsing everything from artisanal food and bespoke decor to creative DIY kits, all while supporting Canadian entrepreneurs.
The show is a hub for inspiration, said Janice Leung, director of OOAK. “Being around dedicated, passionate artisans is energizing, and shopping locally can help visitors discover new and unexpected products that can help them flourish on all levels — personally, physically, and mentally.”
To celebrate the show’s theme, Flourish, visitors will be able to get crafty. Learn how to make a flower crown using locally grown flowers at the Flower Crown Bar, or stop by the Let’s Make Lounge to participate in spring-inspired DIY projects.
Here are nine artisans to discover at the spring show who just might inspire you.
Catalina Sánchez designs artisanal notebooks to inspire and spark creativity. After all, writing down your ideas or feelings in a journal can be a creative escape. It’s Sánchez’s third time exhibiting at the OOAK selling notebooks made of eco-friendly materials such as recycled, acid-free paper that are also available as DIY kits, including a bookbinding kit and a paint your cover kit. Going to the OOAK is always inspiring, said Sánchez, “You get to see so many makers creating amazing things, using materials differently, rethinking techniques, creating art in every way.” Visit Sánchez at booth H-25.
After visiting the show for years, former Star editor Mary Vallis is selling cross-stitch kits in the Rising Stars section. “I can’t believe that I’m now back … as an artisan myself, encouraging others to pick up a needle and thread after spending so many long hours wandering the aisles marvelling at everyone else’s creations,” said Vallis, who will bring her playful, modern DIY kits including a stitchable map of Canada, that’s making its debut at the show. The kit includes everything you need — a laser cut wood map, needles, thread and a faux leather lace for hanging on the wall. Visit Canadian Stitchery in the Rising Stars section, booth K-51.
After a cross-country move, Tamara and Sean McKaig were inspired to transform the flowers and herbs grown in the fields of their farm in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, into self-care products. Lavender, rose, calendula, yarrow and mint are made into bath and body oils, candles, botanical mists and wildflower bath bombs. To help inspire customers to connect with nature, the couple is handing out free wildflower packages filled with seeds from their fields with every purchase at the OOAK. Find Wildwood Creek at booth E-32.
From her workshop in Bedford, Quebec, quilt artist Marilyn Armand transforms upcycled textiles into modern, handcrafted works of art, including blankets, cushions, wall hangings and accessories. The fabrics are mostly new materials that include end-of-stock and scraps from designers sourced from textile companies in the Montreal area. Using upcycled materials pushes us to create differently, said Armand, who strives to promote the cultural heritage of quilting traditionally practiced by women in Quebec and recognized as a professional artisan of Métiers d’art by The Conseil des métiers d’arts (CMAQ). Find the collection including a DIY quilted cushion kit at Le Point Visible, booth M-49.
Knitters will love the wool yarn that has been hand-dyed using plants from Romy Schill’s family sheep farm in Wellington County, Ontario. After experimenting to find new ways to work with the wool from the family’s farm, Schill has transformed it into cosy wool blankets and natural wool-filled bedding and pillows. Visit Revolution Wool Company at booth G-52.
Spending time outdoors surrounded by nature helps ceramic artist Celina Kang reset her mind and find inspiration for the ceramics she has made for 20 years. “My work is inspired by nature, especially stone, sand, clay, and mineral forms from the earth,” said Kang whose ceramic tableware, decorative vases and sculptures will be at the spring show. Find Celina K Studio at booth L-19.
It’s Satoshi Yoshikawa’s first time as a vendor at the OOAK where he will bring ceramic tableware, flower vases, candle holders and matcha bowls. Yoshikawa has been creating pottery for 15 years, first training and working in Japan before moving to Canada. He now designs and produces pottery inspired by East Asian culture, including Chinese bronzes, Korean vessels, the Japanese tea ceremony, and his love of nature. Visit Satoshi Yoshikawa at booth D-11.
The Make Station, a Toronto art studio, originally created Clay Character Kits as a craft kit that students could make at home during the first COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020. “The little clay projects became so popular that they ended up snowballing into their own product that now has proper packaging, marketing, and ships across Canada,” said owner Gabrielle Johnson. Kits include everything you need to create characters, including oven-bake clay, a shadow box, and YouTube tutorial videos. Find them at booth A-20.
Morgan Whelan paints chocolate in bright colours creating visually striking bonbons in flavours such as coconut chai, salted hazelnut, orange honey and caramel cookie crunch. As a first-time exhibitor at the show, Whelan said it’s been a dream to have a booth there since she first visited in 2012. “There is something so inspiring about so many artists coming together to share what they love doing the most. I love walking around and talking to everyone at their booths. Everyone always has an amazing story to tell about how they got started. I can’t wait to share mine.” Visit Acorn Chocolates at booth D-51.