In the first part of this tour of Canada, we started in the East and visited Nova Scotia, Ontario, Toronto and Saskatchewan. On July 1, Canadians celebrate the day their country came together to become a nation. In this post, the Trans-Canada Etsy team is excited to celebrate and introduce you to some of its Team members and the art, food and culture of their regions. Dust off your atlas and follow along on a virtual road trip across Canada.
Moving onto the prairies, we find ourselves in the neighbourhood of Pinkfire Designs, in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan is known as “The Land of the Living Skies” due to the vastness of the sky that stretches above and its spectacular sunrises and sunsets. The Great Sand Hills of Saskatchewan, which encompass 1900 square kilometres of the southwest region of the province, are home to unique wildlife and hauntingly beautiful scenery.
Topping the list of favourite regional foods in this province is Saskatoon Berry Pie. Saskatoon berries are much like blueberries, but smaller, sweeter and much tastier. The crafting community is very supportive in Swift Current. The South West Region of the province is rich in history, and vintage findings for jewelry designs are a treasured find. Pinkfire Designs came across Etsy by accident — she was looking for a way to sell her jewelry to make some extra money so she could stay home with her daughters. She found the Trans-Canada Etsy Team while browsing through the forums.
[Photo by OrangeStarfishDesigns]
Just to the west of Saskatchewan, we find the province of Alberta and Orange Starfish Designs. Orange Starfish is in Beaumont, a bedroom community just outside of Edmonton. It is a wonderful family oriented town with both French and English speakers. This small town has experienced an incredible growth spurt along with much of the rest of Alberta. The church at the centre of town is the first visible landmark as you drive in from any direction.
Locally raised Elk meat is the most unique local food delicacy in the area. It is incredibly tasty and healthy, commonly eaten in steak form, but you can enjoy it in many of the same recipes that call for beef. Small towns like Beaumont do not have the customer base to support work at higher price points, so local fairs can be frustrating, but there are a couple shows each year. Luckily, Edmonton is close and has a number of fabulous art and craft venues. The Alberta Craft Council is a great resource.
[Photo by Kootsac]
Our last two stops land us on the west coast of Canada, in British Columbia. Revelstoke is home to Torrid Craft Affair. In the summer, Revelstoke has rivers and lakes one can enjoy during the beautifully warm season. It is an old city, but in the last 10 years there has been a complete revitalization of this town taking place, culminating in the grand opening of Revelstoke Mountain Resort, an amazing world class ski destination. Thus it lends itself to an active lifestyle and is rich in both arts and culture. Revelstoke provides inspiration for artists and crafters all around. Supplies can be difficult to come by locally, so internet shopping is an important venue for things of that nature. The town is young, hip and happening, and that definitely has an influence on the type of arts and crafts being produced in the area.
Kootsac is located in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia on Slocan Lake. On the other side of this incredible pristine lake is the Valhalla Mountain wilderness park. It’s amazing and comforting thing to be able to look across this massive lake and see just wilderness — a great source of inspiration and a constant reminder of what we’ll lose if we do not work together to preserve our environment. The Kootenay region has a very active arts community. There is a great appreciation for the arts here and people are very conscious of buying handmade. Almost every home you enter has the work of local artists on their walls and local pottery in their kitchens. Kootsac runs a very vibrant little market here in the summer where she also sells her textile art, clothing and t-shirts. The Trans-Canada Team was the first team Kootsac joined when she started on Etsy. It was natural for her to seek out a smaller group from within the larger Etsy community.
The Kootenays are well known for garlic. It grows very well here and local people use an abundance of it their food. There is nothing better than a big green salad from the garden, baked Brie, fresh baked baguette from the market and roasted garlic. The Hills Garlic Festival is the biggest local event of the year and people come from far and wide to enjoy this unique Kootenay culture festival where garlic, great music and artisans from the region are celebrated.
Big thanks to the Trans-Canada Etsy team for sharing a local perspective. Have a happy Canada Day on July 1!
The Trans-Canada Etsy Team currently has a Team shop, purchases made go to fund joint marketing efforts, and they have a Team blog, where you can read additional profiles of some of the Team members, find out about special events, sales and Team news. To find items created by members of the Team, search the tag ‘team Canada’ on Etsy.