Winnipeg’s CRAFTED: Show + Sale event is a one-of-a-kind annual juried craft show (which means vendors are selected among applications by event organizers) that took place this year from November 5-7 and featured over 50 professional artisans. It is renowned for its offerings of the finest in handmade arts and crafts.
Thanks to a partnership with the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Manitoba Craft Council, the NWT Arts Program gave nine NWT artists the opportunity to attend this year’s show to present their work, build relationships with customers, network with other artists and find new economic opportunities.
Artists were selected based on their experience to represent each NWT region and ensure a healthy variety of artwork from the NWT was represented.
With over 3,500 shoppers browsing the market over three days, the event was a boon for NWT artists. The CRAFTED Booklet, given to shoppers entering the market, included biographies of the NWT artists and their work and a four-page feature highlighting the story of craft in the NWT and how important craft is to NWT traditional cultures.
In total, NWT artists generated approximately $40,000 in direct sales, an additional $3,500 of work sold wholesale to the Winnipeg Art Gallery Retail Store and another $1,000 on consignment. Those with a social media presence reported a boost in followers and an uptick in online sales. All artists exceeded their sales expectations.
In addition to supporting artists on-site, NWT Arts worked with artists to make sure they were market-ready for the event using videos on how to price their artwork and how to sell artwork in person. Artists received printed marketing materials personalized with their information and got help with designing a professional-looking display including NWT Arts branded signage and price tags.
While this is not the first time that NWT Arts has supported artists to participate in this event, November’s event is the first time that they were able to attend in person; more than doubling the sales generated for NWT artists.