Market Collective takes place October 22 and 23


Market Collective’s October Fall Ball, an arts market created to showcase the works of local artists, artisans, designers and musicians, will be coming up this weekend in Kensington.

Market Collective has become increasingly popular over the years with more than 3,000 Calgarians coming to each market compared to the 600 attendees at the first one in June 2008. However, little is known to attendees about what goes on behind the scenes to organize the event.

Angel Guerra and Angela Dione, founders of Market Collective, say that an enormous amount of time and energy has been devoted to building the event as well as the business of Market Collective.

For every market, Guerra and Dione sift through 10 to 50 new artist submissions; reviewing the artists’ work and evaluating if the products are truly local and handmade, Guerra says.

“We’re really strict,” Dione says. In the past, they’ve had to turn down submissions because the artwork was not made locally, she says.


Market Collective founders, Angela Dione (left) and Angel Guerra (right). Photo: Pauline ZuluetaThe two also renegotiate rental dates with the owners of the venue months in advance of every market. Tables and sound equipment rentals are collected a week prior, then assembled at the venue. Artists begin setting up their booth the day before the event, right up until the doors open.

In addition, the pair responds to approximately 25 to 50 emails daily, ranging from general inquiries to artist submissions, Guerra says. They also use social networking sites through their Facebook page, Twitter feed and website to announce details about upcoming market.

Three years into Market Collective, event set up and planning is going a lot smoother than it used to, Guerra says. However, surprises can still come up during an event.

For example, a few years ago the roof started leaking due to melting snow. Their solution? Put down a large bucket and create a makeshift wishing well.

Years in the making

Both women say they have had to balance their work for Market Collective with their individual careers.

“For three years, it is all the both of us did,” Guerra says.

Guerra currently teaches English four days a week at Ernest Manning High School. Dione, a fibre artist as well as a trained shoemaker, says that she has had to put her practice on hold since Market Collective began three years ago.

Dione says, “Although it’s affected our personal lives and our career paths essentially, it’s also brought me closer to my city and the community I live in. I have no regrets.”

Katie Green, an artist, designer and a regular face at Market Collective says, “I’m so thankful for those two girls because I don’t know what other opportunity like this Calgary would have.”

What to expect at Market Collective

The October Fall Ball is one of the more popular Market Collectives because Calgarians are back in the city and looking for things to do, Guerra says. A few hundred more Calgarians come to the October Fall Ball than the summer markets, Guerra adds.


Katie Green’s splatter painting. Photo: Pauline ZuluetaThe upcoming market will have approximately 100 artists and musicians. Artists will range from painters, designers, photographers, printmakers, jewelry designers and glassworkers amongst others.

Vanessa Coates-Humen, a university student and regular attendee of Market Collective since 2009, says the variety of artwork and activities is what keeps her coming back.

The upstairs gallery will have interactive displays, including CJSW’s funding drive. Artist Mandy Stobo will be painting a series of “Bad Portraits” and Quickdraw Animation Society will be projecting films as well. There will also be a pumpkin carving station.

Admission is $3 at the door or a non-perishable food donation to the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank. Market Collective collects approximately 600 pounds in food donations from every market.

Market Collective is held at the Ant Hill Building in Kensington at 148 10th St. N.W. The October Fall Ball will launch Saturday, Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will continue to Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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