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Our Story

How it all got started and where we are now

This Market's Unique Origins


Our market series can trace its beginnings to the 2011 inheritance of the Kootenay Christmas Fair, an event launched by Pauline Hanbury, and other local artisans, held at the Nelson Civic Centre beginning in 1973.

The Kootenay Christmas Faire evolved to be an event which was juried by other artisans and was supported by the Friends Of The Faire and Nelson Arts Council for 15+ years until 2008.

After the show did not run for three years Aviva Keely took on the challenge of reviving this show to its past glory in 2011. Seeking the counsel of former coordinators and with the blessing of the NDAC the Kootenay Artisan Fair was born and was able to re-establish this much loved community event right into its 50th Anniversary in 2023.

Since passing the torch to the Kootenay Artisan Fair we have been dedicated to holding this annual staple event as well as hosting other curated markets throughout the year.


The Kootenay Artisan Fair has become known for our notable series of market events in Nelson, attracting buyers from throughout the West Kootenay's, and beyond, to our locally made artisan goods.

We believe in supporting and encouraging local artisans in all aspects of their creativity, marketability, and brand development. We facilitate additional community access to our vendors by promoting them through our website and other online social media platforms.

A look at our incredible Vendors

Here are a few photos from our 50 year anniversary event in 2023

Why a Juried Christmas Show?

Ever wonder why we jury this event?

Keeping in line with the original Christmas show, we jury the November event in order to ensure the vendors who are participating are Handmade and Local.
We also jury to make sure you will have the best quality, sustainable variety available to choose from. 
Your very best in the local handmade one of a kind items 

Show Goals

What are we hoping to accomplish

Our goal here at the Kootenay Artisan Fair is to support local shopping by providing a comfortable and welcoming environment for both shopper and Vendors. We pride ourselves on providing vendor support, leading up to, during, and after the show. We love helping you take your business to the next level through education, support and promotion. 

Event Sponsor

We re very grateful to our sponsors for the continued support 

Positive Apparel is one of sponsors to the Kootenay Artisan Fair.


By sponsoring this event Positive Apparel pre-pays for all the events advertising and room rentals. This also allows vendors to pay by alternative methods including interact and e-transfers and provides a GST/PST number for those collecting taxes. You can learn more about this community organization by visiting their Facebook page.

Want to Sponsor The Kootenay Artisan Fair? 

The Kootenay Artisan fair is currently looking for new sponsors. If your company or organization would like to become a sponsor please contact Aviva Keely at 250-505-5444 or email

Sponsorship includes:

  1. Logo on all posters, postcards both mailed out or handed out in Nelson Area

  2. Logo on all promotional material including print ads

  3. Mentions on all radio ads

  4. Logo and web presence on all emails to current 4000 person + contact list

  5. Logo and web presence on our website

This will be a yearly one time Sponsorship an will be limited to a max of 4 Sponsors per year. Please contact Aviva for rates. 250-505-5444 or email

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