Christmas Arts & Crafts in Ontario’s Cottage Country

The holiday season is upon us and that means cottage country’s renowned artisans are as busy as Santa’s elves showcasing their infinitely more impressive wares.

Head to one of many arts & crafts shows and collectives in the region this holiday season and find the perfect gift for family and friends – everything made with a lot of thought, creativity, and love.

christmas market

The Huntsville Art Society will present its Members’ Art Marketplace and Boutique Dec. 4-6, with reception on Dec. 4, and its Members’ Show Dec. 9-23 and Jan 5-30 (theme: Rhythm and Hues) at the Signal North Gallery.

Hobnob with multi-talented musicians at the Muskoka Chautauqua Homegrown Christmas Jam, Dec. 11 at JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka in Minett.

Windows to the North Gallery and Studio in Magnetawan in the Almaguin Highlands is home to an all-woman group of artists. While the emphasis is on glass art, there’s a wide selection of media on display. It’s a great excuse to take a seasonal road trip to the beautiful region located not far north of Muskoka. While in Almaguin, stop in to see the artisans of the Burk’s Falls Arts & Crafts Club at their centre in town.

001The collective of artists located in the clock tower building in downtown Bracebridge present Christmas at the Clock Tower. Opening at 11am on Friday, Dec. 11 (with gala reception at 4pm) and continuing until Saturday, Dec. 12 at  5pm.

Visitors can meet with such well-known artists as Stan Tait (creator of the Angel Pendant) and Col Mitchell, and peruse their incredible works. Located at 49 Manitoba St. (Be sure to have a listen to the newly restored chiming of the hourly clock – a sweet sound in this historic town).

You can also visit over a dozen artists in Gravenhurst known as Arts at the Albion at their seasonal event “Here We Come A Carolling” on Saturday, Dec. 12 from 1-4pm. Featuring festive singing, warm apple cider, cookies – and incredible gift ideas.

If you are heading through Lake of Bays towards Algonquin Park, be sure to check out the Oxtongue Craft Cabin & Gallery (open weekends in winter) for an incredible array of items to choose from. You’ll also enjoy this quaint log cabin and its decorative charms.

Iroquois Artisans of Bala, Muskoka are a carefully-chosen collective of artisans of the Haudenosaunee Nation, whose soapstone sculptures and other works are informed by Haudenosaunee spirituality. They make gifts that will be treasured for a lifetime.

Moccasins from G'zaaginFirst Nations arts and crafts are also available at G’Zaagin Art Gallery on in Parry Sound. Ask about their incredible workshops as well, where you can learn the incredible skills to create traditional crafts – a great gift idea for the creative person in your family.

While in Parry Sound, be sure to visit the impressive Jessica Verger Studios – now in a new location. An incredible fashion designer and dressmaker, Jessica has expanded her offering to include additional arts and crafts, workshops, a studio and gallery, and to promote other local artists. Check out what is fast becoming an epi-centre of arts and crafts on Georgian Bay.

Rich Hill Candles in Bracebridge, Muskoka, is a welcoming factory and store where you can watch candles being made – or make your own with a little help (kids love this!).  Check out the knick-knacks, curiosities, a variety of candles and candle-holders, and enjoy the Christmas feeling that comes over you when you walk through their doors.

And also happening this holiday season it’s the annual Made In Muskoka Show at Sutherland Hall in Huntsville, Dec. 11-13.  Head to see this “festive bounty created by some of Muskoka’s finest artists and craftspeople.”

For the full list of galleries and studios in the great Canadian wilderness, click here.

For great shopping in the great Canadian wilderness, click here.

To plan your stay, click here.

Feature photo shows candle making at Rich Hill Candles.

Guest Blogger: Karen Wehrstein
A resident of Muskoka, Karen Wehrstein is a freelance writer and published novelist whose work has appeared in the National Post, Montreal Gazette, as well as Muskoka Magazine, What’s Up Muskoka and other regional publications. She lives on thirty acres of beautiful forest near Lake of Bays. 

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