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Refresh Market makes Whistler debut

Squamish market hosts pop-up holiday event at the Audain Art Museum



The Refresh Market might be best known for its seasonal Squamish events, but recently organizers have been popping up in new locations.

"This year, we've really expanded our offerings in general," says co-founder Rachel Boguski. "Earlier this summer, we expanded our seasonal markets to host a pop-up at the three-day Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver."

Next up, the market—which selects vendors with handmade products made in B.C.—is set to host a market in the Audain Art Museum on Friday, Dec. 6 and Saturday, Dec. 7, marking its first Whistler event.

"To be able to work with the Audain team and be able to host the event in their space is a dream for us," Boguski says. "I feel that hosting a market at the museum really allows us to elevate the cultural experience of our markets. It just seemed like a very easy fit for us."

In total, 40 vendors—selected from 130 applicants—will set up in the upper gallery space. The selection will range from clothing to jewelry, ceramics and art to skincare and wellness items.

"We've selected vendors that fit with the Refresh aesthetic, but we selected slightly different vendors, so that we're providing the experience of two different markets," Boguski adds. "We're not replicating the experience. We have a lot of vendors coming up from the Lower Mainland to do this. I'd say [it's] a mix of Lower Mainland and the Sea to Sky."

Overall, the goal is to encourage people to shop local for the busy holiday season. "People are paying more attention in terms of where their products are coming from, who's making them," she says. "We offer the opportunity for the public to really connect with the people that are making their items. If we can keep people out of the shopping malls and big box stores and keep people shopping local and supporting local, creative events, we're doing our job."

The Whistler event will come on the heels of the Squamish holiday market at the sprawling West Coast Railway Heritage Park on Nov. 15 and 16. That event features 100 vendors. (And of course, it's also after the long-running Arts Whistler Holiday Market, this year taking place at The Westin Resort & Spa alongside Bratz Biz on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.)

"Our Whistler event is going to be a pop-up version of what we create in Squamish," Boguski says. "What we're known for is the quality of our vendors lineup, but also we have incredible community vibe at our markets. It really is a gathering place. It's very warm and a social environment. You have the opportunity to connect and gather with people from across the Sea to Sky corridor, down to the Lower Mainland and you're surrounded by the work of our creative vendor community."

Tickets for the Whistler Refresh Holiday Market are $15 in advance or $18 at the door, including museum admission, or $3 and $5 at the door for the market only.

For more, visit refreshmarket.ca/tickets.