Skip to content

Deer Lake Craft Festival returning to Burnaby after one-year hiatus

The annual holiday artisan market will return to Shadbolt Centre for the Arts Nov. 19 to 21
The annual Deer Lake Craft Festival (seen here in 2019) returns to the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts Nov. 19 to 21, with COVID-19 safety protocols in place.

It’s been a staple of the holiday season in Burnaby for 50 years – and the Deer Lake Craft Festival is returning in style this month after a one-year hiatus.

The Burnaby Arts Council’s annual holiday market was forced to take a year off in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s back for 2021 – and holiday shoppers can get ready to hit the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts from Nov. 19 to 21.

Jasmine Wu, interim executive director of the arts council, said it’s “super-exciting” for organizers, vendors and community members alike.  Once word went out that the event was coming back this year, she said, artisans couldn’t wait to get involved again.

“We had all our past vendors who were really eager to come back and meet the community again after a whole year of not being able to interact in person,” she said.

She said artisans and makers have been drawn to the chance to connect with their customers face-to-face instead of in virtual format, as they had to last year. And, she said, the artisans are also pleased to see each other again, since many of the vendors have returned together year after year.

“There’s lots to catch up on,” Wu noted.

As always, she said, the fair will include an array of different artisan offerings.

“We have jewelry, we have wood carving, we have ceramic pottery, apparel, some food – a pretty wide variety,” she said.

This year’s event will be a bit smaller than the last full outing in 2019, with about 40 vendors lined up right now.

“That’s mostly so we can allow for enough spacing between them, and so that people, visitors as well, can have some space for distance, for safety,” Wu explained, noting the fair will take place in the same three rooms as usual  at the Shadbolt Centre.

The arts council’s raffle and silent auction fundraiser is also back, and there will be live performances throughout the weekend. (The exact lineup is still being set, but watch the arts council’s website for full details soon.)

For COVID-19 safety purposes, there won’t be any hands-on activities – like the kids’ crafts or cookie decorating that have happened in past years.

But there will be a nice addition for those who want to make a day of it:  two local food trucks that will park outside and offer up lunch and dinner for shoppers.

And, for those who are still feeling tentative about returning to live events, Wu stressed there will be a full COVID-19 health and safety plan in place. Proof of vaccination and masks will be required, as per public health orders. There will also be capacity restrictions in place, so visitors may run into lineups at the door should the venue already be full.

Admission to the fair will be free, as usual.

“We look forward to supporting local businesses again,” Wu said. “The holiday season is the perfect time to check out what the Burnaby community has been working on.”



What: Deer Lake Craft Festival

When: Friday, Nov. 19; Saturday, Nov. 20; Sunday, Nov. 21. Market open Friday noon to 5 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, 6450 Deer Lake Ave., Burnaby

Cost: Free admission.

COVID-19 protocols: Capacity restrictions in place. Proof of vaccination required. Masks required.

Follow Julie MacLellan on Twitter @juliemaclellan.
Email Julie,


NOTE: This story was updated Nov. 5 at 4 p.m. with corrected market hours.