613Flea is a new addition to Ottawa’s thriving arts and crafts market circuit. Taking advantage of the new space provided by the Lansdowne Park development, 613Flea will be taking place on select Saturdays in September and October from 10am-4pm.
Apt613 had the chance to speak with Catherine Knoll, the Market Manager for 613Flea. We talked about the benefits of flea markets for artists and for buyers, as well as what 613Flea will be bringing to the flea market game. The following interview was edited for clarity.
Apt613: Tell me about yourself!
I am Catherine, the Market Manager for 613flea.
I have also organized the Toronto Antique & Vintage Market at Exhibition Place as well as the Ottawa Antique & Vintage Market at Carleton University Fieldhouse. I am also the organizer of two of the largest vintage clothing shows in Canada: the Toronto Vintage Clothing Show and the Ottawa Vintage Clothing Show.
What is 613flea?
613flea is a not-for-profit that is dedicated to the economic independence of the creative and vintage community.
What inspired 613flea?
Other great flea markets including, Brooklyn Flea. Brooklyn Flea is a hugely successful market in New York. In addition to being a terrific place to sell for vendors, it adds a great vitality to the neighbourhood, it brings in tourists, and is a net benefit to all businesses in the area. That’s our goal!
What sets 613flea apart from other craft fairs?
613flea is not just a craft fair. Yes, there will be crafts there, but also a number of other categories including, antiques, artists, vintage clothing and food. We like to call it a “curated” market.
What is 613flea hoping to achieve?
We hope to help give exposure and generate sales for Ottawa’s creative community (including artists, artisans, designers, makers). We want to make it a fun (and free) outing for Ottawan’s who would like to browse and shop for many one-of-a-kind items (including during our long winter months!)
Why was Lansdowne Park chosen as 613flea’s space?
We’ve been working with the City for a while on this and the newly redeveloped Lansdowne Park seemed like such a great fit. The restaurants have created a great “vibe” at the Park – and people always love to browse! Also the Aberdeen Pavilion is such a fabulous building (we ran a twice yearly antiques show there for 10 years) before the re-development.
What types of vendors will be at 613flea?
We’d like all aspects of Ottawa’s “creative community” to be there including artisans, artists, designers, entertainers and makers. Also more traditional vendors associated with a “flea market” such as antiques dealers and vintage clothing vendors.
In your opinion, how do craft fairs, as a whole, benefit the community?
I believe that craft fairs (and flea markets and art shows and antiques shows…etc.) benefit the community by bringing people together. It’s part of the social fabric and adds colour and vitality to a community/city. Also, they are just plain fun to visit.
How do they benefit crafters and small businesses?
Promote their products and generate sales. This can give them a “leg-up” with their business, perhaps turning a part time business into a full time one. This is good for the individual as well as the economy in general.
What have been some of the challenges 613flea has faced so far?
Getting the word out! As a not-for-profit, 613flea doesn’t have a big budget for advertising.
And what have been the biggest successes?
I think it would be the fact that we’ve already discovered some amazingly creative people in Ottawa. When I say discovered, I mean we really didn’t know about them before. We’re hoping to share these new “discoveries” with the people who visit 613flea.
613Flea takes place on September 12 & 19, 2015 on Aberdeen Square and October 10 & 17, 2015 inside Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park. More dates will be booked throughout the winter season. For a list of vendors, click here. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.