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The 2018 Market. Photo: Rhiana Chinapen.

Impact Hub Ottawa’s Holiday Market returns for 4th edition—12.11.19

By Vita Sgardello on December 2, 2019

Vita Sgardello is one of Apt613’s correspondents at Impact Hub Ottawa, writing about the many innovators that call Hub home. Hub is a co-working space at 123 Slater Street for projects with a positive local and global impact.

A holiday market that will make your heart grow three sizes (at least!). A welcoming space for those looking to find meaningful gifts that create a positive impact. The roster of vendors includes mostly women-run social enterprises, with a strong focus on Indigenous-led enterprises, all local, ethical, and sustainable. Don’t forget your tote bag!

Impact Hub Ottawa’s Gifts that Do Good Holiday Market is returning for its 4th edition this December and it’s safe to say this market that shines a light on social entrepreneurs and other good causes is fast becoming an Ottawa holiday tradition.

NU Grocery’s display at the 2018 Market. Photo: Rhiana Chinapen.

Set in Impact Hub’s shared collaborative workspace, the market is conveniently located in the heart of downtown and within walking distance to the LRT, Parliament, and City Hall. An open and welcoming space that is also wheelchair accessible.

“Gifts that Do Good aims to highlight just some of the amazing Ottawa social entrepreneurs and organizations doing good in our community” says Katie Miller, Managing Director of Impact Hub Ottawa.”We provide them with an opportunity to share their great work and holiday shoppers an opportunity to make a positive impact with their gifts. By helping citizens to choose gifts that support good, local, and sustainable practices, we hope to help take a step in the right direction, making our holiday season a little more meaningful”.

In fact, data from Zero Waste Canada suggests that within six months, only 1% of everything the average person buys during the holiday season is still in use. Which makes it even more important to be mindful when sourcing gifts for loved ones. By choosing to purchase your gifts from local vendors you are not only ensuring your money has a direct impact in your community, but you can also ask direct questions about the supply chain and production techniques, to ensure that the gifts that you make reflect your values. Considering a charitable donation to an important cause is another great alternative.

Photo: Rhiana Chinapen

Among the 40+ vendors you’ll find a varied range of offerings, from local hand-made balms to zero waste essentials; fair trade honey, bags, fashion, and more; socks, mittens, and legwarmers made of wool sourced from nomadic herders in Mongolia; wall art created by local artists and framers. What makes this market truly special is finding vendors you don’t expect to find at a holiday market. The non-profit organization for science in policymaking, the government worker who moonlights as a restorer of old maps, transforming them into beautiful prints (read more about him here on Apt613), the collective working to empower adults with autism and intellectual disabilities through creativity and community.

This year Shopify is joining Gifts that Do Good as the market sponsor. Thanks to their sponsorship, Impact Hub is able to keep participation fees accessible to vendors, including women and indigenous-owned businesses. Shopify will be offering all vendors a workshop with tailored advice on taking/growing their businesses online.

Confirmed vendors to Gifts that Do Good Holiday Market (so far) include:

Impact Hub Ottawa is a membership-based co-working space for social entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations, and small businesses. Mark your calendars for December 11, 2019,  from 6–9pm. Impact Hub Ottawa is at 123 Slater Street (6th floor). Entrance is free (voluntary donation of $5 also accepted for those wishing to support the market). Visit their website to register & learn more.