Business, Design & Style, Profile

Flock and Gather craft collective in Saskatoon

The local arts community in Saskatoon has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. This growth is due in large part to a group of artists who, in 2009, formed Flock and Gather, a craft collective with the intent to promote and support the handmade community in and around Saskatoon. Local textile artist Erin Weiss, along with fellow artists Shauna Buck, Cathy Terepocki, Carole Epp, Dana Mastel and Wayne Jorgenson formed the craft collective after discussing the fact that something felt missing from the handmade scene in Saskatoon. Coming from various art backgrounds (Buck is an illustrator, Terepocki is a ceramic artist, and Mastel and Jorgenson are screenprinters), the group started brainstorming ideas for how they could contribute to the community. “We knew there were lots of artists and makers who were hiding out in Saskatoon and we wanted to hold events that could draw these people together into a community,” says Weiss. “We started the markets because we wanted a place where both established and emerging artists could sell their work. We wanted to hold an event where our peers, and anyone who loves handmade goods, could come and find amazing items.”

The craft collective’s philosophy is refreshing: they believe that making things yourself, by hand, can be a powerful tool and they want handmade artists to know that there are other like-minded folk out there. Their purpose is to help get crafters’ work out into the public by hosting fun and unique sales. Flock and Gather’s first few sales were held in a small studio space with about thirteen vendors. Almost two years later they launched a Springtime market and a Christmas market. Both were held in a large, unique location on Broadway in Saskatoon. “We can now hold about thirty vendors, and our last show saw more than 1500 people through the doors,” said Weiss. “We were quite surprised and so excited about how quickly the markets have grown.”

The process for selling at a Flock and Gather market is quite simple. Because of the limited space, vendors apply to be part of the market and all applications undergo a jury process. “We try to select a good mix of new and returning artists, and also give customers a unique experience every time they come to one of our shows,” said Weiss. “The six of us put in a lot of volunteer hours planning markets, decorating and organizing the details. We get to see all of our hard work pay off on the days that the markets run – we have free drinks and snacks, good music, and a wonderful, fun vibe in the room.”

Due in part to websites like (an online market where artists can sell their goods), there has been a large growth in the past decade of handmade goods made by young people. But, as Weiss points out, there is something unique about selling your work in person. “This is where we wanted to fit in,” she says. “We wanted to take the handmade movement that was already happening, put a name to it, and help it grow here in Saskatoon. More and more people are seeing the value in supporting handmade, because not only are you getting unique goods, you are directly supporting an artist and enabling them to do what they love and work hard at it.”

Weiss’s personal business, Boolah Baguette, has also benefitted from the Flock and Gather sales. “It was the springboard for me to really take what I was doing more seriously,” she says. “I feel now like I am always surrounded by people who encourage me, challenge me to push myself, and inject just the right amount of creativity and inspiration into my every day. Boolah Baguette has gone from a little hobby operation to selling in retail locations, being part of gallery shows, and doing custom work.”

The next Flock and Gather market will be the Winter Wonders Handmade Market on December 7th (6-9pm) and 8th (10am-5pm) at St. Joseph’s Parish Hall on Broadway (535 8 St. E, Saskatoon). “For the Christmas market we will have plenty of new vendors and free food and drinks,” says Weiss. “We are still working on the details of the event, so I don’t want to promise anything that won’t be there, but trust me it will be hard to leave the show empty handed!”

To learn more about Flock and Gather visit their blog ( and their Facebook page ( where you can keep up to date on the sales and call for vendors. “We are always looking for new artists,” says Weiss. “It’s easy to see that there are so many talented people out there – and we work really hard to make sure this is an anticipated event. We love handmade and we love this city!”

Erin Weiss’s artistic creations can be seen on her Etsy page: or visit her Facebook page for more information:

Krista Wiebe writes for the Spectator Tribune. Follow her on Twitter: @KristaWiebe

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