2019 Holiday Gift Guide

In our very first holiday gift guide, we’ve curated items by artists and designers using sustainable methods of making. Let us help you choose the perfect gifts that embody a slower, more thoughtful way of living. Tick everyone off your list while supporting small businesses in pursuit of a creative livelihood. 

Here’s a fashionable toque for young persons and those still young at heart. Designed in Sackville, New Brunswick, Bad Ideas Forever describes its small run clothing line as leisurewear for the apocalypse that inspires hope in the broken hearted, courage for the timid, pause to the brash and love for all. Plus, stay warm this winter with a rebellious spirit.

Two styles available at $25, with or without a pom pom — styled with Red Sky ‘Perfect Hoop’ earring and a vintage Burberry trench coat in red. Modelled by Mallory Kelly. 

What’s the gift that suits comic book collectors, printmaking nerds, music fans and dog lovers? Trixie’s Trek with Triniti is the story of a pup named Trixie and her human companion, Triniti, told through pictures. The two explore magical worlds together, taking pause to swim, read and dream. The book comes with a free download code for a corresponding soundscape — completing the experience.

By Jon Vaughn and Sean Christensen, co-published by Moniker Press and Ecstasy Editions, 26 pages, printed in Canada, risograph edition of 150 — available at $20. 


In a new exhibition at Visitors, Saint John-based contemporary artist Amy Ash invites us to reflect on collective memory. A small original artwork like Ghosting the World (pictured above) is the special heirloom present they’ll cherish. A perfect gift for artists, new homeowners, the beginner—and the seasoned—art collector.

Ghosting the World, cyanotype and acrylic on St. Armand paper mounted on canvas, 6” x 6”, 2019 — Available at $280.  

Gift a classic clutch from bygone eras. Our collection of antique bags date back to the 1920s and on through to the 1960s. It's a unique accessory for modern occasions and most styles accommodate a smartphone. To complete the gift, pair it with a set of tickets to a New Year's Eve event.

Available starting at $24 — styled with two ‘Gardenia' rings by Anne-Sophie Vallée. Modelled by Mallory Kelly. 

Textile artist Andrea Butler hand dyes natural fibers and weaves them into one-of-a-kind luxe throw pillows. Each one makes a vibrant statement in a bedroom or living room. The cover is made from cotton and is fitted with a zipper on the back, so it's easy to remove and hand wash with mild detergent.

Available at $96 - $116 — pillow included. Dimensions range between 16” x 16” and 16” x 26”. 

Diane Arbus said “taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.” this set of original polaroid photographs by Moncton-based Acadian artist Annie France Noël makes a real treat for the photography lover in your life. Each piece is housed in a clear lucite frame giving the pair a magical, ethereal appearance.

Ascend I & Ascend II, Deconstructed Polaroid, 3.5” x 4.5”, 2019 — Available at $125 each.  

Life’s short. Wear wool socks that won’t itch. For our first line of Visitors wears, we worked with craftspeople in our community to develop one-of-a-kind hand painted wool socks made from a super soft yet durable merino wool blend. Promised to keep toes nice and toasty.

Available at $39 in sizes S, M, L — socks made in collaboration with The Tompkins Design Studio based in Saint John, New Brunswick. 

Lindsay Bird’s debut poetry collection, Boom Time transports readers to the world of Fort McMurray's work camps in the early 2000’s. Expertly printed and published by Nova Scotia’s Gaspereau Press. The publisher writes, “Deep in the oilpatch, the luxuries of civilization—things like rules and objective facts—sometimes seem in short supply. These poems attempt to chart a place where there “isn’t a decent map to be had”, sketching the blurry boundaries between truth and talk.”

Boom Time, 80 pages, Gaspereau Press  — available at $19.95.

Enamel pins are for the person who likes to make a statement. Created by artists and indie designers, they make wearing your heart on your sleeve less embarrassing. Plus, pins make a thoughtful stocking stuffer for teens.

Available starting at $14.50 — enamel pins by Inner Decay, Badge Bomb, and Rosehound.

A modern signet ring handcrafted by designer and metalsmith Kathryne Radburn for RYHN, her Montreal-based jewellery line. A raw and texture-rich sterling silver ring with a dark and smokey patina makes a timeless treasure for anyone with an affinity for jewellery. 

Available at $250 — with special orders with custom sizing options available.

Ceramic artist Toni Losey makes charming functional earthenware in her Dartmouth studio. The mug and pour over set are the perfect combo for coffee and tea lovers. Their silky glazes come in a range of sunny colour combinations that contrast nicely with the slightly textured areas of the raw clay. 

Mug available at $41 and pour over available at $47 — pictured with Losey’s multipurpose pinch bowls (perfect for serving salt, seasonings, olives, nuts, seeds and snacks), available at $11.

In an extraordinary collection of 75 watercolours paired with short prose by artist Jon Claytor, Take my Breath Away explores sensations of the ordinary. The artist writes that, “Each image tells a small story. Sometimes of limited superpowers, sometimes of love, family, hope, trepidation, resilience, pop songs, wild animals, cats or dogs.” 

Take My Breath Away, 150 pages, Bad Ideas Forever Publishing — available at $50. Pictured with Middle KIngdom Hearth Tea Lights, set of three, available at $47.70.

BAGGU’s best selling reusable bag is small and mighty. Each bag holds up to 50 lbs, two to three plastic grocery bags worth of stuff, and folds into a flat 5" × 5" pouch. Plus, each of their attractive designs are made from 40% recycled nylon sourced from pre-consumer waste.

Available at $16 — unfolded bag dimensions 25 ½" × 15 ½" × 6".

With a mix of bright colours and curvy shapes, Middle Kingdom’s porcelain mini vases take a fun approach to traditional vessels. Fill them with flowers, candles, or nothing at all — even when not in use they have sculptural appeal.

Available at $30.70  Dimensions range from 4.6” x 3.9” in to 5” x 3.1”.

Middle Kingdom presents us with everyday bottles cast in powdery coloured porcelain. Created from discarded plastic bottles retrieved from the Rotterdam canals, this series makes for an attractive gift that sparks conversation. Perfect for art lovers, design enthusiasts, or anyone who values the shift towards environmentally-conscious thinking.

Available at $33.40 - $68.40 — dimensions range between 2.25” x 6.25” and 4.5” x 10.88”.

Anne-Sophie Vallee’s forward-thinking designs strike a balance between style and wearability, making them the sought after statement earring suitable for everyday wear. Each set of elegant yet playful wavy shapes are hand cut in her Halifax studio.

Available  at $55 - $80 — brass with sterling silver posts. Also available in sterling silver. 

Let them decide for themselves. Visitors offers gift cards redeemable for art, apparel, accessories, homewares, and more. Personalize it with a greeting card by Homework Press. Their signature playful illustrations and high quality letterpress printing never ceases to please.

Giftcards are available in any dollar amount. Homework Press greeting cards available at $7.50.

November 20, 2019 — Julie Wallace
Tags: Editorial