Royal Bison Fair Trots Online Due To Covid-19 Pandemic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

EDMONTON’S FAVOURITE ECLECTIC DESIGN, CRAFT, AND ART FAIR TROTS ONLINE TO SUPPORT COVID-19 EFFORTS AND LOCAL ARTISTS

April 27, 2020 • Edmonton, AB — The Royal Bison, Edmonton’s favourite twice-annual eclectic design, craft, and art festival and sale, returns from May 8 to 10, 2020, in order to help everyone—including everyone across Canada—find the perfect gifts for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day! In order to protect the health and well-being of their community and help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Royal Bison is trotting online to encourage everyone to stay home and shop online while continuing to support local designers and artists as it has for over a dozen years.

For this year’s fair, attendees eager to purchase some unique, local and high-quality wares are invited to visit royalbison.ca where they can browse items from over 75 Edmonton-based vendors. Powered by Shopify, the online shop will for the first time make it easy for anyone across Canada to take advantage of the incredible design work coming out of Edmonton as shipping costs will be free. Vendors will mail items through Canada Post or offer local contactless delivery.

This twice-a-year snapshot of the goings-on of the top creatives across Edmonton has typically welcomed over 3,000 shoppers through its doors and makes a huge contribution to the local economy as its vendors bring in an estimated total of over $150,000 in sales over one weekend. The art and craft fair has already seen major support from the community for this physical distancing online pop-up with over $12,000 in gift cards purchased for the online sale—$10K of those in a single day!—and they expect thousands of visits to their online shop over the weekend.

“The Royal Bison is an Edmonton creative institution. People mark their calendars for it every year, and so we knew we needed to push the envelope of shopping local and pivot online during these strange times,” says head organizer Vikki Wiercinski. “We're excited to watch the Royal Bison go viral (in a good way) and let everyone get a dose of the amazing Edmonton design scene by shipping goods across Canada!” 

With the eclectic mix of vendors, shoppers are sure to find the perfect created-in-Edmonton gift for their parents or themselves no matter their tastes! To help people shop conveniently from the comfort of their homes, vendors on the site will be searchable by name and category. On offer are modern and minimalist hand-carved home objects from woodworker Zach Kirinic of drvo handmade, bright and modern vessels from ceramicist Sam Knopp Ceramics, concrete pieces like you’ve never seen before from Ryspot, stunning beadwork earrings from Indigenous artist Chauntelle Atcheynum of Mâmawi Creations, handrolled incense from Setsuna Home, and apparel from tomboy brand Flannel Foxes. Complete the gift with an inventive letter pressed card from Homework Letterpress, and make sure to check out what Glass Bookshop, Edmonton’s newest bookstore, has on offer from local writers. Art lovers will rejoice as Edmonton’s artists are at the Royal Bison in full force, with offerings from some of the city’s best, including artist Caitlin Bodwitz of CMB Printworks, letterpress printer Cate Kuzik of Ochre Lea, and graphic designer Tracy Niven’s queer culture project Lonely Coyote.

Against the challenge of big-box stores and online retailers like Amazon—and now a deadly and extremely contagious virus—the Royal Bison continues to offer a top-notch independent and local alternative, allowing customers to spend directly within their local community and engage with the people who make delightful goods. 

Dates: May 8 – 10, 2020;
Shop launches at 5 p.m. (MST) on Friday, May 8, and closes at 5 p.m. (MST) on May 10, 2020.

Location: Shop online at royalbison.ca, and follow along all weekend on Instagram @theroyalbison

About the Royal Bison Art & Craft FairSince 2007, the Royal Bison Art & Craft Fair has been a community-based, tightly curated pop-up event and sale that features the best and weirdest from the city’s designers and artists. The fair revels in all things local and independent and acts as a springboard and showcase for the area’s creative endeavours, as its low table fees and arts grants ensure that the fair remains accessible for all vendors and welcomes a diverse crowd of makers. 

www.royalbison.ca

Instagram, Twitter & Facebook: @theroyalbison

Dropbox link with images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/kowntxp7cuz0yil/AADV2sl5oNQuvez8naVDAjz3a?dl=0

For interview inquiries, images, or more information about the Royal Bison & its vendors, please contact:

Matthew Stepanic
mstepani@ualberta.ca
780-868-6184

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