The Royal Bison is an independent, vendor-run craft, art, and design fair located in Edmonton, Alberta Canada.
ONLINE FAIR VENDOR FEES
$80.00+GST AND 15% COMMISSION ON NET SALES
IN-PERSON FAIR – TABLE FEES (FOR NON-PANDEMIC TIMES):
Table fee is per weekend. It includes booth space, a table (if you want one), and all the chairs you could ever need. Wall space and access to power is free but is available only by request after you’re accepted, and is subject to availability.
Winter 2021 table fee: $275.00+GST (6-foot+ tables only to ensure physical distancing)
THE ROYAL BISON FAIR HAS BEEN BLOWIN’ THROUGH TOWN SINCE 2007, HAS A FEROCIOUS FOLLOWING OF CUSTOMERS, AND ONLY GETS BETTER WITH AGE.
The Royal Bison is vendor-run, closely aligned with the arts community, deeply independent, and – we like to think – one heckuva good time!
In the Before Times, the fair popped up for one weekend only three times a year (once in the spring and twice in the winter). In-person events historically have a roster of 70-ish top-notch makers, designers, illustrators, ceramicists, and more, all showing their best work.
Between March 2020 and September 2021, the fair moved entirely online due to the pandemic, allowing for even more amazing vendors from across a wider region to participate. As of December 2021, the Royal Bison is back in-person and also remains online!
THE ROYAL BISON IS ARTIST-JURIED AND -CURATED WITH AN EYE TOWARDS THE NEW, UNIQUE, AND DESIGNED. IT’S A SNAPSOT OF WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE INDIE ART, DESIGN, AND MAKER SCENE IN EDMONTON AND THE SURROUNDING AREA.
A few things to note before you apply:
Getting into the fair is competitive, but not impossible! The simple fact is that we receive far more applications than we’re able to accept. Applications are juried by an ever-changing group of people from Edmonton’s creative community. We always make room for new people and new ideas. We can’t wait to see your applications!
We invite you to have a peek at our Instagram feed, which features the work of vendors from fairs past. Read on and find out what we’re lookin’ for:
THE LOCAL AND THE REGIONAL
Much of our vendor roster is dedicated to local vendors. Applications from the Canadian prairies/western region (i.e., Alberta, Saskatchewan, interior BC) are welcomed and are juried on design merit. If you’re based further afield, we’ll consider your application to our online fair only if you’re an Edmonton expat and continue to have significant ties to the Edmonton art and design community.
REGARDING CULTURAL APPROPRIATION
If you’re making work inspired by a particular culture or group, we hope you’re doing it because you have legitimate ties to that group. If you’re submitting photos of a headdress, dreamcatcher, medicine wheel, etc., please let us know in your application your rationale for using this sort of imagery.
DESIGN VS. HANDMADE
As the craft and design movement has evolved, so too has the Royal Bison. We celebrate design in many forms and through many processes. If your items are designed by you but custom manufactured elsewhere or by another person, we welcome your work and ideas at the fair!
REGARDING PRINT-ON-DEMAND ITEMS
Vendors are generally asked to leave print-on-demand items at home. Print-on-demand items are those that are made by sending your digital design to a company that places that design on a standard, blank product (e.g., travel mug, ceramic mug, face mask) and sends it back to you or your customer. We do allow a few exceptions here, including: flat fabrics that you’re sewing yourself, clothing containing your artwork (screen printed apparel, embroidered hats, silk scarves), stickers, and custom-manufactured goods.
REGARDING FAN ART
There are so many illustrators out there making original work – we’d like to feature them! If you’re painting Bill Murray or printing Spock, please leave these items out of your application and submit your original pieces only. Our jury criteria for art with a pop-culture angle is as follows:
• Does the artwork stand up without the pun/text?
• Is the artwork something that only viewers of the show/movie/etc. will get, or does the artist offer an original message rolled around the fan art?
• Is there any added context in the artwork?
• Is the artwork appealing to both people who love the show/movie and hate the show/movie?
• Is the artwork appropriate to what our audience is looking for?
Jewelry is by far our most competitive category. Our focus is on both modern metalsmithing and unexpected pieces made from surprising materials. Assembled jewelry is considered very carefully for uniqueness. Applicants who offer jewelry in addition to other items may be asked to leave the jewelry portion of their work at home.
FOOD & DRINK APPLICATIONS
We are a community-based event focused on art and design, and not a more general market (plus, we’re located right next to the excellent Strathcona Farmers’ Market). Your food or beverage item will very likely be a better fit and find a more receptive audience at a food-focused market.