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All about Toronto Bead Shows

July 4 2009
by C.S.

Toronto Bead Shows

Cubic Zirconia Purple Arrow Head

Throughout the year, there are a number of Toronto Bead Shows, run by different organizers and at various venues. Almost all of these are predominantly retail bead shows, however, some bead vendors, like Stones and Findings, who offers wholesale prices.

One of the favourite and most well attended Toronto Bead Shows is the Toronto Bead Oasis Show . It takes place at the North Building of the Toronto Convention Centre. There are many bead vendors from across Canada, from B.C. to Montreal and beyond. It is well organized, well advertised in both beading magazines and newspapers. We've recently had our best Toronto Bead Oasis Show attendance ever. I don't know if this is largely because the economy is poor and many people have turned to their passion for jewellery making, or that they've decided to make their own as opposed to buying more readymade jewellery or accessory pieces. This show has the most exhibitors of all of the Toronto Bead Shows .

The Whole Bead Show organizers are a big force in the United States. They also do a very successful bead show in Vancouver. However, they used to organize a Toronto bead show at the Holiday Inn downtown Toronto. But I think because of the timing, which was always around Mother's Day, caused its downfall. Eventually, with dwindling attendance, this bead show was disbanded. The Vancouver show continues to be a success and is always held in late April/early May.

The Toronto Bead Society holds about 2 bead fairs annually. They also have a Garage Sale for members to trade old and unwanted merchandise as well as merchants to clear their goods. The Toronto Bead Society shows have traditionally been held at the downtown YMCA, at Grosvenor, north of College Street. However, they will be changing venues in the near future. They used to take up the main gym at YMCA. There is a good overlap of Toronto Bead Store exhibitors that exhibit at the Toronto Bead Oasis Show . The entrance fees are quite a bit less and the atmosphere is more relaxed. However, because of the smallness of the venue, the selection is smaller and bead exhibitor booths are smaller, hence, they are unable to bring as much.

The Toronto Gem and Mineral Show is smaller and usually take place at the local skating rinks in each of the neighbourhoods where the exhibition is held. Neighbourhoods include Oriole Parkway and Leaside. The exhibitors carry largely stone beads and minerals. The selection is very small and there are few bead exhibitors. It is strictly retail pricing, but it is a great way to tie you over between the other shows if you can't get to the bead stores.

Creative Festival is held twice a year in Toronto, usually either near the airport and the South Building of the Convention Centre. Most of the exhibitors are cross stitch pattern sellers and sewing machine dealers. There aren't that many bead store exhibitors or wholesalers. We've stopped exhibiting at the show because we found that most of the customers wanted us to make their jewellery rather than buying the components. There are some finished jewellery sellers there. But I think as a jewellery designer, you will be disappointed by the offerings there. I don't consider this as one of the Toronto Bead Shows, however, there are a couple of exhibitors who also exhibit at the Toronto Bead Oasis Show.

Overall, there are many Toronto Bead Shows scheduled throughout the year. Each of them has something different to offer and worth attending.

To see a list of our up and coming shows, feel free to check out our Events page -- or click here!

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Jennifer Chin
Wed Dec 7 2011
I have just ventured into jewellery making and have now a decent collection. My problem, however, is selling them. Would you know of any show organizers who hold venues at different comerical/industrial locations, for small vendors like me? Thanks, Jennifer
Jesika Hughes (hughes.l.jesika@gmail.com)
Thu Dec 8 2011
Hi Jennifer Happy to hear that you have built up a great collection! A great way to start selling your jewellery is to market your work online, using a site such as Etsy. Etsy is great for beginners, because much of your advertising is taken care of by the website. You pay a minimal fee ($0.20 per item), and do not have to worry as much about getting your name out there. Another great option is to rent out a table at local markets, craft fairs, or benefits. Try a little of everything, even wearing your jewellery is a great way to adverstise. Good luck
Mardi Schildroth
Fri Mar 23 2012
Hi Jennifer. Jesika is right. Etsy is a good place to start, and wearing your jewellery is one of the best ways I have found. I have sold items right off me, bracelets, and necklaces especially.

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