Head to the art galleries for cool and unique gifts

Let’s be honest here: With the exception of a few masochists, no one really enjoys shopping this time of year. Stores are crowded, mall parking lots are battle zones, and you are virtually guaranteed to be submissive to Mariah Carey no matter where you go.

Fortunately, you have other options. You can do all your gift shopping online! That way you wouldn’t even have to get out of your pajamas and never have to talk to another human by December 25th. If that’s your vibe this holiday season, then go for it.

However, if you’re not a completely antisocial, Gollum-like creature, you might feel more inclined to leave the house. If you want to avoid the malls while shopping for sweet gifts for the people on your list, here’s another option. The gift shops of local museums and galleries are full of unique items that are sure to be appreciated by anyone whose cultural perspective extends beyond “I want a hippo for Christmas”. We couldn’t list them all, but here are a few to spark your imagination.

Recycled glass crushers (Bill Reid Gallery)
Bill Pusztai

Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art

639 Hornby Street

Born to a Haida mother and father of Scottish-German descent, the late Bill Reid often bridged the two worlds in his work, applying European-style craftsmanship to traditional First Nations subjects. This approach is reflected in a limited-edition silver frog-shaped brooch of Reid’s design ($ 550; on a glass water lily, $ 150). Other items in the spirit of Reid’s work include a range of colorful blankets with Northwest Coast designs ($ 39.50 to $ 220) and recycled glass salt and pepper mills in slate colors. , rosewood and ivory ($ 60 each).

A pillow bearing a drawing of an old Woodward bag (MOV)

Vancouver Museum

1100 rue des Châtaignes

It probably goes without saying that MOV’s collection is local-centric. What’s not to love about bamboo pins ($ 10) featuring the logos of long-forgotten entities like the Vancouver Bicycle Club, Vancouver Roller Rink, and Woodward’s Stag Club? (The Stag Club wasn’t anything scorching; it was the store’s “young men’s fashion advisory group.”) Speaking of that dear, departed chain of stores, its music department was immortalized in the form a 20-by-20-inch pillow ($ 79.95) bearing a design from a circa 1950 shopping bag. Perfect for anyone who remembers reaching the sixth floor to purchase the last Bay City LP Rollerblades, or for hipsters too young to remember a time when Woodward’s even existed.

Beginner’s and young girl’s dolls (MOA)

UBC Museum of Anthropology

6393, promenade maritime du Nord-Ouest

For a brief reminder of the fascinating, beautiful and culturally diverse planet we live on, a trip to MOA is unbeatable. But you can put the best thing under the Christmas tree this year, giving your loved ones gifts from near, far, and in between. Close by: The MOA Shop Live Long and Potlatch T-Shirt ($ 19.95) by Seattle Tlingit artist Alison Bremner. Far away: South African Ndebele tribe dolls depict women at various stages, from puberty to engagement to motherhood ($ 75 each). In between: Life’s too short for matching socks, or at least that’s the idea behind the Intentionally Mismatched Solmates ($ 19.95 a pair), made from recycled cotton yarn for a countryside-based business from Vermont, probably somewhere near the Stratford Inn.

Vancouver Art Gallery

750 Hornby Street

The VAG store has such a huge selection – from art books and posters to jewelry, clothing and toys – that if you visit it before going to the gallery you might not have enough time to see the exhibits. Due to its price tag of $ 900, the Bullseye Coffee Table designed by Douglas Coupland (signed by the artist himself) could be one of those gifts you give yourself. The Remembrance of Canada the author might balk at the idea, but this piece has the cave man written all over it. For a masterpiece you can wear, consider the Mona Lisa Socks ($ 25) from JHJ Design. Kids will love Areaware’s Wooden Cubebots ($ 9.95 to $ 31.95), a kind of low-tech version of the Japanese-inspired Transformers kumiki puzzles.


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