ONE OF A KIND CELEBRATES CANADA'S 150TH By: Brittany lodwich

Taking place March 29th to April 2nd, The Enercare centre in Toronto is this year’s home of the One of a kind show and it is more red and white than ever! The show is embracing Canadas 150th birthday this year using art to express the true beauty and wonder of our country.

The show has been a popular attraction to small business owners and curious onlookers of Canada since 1975. “It began when a group of three friends couldn’t sell their work before Christmas so they came together to create their own shopping venue.” Says Janice Leung the director of the show. The first show consisted of 80 other artisans and 25000 square feet. The show has since expanded to about a million square feet with over 200,000 visitors.

Leung explains the activities of this year’s show. “The theme of ‘Happy birthday Canada’ has brought a new sort of competition to the show with makers competing for first, second, and third prize winning $500, $300, and $200. Visitors will also be able to vote for a people’s choice award worth $200.” The art pieces of course are all handmade and unique, varying in different forms from dresses, cakes, sculptures, stain glass windows and more. The one of a kind show was surely vibrant with all things representing Canada.

A particular artisan named Karen Viloria-Miguel, is the creator of Canada Bliss. She has brought her warm talent that matches this year’s theme to the show. She has recently been able to show case her talent in the gift lounge at the Golden Globe awards. Her talent being crocheting. She had created 100 accessories for celebrities attending the big event. “It all feels so surreal and I’m not sure if it’s really all sunk in yet, but I’m very grateful for the experience and hoping more great opportunities will arise.” Karen’s journey began when she was little and her mother taught her how to crochet. She made clothes for her dolls and as she grew older continued the hobby. “When I moved into my first apartment I would make pot holders and doilies. When I got a job as a flight attendant I would crochet on long flights to pass that time, and I would create things like hats and scarfs for my friends and family. Now I’m here with my very own business!”

This was her first year making an appearance at the One of a Kind Show and is planning to come back next year. She says “The name Canada Bliss came very naturally to me, it’s the feeling of joy that I feel when I’m creating something that I love to share with others.” Along with Karen, there are many other artists showcasing their talents and stories at this year’s show. If you are looking for things to this year in honour of Canadas 150th, come out to this year’s show as it is focusing on this monumental celebration for the country.

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