For 51 years just before Christmas the Salon des Metiers D'Art has given Montrealers some examples of the type of talented artisans we have out there and a wonderful opportunity to purchase unique Christmas gifts for those on our list. This year the Salon includes 450 artisans and over 7,000 articles. There is everything from paintings to clothing to food available for purchase at the Salon. As a service for parents who want to roam around carefree a daycare service is provided. The daycare is available only on the weekends for the low fee of $3,00 per child. There is also a Place D'Animation at the Salon which features fashion shows, music and dance performances, and wood-turning demonstrations.
There are several booths which have been set up in order for us to see the work of many young artisans. The Prix Francois-Houde Exhibit shows work from last year's winner, Tanya Lyons, and also this year's winner, Caroline Ouellette, and runner-up, Maxence Guerin. An exhibit that highlights the talent coming out of the province's craft schools is entitled Craft School Graduating Class Exhibit of Excellence. This exhibit has the work of some of the most talented graduates from 2004-2006 from the 12 Quebec craft schools. A focus on young artisans from Montreal can be found at the Montreal Studio School Exhibit. Graduates from the seven Montreal-area studios have work on display here.
The public (that's us!) also has a role to play in the awarding of prizes at the Salon. There are two public voted on prizes: The Desjardins People's Choice Award ($1,000 prize) and Skillful Hands. Skillful Hands was started 6 years ago as a means of introducing elementary and high school aged students to the arena of crafts.
The country of Tunisia is the guest of honour this year and several professional artisans from that country are here showing us their carpets, ceramics and mosaics. This wonderful exhibition gives us a chance to discover the craftwork from this country which is several thousand years old and has been influenced by the Romans, Byzantine and Arab/Muslims.
-Place Bonaventure: 800 De la Gauchetiere West (Metro Bonaventure)
-Entrance is free!
-Hours: Monday to Saturday: 11:00-9:00
Sunday and December 21: 11:00-6:00