Salon Nouveau Genre – The Word is Spreading

Salon Nouveau Genre – The Word is Spreading

Submitted by Sarah Williams

The word is spreading – Quebec City’s best kept secret, in the world of craft fairs, is slowly making a name for itself:  Salon Nouveau Genre.  If you haven’t yet heard of SNG, you’re probably not alone.  Think of it as the rebellious and sassy little sister of Plein Art (the handicraft fair which has been an annual event for over 30 years).  Last weekend marked the 7th edition for SNG, and though it is a relatively young event, it is growing in size and reputation every year.   

SNG distinguishes itself from other events in the arts and crafts genre by being a tad more on the cutting edge.  Many of the exhibiters look like they are fresh of out of fine arts school and obviously big lovers of design and graphics.  Walking amongst them you immediately get the impression that you are witnessing some of the best up-and-coming creative talent that our province has to offer.

SNG 7 was scheduled right around Mother’s day weekend.  A well planned way to snag all those last minute shoppers looking for something unique to get for mom.  Another handy thing about the SNG: you don’t have to wait a whole year for the next edition; it’s a bi-annual craft fair.  SNG 8 is already scheduled for December (right in time for Christmas shopping season). 

If you haven’t had the pleasure of attending the event, here are a few highlights of some of the most recent offerings:

For children:  Electrik Kids is a Montreal based company that produces made-in-Quebec, organic cotton, extremely fashionable clothing for the under 2 set.   The “Mr. T” was a personal favourite; it’s a t-shirt with a detachable and interchangeable tie.

Gigi Wenger, a Quebec City native, is the creative force behind La trottinette rouge; her multi-coloured and gangly stuffed toys couldn’t help but charm you.  Wenger uses repurposed material for her creations which she has aptly nicknamed “mungibous”.

For fashionistas:  Atelier-b is another exhibitor hailing from Montreal.  This clothing company produces clean-lined designs with minimalist sensibilities – very avant-garde.   One of the Quebec City based exhibitors, Guylaine, even admitted to me that she looks forward to SNG for the opportunity to shop at some of her favourite fellow vendors who come from out of town, like Atelier-b.  

Guylaine along with her sister, Isabelle, are the creators behind Tomates d’Épingles, a unique accessories collection which is all about reusing.  Their wrist band design made from vintage neck ties has been featured in Vogue magazine.

Jewellery and accessories were well represented at SNG 7.  There were a lot of really original ideas, using a wide range of materials: wool and cloth (nanoukiko & triko), recycled leather (Lou-Anne Bourdeau), feathers (Josiane Lamoureux) and origami (Créations Papier Fou), just to name a few. 

For home decor lovers:  Speaking of using paper in a creative way;  KARTOline, is a self-proclaimed “cartonist”. She manages to do amazing things with recycled cardboard; transforming it into stylish and modern furniture that you would never suspect was a cardboard box in a previous incarnation.

There was certainly no lack of art work to decorate your walls or to feature on your shelf: graphic artists, illustrators, painters, sculptors and ceramists were there in full force.  SNG is held in the basement of Église St-Jean-Baptiste with the participation of about 60 or so vendors, but as more and more creators want to take part, it may just outgrow its current location. This, I fear, is inevitable: though not necessarily a negative thing.  It only goes to prove that there is room in this city for more than one event celebrating our creative talent.

About the author:

SARAH WILLIAMS is a mother of three young children, who says she writes just to stay sane.  

Sarah had her first experience living in Quebec while earning her bachelor’s degree in Communications at Concordia University (MTL) in the late nineties.

Hailing from Cobourg, Ontario, Sarah moved to Quebec City in January of the year 2000. For her, this city is the perfect balance of the small town feel of her hometown in Ontario and the vibrant francophone culture of Montreal.

Professionally, Sarah has worked a fair bit in the media as a copywriter and researcher; for Global Television, and for a T.V. cooking show (what’s cooking).
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