In 1974, six craftspeople came together with an idea born from a shared passion to form what would become the Dartmouth Handcrafters Guild. This non-profit organization has grown through the years to serve over 170 craftspeople annually who, through Guild membership, have the opportunity to participate in the annual craft show. This annual event provides an opportunity for makers to display and sell a wide variety of crafts as well as an opportunity to meet and share with fellow craftspeople.
The show is held at the Zatzman Sportsplex in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. It takes place during the last full weekend of October. Historically the first major craft show of the season in the area, the show was unable to be held only twice: in 2017 – due to the renovations of the venue, and in 2019 – due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The volunteer run Guild always held in-person meetings the third Tuesday of January, May, June, September, October, & November. January being the month for the Annual General Meeting. The Annual General Meeting for 2020 was held Saturday, January 25th. During 2020, meetings began to be conducted through virtual online video conference platforms due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Each year the Guild donates proceeds of the show to local charities, a tradition which forms part of the reason for the show’s creation: To support our handcrafters and give back to the community through charitable giving. Since it’s inception, the guild has donated over $250,000 to over 90 charities across Nova Scotia.
December 2019 saw a significant change of the Dartmouth Handcrafters Guild when the then serving Board decided it was time to step down after many years of service. A whole new Board took over to begin a new chapter in the long history of the Guild.