The CBC Arts holiday gift guide: 2023 edition
What do you get the person who has everything? Shop one-of-a-kind treasures by artists we've covered
What do you get the person who has everything? Something totally unique! It's the ultimate shopping challenge, and we're about to make it a whole lot easier.
Everything you'll find in the CBC Arts gift guide was inspired by the stories we've covered this year. From stocking stuffers to super-luxe treats, most of these items were designed by Canadian artists. Some were even made by hand — the very definition of one of a kind. Save yourself a trip to the mall, and fire up a few browser tabs. It's time to go shopping.
Things to wear
Keith Haring "Breakers" Bath Robe - Shop AGO, $178
Art is for everybody — and the same could be said for comfort. This plush cotton robe is a souvenir of the Art Gallery of Ontario's Keith Haring exhibition.
Lena Robe - Kate Austin Designs, from $200
Here's another item that's as cozy as it is stylish: a light-weight cotton robe that'd be perfect for lounging around the house — or the sauna, for that matter. (If you attended Public Sweat like we did, maybe you were admiring this one in the gift shop?) Designed by Toronto's Kate Austin, find this robe in a variety of cheerful patterns and colours. The fabrics were hand-printed in Jaipur, India.
Barbie Geo hoodie - Chelysa "Chief" Owens-Cyr, $102.47
2023 was the year of #Barbiecore, and even CBC Arts logo artist Chelysa "Chief" Owens-Cyr hopped on the trend. Love this fleecy pullover? Her clothing brand, Chief'n Wear, sells the same pattern on shorts, bags, long-sleeves and more. Your Dreamhouse closet will overfloweth.
Sweeney Boo sweatshirt - Threadless, $44.95
Earlier this year, we caught up with Sweeney Boo to talk about drawing for DC Comics. But the Montreal-based illustrator creates her own characters, too — which you'll find splashed on Threadless apparel like this classic crewneck.
Dalkhafine T-shirt - Station 16 Editions, $35
More artist merch from Montreal! We met Dalkhafine when she was in Toronto for the Yorkville Murals festival, and her tattoo-inspired T-shirt design is available in two punchy colours. If you're hunting for something with a slimmer fit, she also designed this ringer tee for Collective Arts Brewing ($32).
Motion Checker Beanie - BBE, $60
What was that thing our moms used to say? Oh yeah. DON'T FORGET A TOQUE! Winter temperatures are on their way, and this jacquard beanie looks so good that wearing it is worth the risk of hat hair. Designed by artist Bryan Espiritu, who recently opened his first gallery show in more than a decade, it's available through his streetwear brand BBE. There are loads of colours to choose from, too.
Things with flair
Geoff McFetridge Edgemont sunglasses - Warby Parker, from $150
As we learned from this documentary, artist Geoff McFetridge has dabbled in just about everything: graphic design, painting, animation, installation. He's even an eyewear designer — and these retro frames from Warby Parker are named after a neighbourhood in Calgary, the artist's hometown.
Aurora scarf - Kaylyn Baker, $50
Wearable art inspired by wearable art! This chiffon scarf is available through Kaylyn Baker Designs. CBC Arts interviewed Kaylyn when she won the 2023 Yukon Prize for Visual Arts, and this scarf print is based on her beaded artwork.
Natalie Very B. custom lapel pin - Etsy, from $35
Natalie Very B. is one of CBC Arts' favourite illustrators-for-hire, so we know her hand-drawn lapel pins are guaranteed to be super cute. According to her Etsy page, she'll draw just about any portrait idea you send her: people, pets — even house plants!
Geri Kramer snake sneakers - Baggins Original, $140
Geri Kramer designed last month's CBC Arts logo, and if you want a piece of her artwork, you could always get a tattoo. This gift idea, however, is definitely the tamer option — appropriate for all ages and levels of commitment. Baggins Shoes is located in downtown Victoria, mere blocks from Kramer's shop, Tattoo Zoo. And the store sells these illustrated Converse low tops made to order.
Snake patch - Ffembroidery, €45
Sss-speaking of sss-snakes … a patch by CBC Arts logo designer Patricia Larocque (a.k.a. Ffembroidery) would add some quirky and luxe flair to just about anything. These li'l guys are hand-stitched by the Saskatchewan-raised artist herself, but for a more cheap and cheerful option, she also sells machine-embroidered badges individually and by the pack. Shopping for your BFF? Throw it back to the days of slumber parties and cootie catchers with this shareable "Besties" pack (€5).
Drag Race stickers - Cristian Fowlie, $10
Make your gift truly "iconique." Throw in a sticker sheet by CBC Arts logo designer Cristian Fowlie.
Alex Graff sticker pack - Etsy, $14.50
Add a few of Alex Graff's decals, too. The star of the CBC Creator Network series Paint With Me sells graffiti-inspired sticker packs through her Etsy page.
Tote bag - Kaori Izumiya, $35
Once you've gathered your holiday haul, throw it in a canvas tote like this one. CBC Arts logo designer Kaori Izumiya screenprints her wares in Montreal.
Kablusiak "TY mr. sobey" tote - The Bows, $20
Here's another tote bag option, though this one is probably better suited for lugging groceries and/or Sobey Art Award prize winnings. (Curious about the design? Kablusiak shared the origins of the drawing in this CBC Arts Q&A.)
Things for the home
Illusion of Time blanket - Drake Cereal, $100
CBC Arts logo designer Sloan Brown runs two of her own art businesses: Rookie Signs and Drake Cereal. The latter shop is where we found this particular cotton throw — a slam dunk for any fan of basketball and/or hibernation.
Concrete Raccoon - Emily May Rose, $200
One man's trash panda is another man's treasure. Each of these limited edition sculptures is hand-made and signed by Toronto's Emily May Rose, who made our racoon-themed logo this July.
Revive Minis Kangaroo Chair - Etsy, $55
It's the MCM score of their dreams … but small enough to stuff in a Christmas stocking. Briar Nielsen, one of the competitors on CBC's Best in Miniature, sells tiny handmade replicas of designer furniture through her brand, Revive Minis.
Things to make and do
Dollhouse Miniature bed DIY Kit - Minterior, from $20
Or maybe you know someone who'd prefer to make their own tiny furniture! Another star of Best in Miniature, Gabbi Whiteley, sells DIY kits like this one. Her brand, Minterior, specializes in sleek and unique dollhouse accessories for kids.
Nina Drew jigsaw puzzle - Society6, from $38.64
If solving jigsaw puzzles is your favourite way to spend a lazy holiday, here's an option from illustrator Nina Drew, who contributed to our Pride Month zine, Out in Space.
Mixed Drinks with Dean Baldwin Lew - MOCA, $15
Pour yourself a cocktail while you puzzle. The recipes in this pocket-sized collection were contributed by more than 50 artists, including a few notables whose work you've heard about on CBC Arts: Bridget Moser, Caroline Monnet, Diane Borsato, Walter Scott and more.
Yoga: A Sartorial Guide - Meera Sethi, $47
After all that R&R, you could use a good stretch! This deck of illustrated yoga poses will teach you how to sweat it out like a pro. It's made by Meera Sethi, whose exhibitions at the Cambridge Art Galleries we covered this month.
Dalkhafine "The Tiger" paddleboard - Koti, $529
On second thought, just keep being a sloth and dream of the healthy new habits you swear that you'll start next year. Stand-up paddleboarding sounds like it could be fun, right? When the warm weather hits, you'll be ready to hit the water on this artist-designed board by Montreal's Dalkhafine.
Pies are Awesome: The Definitive Pie Art Book - Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin, $22.48
What's a holiday without dessert? Canada's top pie artist, Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin, who created our March logo, has collected her tried-and-tested techniques in this hardcover cookbook. Or bake a few giftable "Pie-traits" yourself. (Who could turn down a homemade treat!) Clark-Bojin also sells digital cookbooks, like this "ultimate guide to creating beautiful pie portraits." Follow her tips to create some next-level holiday pastries.