Thousands of fans sporting their Arkells and Hamilton is Home shirts will be gathering at the Tim Hortons Field this Saturday for The Rally. The Arkells are playing only one summer show in the Greater Toronto Area and the occasion has turned into the biggest party, right here on the band’s home turf.

Hamilton Flea has been tasked with putting together a free market prior to the show and have announced over 20 vendors that will be selling art, handmade products, vintage, records and treats.

We’ve highlighted a couple must-see vendors for market-goers, some of which are recognizable to Hamiltonians while others are in the city just for market, so catch them while you can!

Local favourites

All Sorts Press

Sara Froese will be bringing letterpress printed cards, prints, notebooks and totes. Her unique and one-of-a-kind designs are handmade out of her Cotton Factory studio right here in Hamilton. She uses antique techniques to print on a human-powered Chandler & Price platen printing press from 1910.

Group of 7 Billion

Group of 7 Billion create unique and vintage collage art that has graced the walls of Hamilton galleries and art spaces for nearly 10 years. Sift through Hamilton-based collage artists Eady and Gadoury’s collection to find a one-of-a-kind piece just for you.

Hello Baked

Got a sweet tooth? Jessica Lee’s art is disguised as sugary treats. The McMaster Alumna specializes in sugar cookies and has designed a colourful set of Arkells themed bullhorn and foam finger-shaped treats for The Rally.

Foundry Ice Cream

Cool off with some rich diary and vegan French-style ice cream produced right here in Hamilton. Foundry Ice cream will be popping up at market and offering original and inventive flavours of ice cream made using in-season fruits and locally sourced ingredients, such as Detour coffee, for a true taste of our region.

Into the Abyss

Head over to the Into the Abyss booth for some good vibes and a diverse range of records. Strike up a conversation with the owner Brad Germain on all things music while going through vinyl, both new and old. The Into the Abyss collection includes some popular albums, sought-out vintage records, ambient, avant-garde and music from Latin America and Africa.

Must-see vendors

Outpost Vintage + Thrift

The Guelph-based shop shop will be setting up a trailer filled with vintage and thrifted pieces that’ll complete your summer wardrobe. Dresses, rompers, overalls, colourful sunglasses and exclusive drawstring backpacks designed in collaboration with Gillian Wilson are just a few items to expect at the vendor.

Rosehound Apparel

Check out the Rosehound Apparel booth for a cool new tee, some trendy accessories, pins and patches to add to your growing collection. Toronto-based fashion designer and Hamilton native Megan Campagnolo’s collection was inspired by cult high school movies and shows from the 90’s, while her brand inspired a girly trend on pin and patch culture.

Cabin Journal

The small Toronto-based stationary and home goods company will set up shop at the market and will be selling posters, art prints, cards and small towels. Expect to see colourful and bright designs, summer floral and fruit illustrations and typography inspired by the illustrator’s vintage collection.

The Rally Market is free to the public and will be open on the Tim Hortons Field from 1 to 5 pm on Saturday June 23rd.

Find out more info about the rally here.

The sun shone through the glass windows of a small family-run restaurant in Hamilton’s east end, bouncing off metallic clothing racks and bright yellow walls. What once was Donairs At Gage had transformed into a Plus Size Flea Market for a Saturday afternoon.

Shoppers poured in and out of the former restaurant, rummaging through fashion forward pieces and unique plus-size finds, including a vintage red rain jacket that caught a few eyes.

A DJ played music throughout the busy afternoon as shoppers posed for photos with pineapple-shaped balloons in front of a cheerful lemon-printed backdrop. Jessie Goyette walked from booth to booth, making sure her event was the warm and welcoming experience she had hoped for.

The Plus Size Flea Market was one of the first of its kind. Several marketplaces have been popping up around Hamilton, but Goyette felt that they always had limited sizing or didn’t carry pieces that suited her. She knew others felt the same way.

Goyette is very active in the Hamilton community. She’s an advocate, artist and current Leadership in Community Engagement student at McMaster University and founder of Safer Gigs Hamilton. Naturally, she decided to take matters into her own hands and carve out a space to celebrate plus-size fashion.

In a matter of three weeks, Goyette seamlessly put together the entire event. Around 10 vendors were present, including well-known names such as White Elephant and Girl on the Wing, with a selection of pieces size 10 and up.

Edencole Dresses, located on Ottawa and Cannon, had a selection of affordable dresses, tops and leggings at the market. Birds of North America, a contemporary, vintage-inspired clothing line by a Toronto-based designer, Hayley Gibson, was also a vendor.

The market also had independent vendors like the Mermaids Purse, a colourful collection of vintage goodies from the 1950s to the 1990s curated by Chelsea Ward and  Snake Pit Vintage, Goyette’s own clothing collection.

“I have an interest in fashion. [With] all the really exciting new businesses that are popping up all around Hamilton, there are a lot of people in the plus sized community who don’t know that these businesses have plus size options,” explained Goyette.

“I know from personal experiences that it can be super intimidating to go into a new store when you’re not sure if you’re going to leave empty handed [or] fit into anything in the store. So I wanted to celebrate… and highlight all the businesses that you can go into.”

For example, Girl on the Wing has a beautiful selection of plus sized bathing suits that not many people are aware of. The shop also offers custom orders on swimwear so that shoppers can feel comfortable in just the right fit this coming summer.

The Mermaid’s Purse collection offers unique pieces that radiate creative personality. Ward gravitates towards colourful and over the top items, like a fun selection of geometric earrings, a blue crushed velvet blouse and a silver housecoat from the 1950s, which all made a debut at the market.

“Being a size 12/14, I will admit I have struggled to find clothing that fit my personality in my size. The outdated belief is that curvy and plus size women don’t want to stand out any more than they already do, therefore for years there has been a lack of fun, unique pieces for women with shape,” explained Ward.

“I believe women of all shapes and sizes should have a wide variety of clothing to choose from in order to find what makes them feel good. Everyone has a right to rock something beautiful and shine in the clothing they wear.”

For Goyette, the main idea behind the flea market is not just about shopping local, but rather about building community, confidence and self-esteem. It’s all about celebrating positivity and inclusivity, while also creating a space where like-minded people can meet and share their ideas and experiences.

The idea of hosting a Plus Size Flea Market had been at the back of Goyette’s head for quite some time, but she wasn’t sure how the community would react. As soon as her idea turned into reality, it received an overwhelming amount of positive support. So much so that Goyette is already making plans for another market during the summer.

As unlikely as it may seem, the little donair restaurant became the backdrop of a bustling community of individuals eager to meet and connect over clothing and conversation.

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