If this year has taught us anything, it’s that home is where the heart is, and supporting small businesses is essential to seeing Canadian communities thrive. For the 2020 edition of our gift guide, Randi Bergman has done just that, compiling province-by-province tips for stylish presents plus inspired picks from our northern territories. They all ensure the power of giving extends beyond your holiday list.
Yellowknife-based Tania Larsson designs contemporary, northern Indigenous adornment based on Gwich’in culture. Her pieces are created using sustainably harvested land-based materials, such as muskox horn, fashioned into these gorgeous, minimal earrings.
Tania Larsson Muskox horn earrings, $255 through tanialarsson.com.
Yukon Soap Company is about handcrafted, wild botanical-infused soaps as much as it is about community building and language learning in the small town of Mayo. Each product includes a cheat sheet of the plants used, written in the First Nations language of Northern Tutchone.
The Yukon Trio Essential soap bars, $27 through yukonsoaps.com.
Deck the walls with a print from Inuit artist Mary Okheena, whose exuberant retellings of Northwest Territories scenes have been a forceful presence for four decades.
Cleaning Our Fur by Mary Okheena, $150 through northernimages.ca.
ON THE EDGE
Urban Inuk contemporizes the traditional uluit, an all-purpose knife used by Inuit, Yupik and Aleut people, using salvaged materials such as brass, wood and antlers. Perfect for cutting meat, pizza and even cake.
Urban Inuk Taqqig stainless steel uluit with brass stems, maple wood handles and a maple wood stand, $420/set of three through urbaninuk.com.
THAT’S A WRAP
This scarf by Nunavut designer Nooks Lindell serves as a hybrid on-the-go accessory and impromptu face shield. It is 100-per-cent silk and printed and sewn using environmentally conscious methods.
Akpaliapik Kamik scarf, $40 through hinaani.ca.
This oversized silk bow scrunchie will add a touch of whimsy to any holiday look.
Bronze Age petal bow scrunchie, $55 through newclassics.ca.
A luxe purifying mask decongests and cleanses the skin from toxins and pollutants using sustainably sourced, high-performance ingredients.
La D’tox Noire purifying mask, $80 through okokocosmetiques.com.
ON THE SCENT
Many people are homebodies right now so enhance their space with a delicious variety of holiday-themed soy wax candles that blend cedarwood with pine, cardamom with star anise and fir needle with pear.
Homecoming Hibernation Collection Discovery Set, $54 through homecomingcandles.com.
Build your own trio of Windfall Cider’s popular libations, including Rose Coloured Glasses, a dry rosé cider that blends B.C. apples with Saskatoon berries.
Windfall Cider holiday three pack, $51 through shop.windfallcider.ca.
IN THE BAG
A new Vancouver brand, Issues Objects, focuses on minimalist staples, such as this large cotton and leather trimmed carry-on that is built to last.
Issues Objects large canvas bag, US$595 through issuesobjects.com.
Each of Indi City’s pieces nod to its founders’ Indigenous ancestors, but with a contemporary spin, such as these shimmering acrylic earrings moulded in the shape of Bison horns.
Indi City Bison Horn hoop earrings, $40 through indicity.ca.
Give them the gift of a proverbial spa day with this luxe, collagen-boosting serum that is infused with ruby gemstones, botanical extracts and nature’s finest exfoliant, hyaluronic acid. Handcrafted in Edmonton.
Pura Botanicals Hyaluronic Ruby Serum, $144 through purabotanicals.ca.
Brothers Adrian and Martinus Pool rework discarded wood into vibrant new pieces such as this chevron patterned cribbage board that brings a classic game back to life.
AdrianMartinus cribbage board, $90 through adrianmartinus.com.
Goldie’s chocolate is handmade in small batches in Calgary, using ethically sourced cocoa and local and organic ingredients. This white chocolate bar is mouth-watering salted butter toffee perfection.
Goldie white chocolate Gold bar, $11 through goldiechocolate.com.
Calgary favourite Camp Brand Goods provides everything you need for a weekend spent outdoors, from cozy knit toques to these vintage style, fire pit-safe enamel mugs.
Camp Brand Goods enamel mug, $27.50 through campbrandgoods.com.
For horoscope fans, Oneiro’s elements inspired collection features jewellery designed for those with corresponding earth, fire, water and air signs. This water necklace features a lapis lazuli crystal on a 16-karat gold plated chain.
Oneiro Water Elemental necklace, $52 through oneirodesigns.com.
Himalayan pink salt is combined with rose and lavender in this healing, aromatic self-care essential that has been handcrafted in Saskatoon.
Charlow by Charleston + Harlow Calm bath salts, $25 through oneofakindshow.com.
At Saskatchewan’s first craft meadery, libations are made in small batches using locally produced honey and all Canadian fruits. Its popular, off-dry cranberry blend is a perfect holiday season gift and pairs perfectly with a turkey feast.
Prairie Bee Cranberry Cheer mead, $21.50 through prairiebeemeadery.ca.
Railway spikes serve as surprisingly handy bottle openers in this clever spin on a staple of old timey transportation.
Craig Campbell forged railway spike bottle opener, $40 through saskcraftcouncil.store.
Saskatoon print shop Hardpressed has put its stamp on the classic winter tuque with this vibrant waffle knit that is perfect for time spent outdoors.
Hardpressed cross grain waffle knit, $35 through hardpressed.ca.
This fourth-generation family business just launched a collection of mother and daughter faux fur coats made in Winnipeg.
Freed faux fur coats in midnight, $185, merlot, $385 through freedandfreed.com.
Colourful hand-painted press-on nails will delight those who have been missing the salon this year.
Nails Thank You Pick n’ Mix press on nails, $45 through oneofakindshow.com.
Indigo Arrows adorns everyday home items, from pillows to quilts to these striking napkins with museum-quality patterns traditional to the Anishinaabe people.
Indigo Arrows Niswi napkins, $68 for a set of four through indigoarrows.ca.
Winnipeg distillery Patent 5 uses a special blend of flowers help create this gin’s deep indigo colour and juniper-forward taste.
Patent 5 Purple Blossom Gin, $47.95 for 750ml through patent5.ca.
Brook Drabot’s handmade glass straws make a winning case for ditching plastic. Each rainbow-hued set comes with a cleaning brush and they’re dishwasher safe.
Brook Drabot glass bent straws, $65 for a set of 8 through oneofakindshow.com.
Handmade in Toronto, this marbled vessel is perfect for holding flowers, kitchen utensils, a freshly cracked bottle of wine or simply existing as a gorgeous design object.
M.R.S. Objects VSSL, $230 through maryratcliffe.studio.
For the budding feminist on your list, 15 per cent of the proceeds from the sale of each Hilary MacMillan bomber is donated to Up with Women, a charity that helps women rebuild after experiencing homelessness.
Hilary MacMillan kids GRL PWR varsity jacket, $85 through hilarymacmillan.com.
Vegan cosmetics brand Cheekbone Beauty has collaborated with Métis artist Christi Belcourt on the vibrant packaging for its trio of creamy lipsticks. Five dollars from each sale goes to Nimikki Aazinbikong, a land-based language and traditional arts camp.
Cheekbone Beauty x Christi Belcourt sustainable lip trio, $125 through cheekbonebeauty.ca.
Sure to add surprising complexity to any cocktail, Kinsip’s unique flavoured bitters are handcrafted in Prince Edward County.
Kinsip handcrafted bitters, $17 through Holt Renfrew (holtrenfrew.com).
Travel in the most 2020 way possible – through your imagination – with this exploration kit from Toronto artist, Sean Brown. It includes a copy of his book, In No Particular Order, a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle of a Japanese vista and a limited-edition ViewMaster through which you can view more faraway scenes.
Curves by Sean Brown set, US$125 through curvesbyseanbrown.com.
HOUSE AND HOME
This organic cotton fleece dress, milled and made in Montreal, is both holiday season-special and home-alone easy to wear.
Eliza Faulkner Stay Home dress, $295 through elizafaulkner.com.
Made using locally sourced hempseed oil and a slew of all-natural essential oils, this luxe line of body care products offers a holistic approach and incredibly therapeutic scents.
Apprenti Ôr’ganik Blood Orange and Geranium Therapeutic Lotion and Hand and Body Wash, $52 through apprentiorganik.com.
A wild and wonderful mirror, Concrete Cat’s pieces are made from concrete and marbled using vibrant mineral pigments in its downtown Montreal studio.
Concrete Cat Iris mirror, US $1,750 through concretecat.com.
Logan Petit Lot specializes in quirky nut butters, made in small batches and with ethically sourced ingredients. This salty-sweet blend features fair trade cashews from Burkina Faso, organic maple sugar from Quebec and sea salt from Newfoundland.
Logan Petit Lot toasted sesame and maple cashew butter, $13 through loganpetitlot.shop.
Even if it’s just for a weekend jaunt, this vegan leather travel bag includes cleverly zipped compartments for easy access to clothes, toiletries and gadgets.
Lambert Sidney vegan leather travel bag, $189.99 through designlambert.com.
What better way to accessorize 2020′s must-have item than with this handmade leather hand sanitizer case, which comes with a strap for easy access and can be personalized.
DoDo Leather hand sanitizer case, starting at $16.40 through dodoleather.etsy.com.
IN A LATHER
Each bar of UpFront’s sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner bars replace up to three bottles of the liquid alternative. This new holiday scent smells of peppermint, orange and frankincense.
UpFront Cosmetics ‘The Nordic Sunrise’ shampoo and conditioner, $13.95 each through upfrontcosmetics.ca.
Sackville-based artist Tara Wells uses recycled materials such as buttons and guitar strings to create one-of-a-kind floral sculptures that will keep it colourful inside, all winter long.
Flowers by Tara Wells, $65 to $125 through shopvisitors.ca.
Wabanaki is a female-owned maple syrup brand from the Tobique First Nation (Negotkuk) that ages its syrups in bourbon, whisky and oak barrels to provide unique flavours.
Wabanaki Barrel Aged Bourbon Maple Syrup, $19 through wabanakimaple.com.
ALL IN ONE
Designed for the outdoor-enthusiast, Tuxy’s one-piece Lodge suit is equal parts cozy and rugged and is constructed with easy-access zippers and plenty of pockets.
Tuxy Lodge suit, $219 through ca.tuxy.co.
Conscious designer Maggie Jayne’s latest collection is called “Summer is a state of mind,” adding a touch of whimsy to the winter season with this take on classic workwear that features hand-block print floral lining.
Maggie Jayne dungarees, $215 through maggiejayne.com.
Barre’s small batch fragrances are made in rural Nova Scotia and are formulated to create unexpected sensory reactions. Century XXI, a warm, woodsy and floral blend of violet flower, musk, resin and incense will surely delight.
Barre Century XXI fragrance, $75 through barrestudio.ca.
Artist Victoria Brumwell hand-tufts quirky rugs and coasters as well as designing colourful textiles for the home.
Little Brummie fried egg coasters, $60/set of four through victoria-brumwell.squarespace.com.
Fill their pantry with a bundle of curated Nova Scotian treats, including local maple syrup, farm-made honey, a lamb spice mix and sea salt from the shores of the Atlantic.
Nova Scotia pantry collection, $125 through shop.tasteofnovascotia.com.
ON THE CHAIN
This solid bronze key-chain from Halifax designer and metalsmith Sarah Sears clips onto pant loops and coat pockets, making it a perfectly streamlined on-the-go accessory.
Sarah Sears key-chain, $50 through sarahsearsjewelry.squarespace.com.
This seaside eyewear company has developed an in-house acetate recycling program, turning a would-be waste material into stylish handmade frames that are designed in small runs.
Fellow Earthlings Eddie sunglasses, $500 through fellowearthlings.com.
BEAUTY BEFORE AGE
Lou La Belle’s beauty products are natural, luxurious and handcrafted in a log home studio on the island. Each product is imbued with the idea that there’s no such thing as anti-aging, just aging gracefully.
Lou La Belle Glowing Skin package, $65 through loulabelleskincare.com.
A cozy blanket will be your best friend for spending time outdoors this winter, and Macausland blankets have been an enduring symbol of Atlantic Canada since the 1800s. They’re carefully spun from raw, virgin wool produced in the region.
Macausland’s Woolen Mill tweed lap blanket, from $60 through macauslandswoollenmills.com.
Fish fans will delight in Scout’s fresh spin on canning, with organic PEI mussels packed in a smoked paprika and fennel tomato sauce, and Atlantic lobster preserved with butter, cold-pressed sunflower oil and salt.
Scout PEI Mussels, $29.99/three pack, Atlantic Lobster, $38.99/three pack through enjoyscout.ca.
For the aspiring skater on your list, a vibrant maple wood board from local brand, SureWood, found at PEI’s only skate shop, should do nicely.
SureWooD skateboard, $85 through towncityshop.com.
Newfoundland and Labrador
The Newfoundland Outport Nursing and Industrial Association (NONIA) is celebrating 100 years of community knitting, with 150 knitters around the province crafting hand-knit sweaters, socks, hats and these snowflake mitts, made of 100 per cent wool.
NONIA snowflake mitts, $32 through nonia.com.
East Coast Glow’s lightweight lip balm is infused with herbs and botanicals wildcrafted in Newfoundland and Labrador to create an antioxidant rich barrier to protect against winter’s harsh elements.
East Coast Glow Partridgeberry and Mint lip balm, $12 through east-coast-glow.myshopify.com.
This artisanal chocolatier tells the stories of its home province through painterly, whimsical packaging and inventive flavours.
Newfoundland Chocolate Company cocoa bean Row Bar set, $23.95 through oneofakindshow.com.
Design your dream quilt with the help of Fogo Island’s local makers, who work with you to transform colour schemes, vintage fabric choices and designs into a one-of-a-kind heirloom for the home.
The Woodshop on Fogo Island Bespoke Quilt Package, starting at $1,450 through woodshopfogoisland.ca.
Simon Collins hand-carves spoons and serving pieces from recently felled Newfoundland wood, using traditional methods. Each piece is a one of-a-kind keepsake of the region’s terroir.
Simon Collins one-of-a-kind spoon, starting at $32 through spunogcarving.square.site.