Angel Guerra is one half of the passionate and innovative duo who dreamt up Market Collective. She has a fierce admiration for creativity and a clear humility you want to know. MC is registered as a social entrepreneurship: a business that addresses a social need in the city. Regularly drawing thousands of Calgarians the Market fuses local art, live music and general good cheer, in a safe and nurturing environment for all ages. Guerra believes the Market feeds back.

freq: How was MC born?

AG: On a stoop. That’s where I met my business partner Angela Dione in 2008. We clicked right away and both wanted to do something fun together that we could feedback into the city. I was passionate about community and live music, and she was equally passionate about the arts. So we combined our dreams and came up with Market Collective. As MC got bigger over the years we had to learn more about organizing that type of event, renting space etc., and also how to stand back and let MC grow on its own too.

freq: Why is MC important to Calgary?

AG: I think it offers the local artists an opportunity and an environment to sell their work and to make a profit off their trade. Also it offers a vibrant space for people to get to know each other in the community, while still building back into the local economy. I see so much importance in creativity. Everyone can be creative. I think sometimes we are held back because we aren’t an “artist” or we aren’t this or we aren’t that, creativity has so much power, whether it’s art, or music or ideas. I think we are all responsible to be creative in some way. Besides coffee shops and bars, there aren’t a whole lot of venues to foster socialization.

freq: How much is entry?

AG: We charge three dollars for entry or a food bank donation. Usually that translates into 800–1,000 pounds of donated food. This is important to me personally because volunteering and working at the Mustard Seed has been a big part of my life. I initially started volunteering there to gain a different perspective. Through the process I learned so much about myself and just developed different types of demographics. It’s nice to hang out there and do street level support. I wanted to incorporate an element of giving back into the Market’s business model.

freq: What will you offer for Christmas?

AG: There will be handmade cards and scarves, also our photo booth will have a winter photography theme. We’ve booked 200 artists for our three December events and they have been working extensively on their various trades, we usually have about 40 tables. We’ve had jewelry, clothes, shoes, homemade journals, art and sculpture in the past. Jocelyn Alice has performed before and in October we had a DJ crew for the first time.

Check to find out MC’s new location for December, as well as dates and times!

By Natasha Puka
Photo: Riyoko

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