If you prefer unique, handmade gems over cookie-cut mall frippery, you’ve probably visited a Market Collective or two if you live in the Calgary area. Upon entering, you were likely delighted to enjoy a cold one from Village Brewery while you shopped. The fetching partnership between Market Collective and Village Brewery is a Calgary favourite and continues to foster collaboration in the city’s local art scene.

In a truly local venture, Market Collective joins forces with Village Brewery to bring something exceptional to beer-lovers: The “Village Square,” a box set of 4 memorable beer varieties with labels designed by 24 Calgarians. Each brew is paired with six homegrown artists—for a grand total of 24 eye-catching labels—who showcase their “Village.”

Molly McChesney of Village Brewery explains, “there is a story behind each photo you see on [each] box.”

The hope is to launch the box sets at Market Collective’s 9th anniversary—which falls on the weekend of Sept 15-17—at the dazzling new warehouse location in Inglewood. The venue boasts abundant space for returning artists and first-timers alike, and promises appealing installations and exciting interactive features. “We’ll also have an outdoor area for hanging out, listening to live music and enjoying the delicious eats from all the food trucks,” says an excited Christine Masuda, Communications Coordinator at Market Collective.

What started as a “fun little thing,” designed by Creative Director, Jenn Kitagawa—Market Collective-exclusive beers with special labels that people could collect or photograph—became yet another special way to support local artists and designers. The final list was curated from Market Collective’s vastly talented community.

“Just like sharing an old story around a campfire, these images provoke and preserve … memories [of] sharing a beer with friends,” says McChesney affectionately.

In 2008, co-founders Angel Guerra and Angela Dione shared a vision for promoting local arts and culture. Over the last nine years, Market Collective has provided a platform for Calgarian artist and artisan business owners to share and sell their wares, while inviting patrons to participate in a tight-knit community where inspiration is key.

“Having a strong creative community is integral to having good social sustainability in a city and definitely helps to support the economy. Resources may run dry and technology evolves, but human creativity will always be in demand,” Masuda declares.

Presenting a personal, meaningful product, Village Brewery is a prime example of the genuine boutique style behind which Market Collective stands.

The incentive of Village Brewery is to create balanced craft brews that embody the ideas of simplicity and quality, while becoming a social lubricant to a vibrant society supportive of creativity and art. According to McChesney, “It takes a Village to raise a beer, and a beer to raise a Village, after all.”

Glass artist and two-time Market participant, Marta Gorski, reflects on the importance of such pairings of creative local enterprise: “Connecting with businesses, organizations and collecting commissions teaches artists to push beyond their own parameters, expand their network [and] diversify their financial input. The benefit to the business community is incorporating trained creativity, innovation and a diverse perspective.”

Investing 10% of their bottom line back into the community, Village Brewery participates in several initiatives of sustainability. For example, Village Garden engages local gardeners to create a community-focused ale. The Village Friend partners with start-up breweries on collaborative brews, with a portion of the proceeds funding new equipment for the budding partner. The Village Market encourages artisan sales of beer-themed products, such as beer soap, beer-flavoured lip balm and bolo ties made with Village Brewery beer caps.

Both Market Collective and Village Brewery support local business, local art and local creativity. “Many artists and businesses often test the waters and build their initial following at Market Collective,” says Masuda. Calgary’s art scene has seen a definitive breakthrough in recent years, with similar initiatives contributing to the culture of our city.

Keep an eye out for Village Square x Market Collective specialty beer box sets, which will be available for six months following the launch. Certain to be collectors’ items, the brews feature 24 of Calgary’s most talented plastered over bottles bubbling with delicious local suds.

 

Market Collective 9th Anniversary runs September 15-17, 2017 at the Inglewood Warehouse (1390 17th AVE SE).

By: Kasia Gorski

Art pictured here by Kiarra Albina for DesignTalks Calgary: PLAY

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