Exploring Calgary’s Colourful East Village Junction

EV Junction Pop Up Market in East Village Calgary
EV Junction Pop Up Market in East Village Calgary
Unique shopping

Exploring Calgary’s Colourful East Village Junction

Explore one the country’s coolest collection of boutiques and local artisans in one of Calgary’s iconic districts.
By
Justine Celina Maguire
Justine Celina Maguire is a Calgary-based entrepreneur, content creator, and blogger. Justine runs the Canadian lifestyle blog JustineCelina.com, where she’s passionate about creating in every area of her life and sharing it.

What are you up to this weekend? If you’re craving an inner city adventure, I highly recommend spending a few hours exploring Calgary’s colourful East Village Junction — tucked away behind the iconic King Edward Hotel on the corner of 4th Street and 8th Ave SE. EV’s liveliest lot showcases the vibrancy and charisma of Calgary’s oldest neighbourhood in an innovative, market-like community space where 15 local businesses and artisans have utilized shipping containers to create an entirely unique retail experience in Calgary’s core. 

Discover all #evJunction has to offer during the summer months (in 2018, the Retail Park runs until September 3) — complete with unique wares for fashion, art, vintage and home decor enthusiasts, food trucks, delicious vegan eats, bicycle rentals, live performances and yes… even fitness classes! There’s something for everyone at Calgary’s East Village Junction Pop-up Retail Park — and today I’m sharing a handful of my favourite things to see, do, shop and eat!

I’ve always joked that I can shop anywhere. But my family and friends will tell you that really is true! While I have my favourite major retailers, as someone with eclectic personal style, I also live for the hunt. You know, the thrill of finding that one-of-a-kind piece, or offbeat item? Whether it be for my wardrobe, home or kitchen, I love to seek out the extraordinary. At East Village Junction, I did just that — and today, you’re coming along!

EV Junction Pop Up Market Calgary

#evJunction features performances to accompany great food and fashion 

Live Performances

We visited East Village Junction on a beautiful, sunny, June day — and the ambience is like nothing else I’ve experienced in Calgary! As I sauntered over to the colourful lot, my ears were greeted by the musical stylings of Calgary folk artist Tanner James, who was performing on stage that afternoon as part of East Village Junction’s Voices of the Village. Tanner’s chords decorated the afternoon beautifully as we explored all of EVJ’s intricacies and added such a richness to the experience. Live music lovers, consider a trip to the Junction to soak in the sounds of Calgary’s talented artists in a relaxed, outdoor setting adjacent to Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre. You can even grab a bite to eat, enjoy a refreshing beverage and claim your spot on the nearest hammock to enjoy the free show!

Prairie Bazaar & Ox Eye Wild vintage clothing Calgary

Prairie Bazaar & Ox Eye Wild is a vintage clothing lover’s dream!

Prairie Bazaar & Ox Eye Wild vintage clothing Calgary

Prairie Bazar & Ox Eye Wild is one of the retailers in this Pop-Up Retail Park

Prairie Bazaar & Ox Eye Wild

After stalking them on Instagram for the entire week prior to our visit, I knew our first stop at East Village Junction had to be Prairie Bazaar & Ox Eye Wild — a beautifully curated, vintage, bohemian dream!

Located next to Rath Bicycle, this cheerful, kelly green container is the joint vision of owner, Ellen Crawford and her sister, who curates Prairie Bazaar’s clothing section, Ox Eye Wild. As a vintage lover, I can spend hours thrifting and estate sale-ing for hidden gems — but Ellen and her sister have done all the work for for us! I’ve truly never encountered such a lovely selection of vintage goods anywhere, let alone in Calgary. These sisters have an impeccable eye and I had to seriously restrain myself in there! I was enamoured with the tasteful selection of mid-century modern pieces and the barware (we’re currently refreshing our home) — but on my way out, a beautiful, Italian made, pink straw bag caught my eye and simply I couldn’t resist. If you’re looking for that special piece to add to your summer wardrobe or home, pay Prairie Bazaar a visit for unique boho treasures!

MOB raw, local honey blends

There is only one word for MOB Honey – delicious!

MOB Honey

As someone who works with a variety of natural sweeteners (we don’t even keep refined sugar in our pantry!), I was elated to learn more about MOB Honey. Relatively new on the Alberta honey scene but keeping bees for 7 years, MOB’s Amber Yano is doing things a bit differently with her unpasteurized, organic offerings. With artisanal honey blends like Beetroot, Applewood Smoked, Coconut, Truffle and Lavender (which came home with me — I have a summer cocktail recipe in the works!) my mind was buzzing with the culinary potential of MOB’s inventive blends. Stop by the MOB container for a complimentary tasting and fall in love with Amber’s passion for raw, local honey.

Alora Boutique's, She[Empowers] EV Junction pop up container shop

Everything about She[Empowers] makes you feel good

She[Empowers] by Alora

Next up was She[Empowers] by Alora — a hot pink container on a mission to empower female makers and entrepreneurs by offering up a unique selection of home goods, art, jewellery and self care luxuries. Brought to you by Alora Boutique and featuring a mosaic of goods from 7 local makers, everything about She[Empowers] is full of feel good vibes, including Alora’s dedication to give back to women in need. A few of my favourite things from this inspiring container included handwoven macrame wall hangings and beautifully blended essential oils. She[Empowers] by Alora is a giant step forward for the YYC girl power movement — and I am 100% on board!

BARK EV Junction pop up container shop

BARK has some great plants for your home, and some treats for your four-legged best friend

BARK's Green Thumb

On my way over to our next top, the BARK container caught my eye. No, we don’t have a dog — but the stunning assortment of plants outside of BARK’s storefront had me picking out the latest addition to our urban jungle! If you have a canine companion, BARK can sort you out with dog treats, accessories, toys and apparel — and be sure to check out the exterior of their container for all your house (or office!) plant needs.

That Vegan Place Calgary EV Junction Pop Up

That Vegan Place features some of the best local delicacies for plant-based eaters

That Vegan Place Calgary EV Junction Pop Up

One of my own finds from That Vegan Place

That Vegan Place

As a plant-based eater, it can be difficult to find nourishing food on the go. But That Vegan Place has set out to change that — offering up coveted vegan goods from 5 Alberta businesses in one very kind container. Think of That Vegan Place like a mini vegan supermarket in the heart of the Calgary’s East Village! Co-owner Mateus Wachter is extremely passionate about making some of the best vegan eats Alberta has to offer accessible to everyone at the Junction — showcasing food from Mountain Mystiks, where the first ingredient is always love (you must try their Jingle Sauce and Pink Ajna Intuition Kombucha!), Baked From the Heart, Going Nuts, Soy Milk & Vinegar, and The Kind Kitchen. Whether you’re vegan or just in search of some healthy snacks to fuel your shopping adventures, stop by That Vegan Place to #getyourplantbaseon and learn more about the inspiration and evocative stories behind East Village Junction’s greenest container.

East Village Calgary EV Junction live music

The perfect way to relax after an afternoon of shopping

After we were finished exploring, we enjoyed our kombucha under the welcome shade of an umbrella at one of East Village Junctions comfortable seating areas as Tanner James winded down his set. It was such lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon! We’ll definitely be back for another visit before the season is over (or… as soon as we run out of Jingle Sauce!). If you’re looking for a family friendly, outdoor activity this summer, Calgary’s East Village Junction is an eclectic, vibrant experience that can’t be missed! 

Catch this colourful pop-up retail park at 439 8 Ave SE Fridays from 12pm to 8pm and Saturdays, Sundays and Holiday Mondays from 10am to 6pm.