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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 20, 2016
 
Inaugural Etsy Awards winners revealed!
 
Hats off to five of the country’s top makers
and Canada’s chosen Community’s Choice champ
 
TORONTO, ON – Roll out the handmade red carpet and say hello to Etsy Canada‘s first-ever Etsy Awards winners: 3rd Story Workshop, Yarning Made, Gagan Designs, Devlyn van Loon, Black and the Moon and Birch Bliss! The cross-country design competition names these six stand-out sellers as leaders in Canada’s ever-growing maker community, who continue to make Etsy the destination for excellence in craftsmanship and design.
 
On a mission to reward creative talent and entrepreneurial spirit, Etsy Canada brings the awards overseas from concurrent competitions across the globe. Also hosted in Australia and New Zealand, Germany and Austria, and U.K. and Ireland, Etsy Awards continues to champion makers from countries that are rich in ingenuity, now including Canada.

From over 2,000 entries, cut to 60 finalists, then boiling down to just six, both the esteemed judging panel and the Canadian public had their work cut out for them. Judges Erin Green, Managing Director of Etsy Canada, Jillian Harris, Television Personality and Interior Design Expert, Earl Einarson and Jan Halvarson of Poppytalk, and Joyce Lo, Co-Founder and Head Buyer at the Drake General Store were tasked to pick one winner per category; while Canadians from across the country voted for one Community’s Choice Award winner.
 
“On behalf of the judges, we thank all those who entered in the first Canadian Etsy Awards, and we congratulate the six winners!” said Erin Green, Managing Director, Etsy Canada. “Through Etsy Awards, we want to highlight the best of Canadian handmade, inspiring makers for greatness. We’re blown away with the level of quality and craftsmanship in each item submitted. The winners have proven just how much homegrown talent there is coast to coast.”  
 
Canada’s voice was heard loud and clear when voters chose Birch Bliss as the Community’s Choice winner, finding Katelyn Morse’s Forest Print deserving of the $10,000 grand prize. The Berwick, NS-based artist created the peaceful evergreen forest painting inspired by the vibrancy of the outdoors, playfully hiding a little deer in the landscape (can you
spot it?).
 
 

 
In the New Talent category, the judging panel recognized the promising artistry of 3rd Story Workshop. Also representing Nova Scotia, Andrea Tsang Jackson won with her Diamond Gemology Pillow Cover, hand-quilted with 32 fabric pieces to create the effect of light reflections. With a background in architecture, Andrea began quilting as a way to fuse her interests in material, geometry and art. She won’t be much of a hidden gem for long, as this east coast maker is destined for big things.
 
 
With a love of astrology and a respect for the majesty of the ever-moving planets and stars, Toronto’s Black and the Moon maker, Claire Goodchild, took judges to the moon and back with her Minimalist Moon Phases print to secure her title as the Art, Illustration & Paper Goods category winner. Passionate about her craft, Claire uses a mix of graphic design, painting and illustration to design her pieces and takes a very hands-on approach to her creative process, from painting, drying and packaging each piece personally.
 
 
Devlyn van Loon, the independent fashion designer behind her eponymous womenswear line takes the Fashion & Accessories category with the Shibori-Dyed Silk Blend Dress. Each piece is made in her Toronto studio from deadstock materials imported from Europe and combined with certified-organic textiles meant to stand the tests of time. Hand-dyed using the shibori technique, a Japanese style dating back to the 18th century, no two pieces are the same—each fabric exhibits unique patterns from the dyeing process.
 
 
As an unexpected match made in heaven, Gagan Designs pairs housewares with quality aviation-inspired innovation. The Home & Living category winner, Gagan Singh, was raised in an Air Force family in Winnipeg, MB, living life with the mantra that The Best Things in Life are Still Made By Hand™. The self-taught furniture maker designs modern and minimal pieces that draw attention to the high-quality craftsmanship. His Opulux Cone Table Lamp showcases a vision of brass and marble, certain to light up a room in equal measures of style and grace. 
 
 
Kids can sleep ea-ZZZ-y swaddled in a hand-knitted “ZZZ” Blanket from Yarning Made, the Kids & Baby winner. As a mother of three, founder of the blanket shop based in Victoria, BC, Sandra van Katwijk, knows children’s comfort first-hand. Her calculated design process begins with sketches before creating a trial pattern and knit swatches until she deems the design perfect. The result is a chic line of blankets with a European flare.
 
 
For more information on the winners, or to see the full list of finalists, visit etsyawards.com/ca.
 
About Etsy:
Etsy is a marketplace where millions of people around the world connect, both online and offline, to make, sell and buy unique goods. The Etsy ecosystem includes creative entrepreneurs who sell on our platform, thoughtful consumers looking to buy unique goods in our marketplace, responsible manufacturers who help Etsy sellers grow their businesses and Etsy employees who maintain our platform and nurture our community. Our mission is to reimagine commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world, and we’re committed to using the power of business to strengthen communities and empower people.

Etsy was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. 

Website: Etsy.com, EtsyAwards.com/ca
Twitter: @EtsyCA
Facebook: EtsyCA
Instagram: @EtsyCA
Hashtag: #EtsyAwards
 
For more information, hi-res images or to interview Etsy Awards winners or finalists, please contact:
Meaghan Yuen, rock-it promotions, inc. at meaghan@rockitpromo.com or 416.656.0707 ext. 125
Daliah Hijazi, rock-it promotions, inc. at daliah@rockitpromo.com or 416.656.0707 ext. 109
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