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The Royal Bison is 10 years old in 2017! 

Founded in 2007 by powerhouse illustrator Raymond Biesinger, the Royal Bison Art and Craft fair began in a time when Etsy was brand new to the internet. When Raymond moved to Montreal in 2010, the torch was passed to illustratorJosh Holinaty, jeweler Jeanie Andronyk and designer Vikki Wiercinski.  Over time, Josh and Jeanie left for greener pastures, photographer Jim joined the organizer fold, so did illustrator and designer Andrew Benson. The whole thing continues on in 2017 with Vikki Wiercinski and Andrew Benson and a few additional Bison elves at the helm. 

We've had over 400 different makers, designers, illustrators and artists pass through our doors,  and it goes without saying:  the Royal Bison wouldn't be the Royal Bison without its top notch vendors!

Royal Bison HQ has some cool stuff over the last 10 years and we couldn't have done it without so much amazing local support. Here we present for your enjoyment a visual history of the Royal Bison and some fun facts. So many tote bags! So many posters! So much craziness! Letters from Premier of Alberta! Thanks for being so awesome, Edmonton. We love you.

Got a photo you feel should be included here?
Email it to info@royalbison.ca!


FO REALZ! Thank you to Premier Rachel Notley (and MLA for the Royal Bison Edmonton-Strathcona riding) - your words mean a lot to us!

Mayor Don Iveson too! Aw shucks, this Bison is blushing!

And thank you to MP Linda Duncan of Edmonton-Strathcona! We've seen you at the fair more than a few times!

 

The one that started it all! May 2007 was the first-ever Royal Bison, held in the exactly same venue as it now. The fair was started by powerhouse illustrator Raymond Biesinger in 2007. In 2010, Raymond decamped to Montreal and left the fair in the hands of a group of long-term vendors.

The one that started it all! May 2007 was the first-ever Royal Bison, held in the exactly same venue as it now. The fair was started by powerhouse illustrator Raymond Biesinger in 2007. In 2010, Raymond decamped to Montreal and left the fair in the hands of a group of long-term vendors.


2010 finds the fair in the hands of illustrator Josh Holinaty, jeweller Jeanie Andronyk, and designer Vikki Wiercinski.  Winter 2011 poster.

2010 finds the fair in the hands of illustrator Josh Holinaty, jeweller Jeanie Andronyk, and designer Vikki Wiercinski.  Winter 2011 poster.

Vue Weekly creates a "Best Artisan/Craft Fair" category in 2012. Royal Bison wins (thanks everyone!) and continues on winning it to this day.

Vue Weekly creates a "Best Artisan/Craft Fair" category in 2012. Royal Bison wins (thanks everyone!) and continues on winning it to this day.

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The MAKE EDMONTON WIERD sticker makes it debut in 2013. Designed by Vikki Wiercinski and Inspired by a trip to Portland and its "Keep Portland Weird" ethos, we wanted to call Edmonton's makers to the same idea. At last count in 2017 we've printed 2000+ stickers and we hope Edmonton is a bit weirder...

The MAKE EDMONTON WIERD sticker makes it debut in 2013. Designed by Vikki Wiercinski and Inspired by a trip to Portland and its "Keep Portland Weird" ethos, we wanted to call Edmonton's makers to the same idea. At last count in 2017 we've printed 2000+ stickers and we hope Edmonton is a bit weirder...

We hung out on the lawn of the venue on the first beauty days of spring!

Patrick Ares-Pilon's magnificent art car made the trip for many a fair!

Artist designed hoodie by Josh Holinaty!

Artist designed hoodie by Josh Holinaty!

We add a Friday night to the show in 2013!

We put on a show! Poster by Jill Stanton.

Newly minted Edmonton mayor Don Iveson comes for a visit!

Artist designed tote bag by Andrew Benson!

Artist designed tote bag by Andrew Benson!

Our first-ever artist designed tote bags were in Spring 2013 by Jill Stanton!

Artist designed tshirt by Gabe Wong.

Artist designed tshirt by Gabe Wong.

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A three-day time lapse of the magnificent Royal Bison Art and Craft Fair in Noveber of 2014 in Edmonton, Canada. Thanks to Scott Portingale for putting this together!

2014 was the year we discovered neon ink to print with!

2014 was the year we discovered neon ink to print with!

Artist-designed tote bag by Jason Blower.

Artist-designed tote bag by Jason Blower.

2014 artist designed tote bag by Laurel Westlund.

We're spacecases sometimes and forget to pick up our sandwich boards at the end of the weekends. Thank you to the kind folks (hi Karen!) over the years who have picked them up and kept them safe for us!

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2015 evil eye koozie designed by Vikki WIercinski

Winter 2015 design by Andrew Benson!

2015 artist designed tote bag by Hamburger Hands/Kyle Schnieder!

2015 artist designed tote bag by Hamburger Hands/Kyle Schnieder!

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2015 artist designed tote bag by Emily Chu.

2015 artist designed tote bag by Emily Chu.

Winter 2015 poster design by Andrew Benson!

Winter 2015 poster design by Andrew Benson!

25 cent peeps! Oh the things we saw in those Viewmaster reels!

Y'all showed up in spades! <3!

Y'all showed up in spades! <3!

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Spring 2016 designs by Andrew Benson!

Spring 2016 designs by Andrew Benson!

In May 2016 Alberta was hit by savage wildfires that almost burned down the city of Ft. McMurray in the days right before the spring Royal Bison. Visitors to the Royal Bison  donated cash to the Red Cross at our front door, along with warm coats and toothbrushes. 

Somehow this wound up in our 2016 files and we liked it. Read more about Bailey the Buffalo!

Nov 2016: We started making enamel pins like all the cool kids.

Spring 2016 artist designed tote bag by Borys Tarasenko.

Spring 2016 artist designed tote bag by Borys Tarasenko.

Nov 2016 Poster design

Artist designed tote bags by Erin Greenough.

Artist designed tote bags by Erin Greenough.

The first ever Biblio-Bison was in November 2016!

The first ever Biblio-Bison was in November 2016!

Spring 2017 poster by Andrew Benson.

Spring 2017 poster by Andrew Benson.

100 limited edition enamel mugs went on sale in the may 2017 fair....and promptly sold out. Maybe you're one of the lucky ones who scored such a treasure?

100 limited edition enamel mugs went on sale in the may 2017 fair....and promptly sold out. Maybe you're one of the lucky ones who scored such a treasure?

Royal Bison Winter 2017 graphics by Andrew Benson.

Royal Bison Winter 2017 graphics by Andrew Benson.

Artist-designed tote bag by Matt Prins.

Artist-designed tote bag by Matt Prins.

Nov 2017 artist designed tote bag by Jordan Blackburn.

Nov 2017 artist designed tote bag by Jordan Blackburn.