The idea for Signatures was originated by two artisans in the late 1970’s. John Ladouceur (glass blower) and Casey Sadaka (jeweller) noticed that the options for professional Canadian artists, artisans and designers to sell their work were limited. So John and Casey founded Signatures in 1980 to produce quality marketplaces to bring artisans and buyers together. After three years of research the founders premiered the first Signatures show at the opening of the Ottawa Congress Centre in 1983. It featured 125 artisans presenting their fine handmade work over four days in the busy Christmas shopping season. The next year we introduced our Toronto Signatures show at the newly built Metro Toronto Convention Centre. In a short period of time both events grew in size and duration. As a result Signatures quickly established itself as a major force in the marketing of Canadian handmade products.
Now, more than thirty years later we have become Canada’s largest and most experienced producer of fine craft shows. We produce, promote and manage 20 annual events in 13 citie’s across Canada. Thirteen of our retail shows take place in the Christmas season and six are in the Spring. Our wholesale show, BY HAND, is held in January. All of our shows are held in their respective cities most prominent facilities. Since inception Signatures has never lost sight of our founding principles: to help Canadian artists sell their work in a major setting and to treat them with the utmost respect and consideration. Today with over 400,000 visitors annually and 2,500 participating artists Signatures is proving that the market for Canadian handmade has never been stronger. Our shows are professionally produced and extensively advertised and promoted. We jury all exhibitors for the quality of their work and the originality of their design.
Based in Ottawa we are a Canadian-owned and operated business with a dedicated team of professionals. Our show managers have combined experience of 140 years and over 350 shows produced. These are unprecedented numbers in the industry. We understand the business from both the artist’s side and the production side. We invest heavily in terms of personnel and capital to continue our success in the ever-changing marketplace for handmade products. We strive to meet the needs of our customers – both consumers and artists.
Going forward Signatures is committed to growing the markets for handmade products throughout Canada. We are proud of what we have accomplished over the last 38 years and we are determined to exceed expectations long into the future.