Market Collective - Q&A with Angel Guerra

We sat down with the founder of Market Collective, Angel Guerra, and got to know a bit more about what Market Collective is all about. 


What is Market Collective? – Market Collective is a lot of fun. But more specifically, MC is an artisan market that was created to showcase the works of local artists, artisans, designers, food vendors, musicians, and DJs. We created it with a strong sense of community which has carried it through the years.

How long has it been around? – MC launched in June 2008, and it has been going strong ever since. Always growing, changing, evolving, all the while staying true to our original mission – Community Building Through The Arts.

How did MC start? – MC started with a spark of imagination on a front stoop in Sunnyside. Angela and I had just met, and immediately began dreaming up a place where there were artists, live music, and space for people to gather and exchange ideas. 3 months later we launched the first MC, and have continually been learning along the way.

Where did you get the name MC? – After a short time brainstorming and thinking up different names, Market Collective just seemed to stick. There are probably better or worse names that we could have chosen, but once you make the decision it’s hard to imagine any other name.

How big is the team at MC? – The MC team consists of 10 rad folks. They are all super unique, and add their own unique flair to each event. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to keep plugging along all of these years.  

What kind of vendors are typically at MC? – We have so many different types of artists at MC. The mediums range from painting, illustration and photography, to ceramics, jewelry, clothing, and even dog apparel. *wink*.

What sets MC apart from other markets? Way back in 2008, the thing that set us apart from other markets was that we were the only one of our kind in the city. Now, a decade later, there are lots of art markets happening which is amazing, and also has continued to keep us on our toes and keep us differentiating ourselves. MC currently has a fully programmed live music stage, a skatepark, a kids zone, and large-scale art installations. Over the years we have tried to be as creative as possible, while still staying accessible to a large and varied demographic of people.

What has been your most powerful memory of MC? My most powerful memory from MC is what happens between the MCs, not the happenings of our actual events. We have watched people meet at MC and begin incredible artistic collaborations, we have seen people get married from meeting at MC, have children with people they have met at MC, and get more plugged into the community through the connections that they have forged at MC. These are the collective memories that I hold most dearly, and what have driven me to continue with the work of MC in Calgary.

What does community mean to you? Community is really important to me. It means gathering, exchanging ideas, having fun, breaking bread, and living life together.

What is the entrepreneur and maker community like in Calgary? – The community is industrious, fun, growing rapidly, and makes Calgary so beautiful.

What is the future of MC? – Right now I’m obsessed with marrying these two concepts: Weird and Accessible. It feels like those two words are on a little hamster wheel in my head just spinning round and round. I’m hoping that we can make MC as weird as possible, while still appealing to a large and diverse crowd.

When is the next event and how can people support MC? – The next event is on May 24-26, and people can expect 150 artists (including 58 new artists that have never participated in MC), food trucks, Last Best beer, the MC skatepark complete with new obstacles designed by Shiki Menya, Thankyou Group, and Ninetimes, a kids zone, art installations, and live music and DJs all weekend.