Comox Valley Farmers’ Market marks 30th birthday

Many original members and long-time vendors were celebrated at the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market 30th birthday Saturday. Photo by Mike ChouinardMany original members and long-time vendors were celebrated at the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market 30th birthday Saturday. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Even with birthday party, it was business as usual at the market. Photo by Mike ChouinardEven with birthday party, it was business as usual at the market. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Elected representatives Ronna-Rae Leonard, Jesse Ketler, Leslie Baird and Bob Wells listen while Elder Donna Mitchell delivers the welcoming. Photo by Mike ChouinardElected representatives Ronna-Rae Leonard, Jesse Ketler, Leslie Baird and Bob Wells listen while Elder Donna Mitchell delivers the welcoming. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Celtic Cargo Cult provided the music for the event. Photo by Mike ChouinardCeltic Cargo Cult provided the music for the event. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Some memories from the past 30 years. Photo by Mike ChouinardSome memories from the past 30 years. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Original member Gunnar Pedersen cuts the cake. Photo by Mike ChouinardOriginal member Gunnar Pedersen cuts the cake. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Everyone gathers for a final photograph. Photo by Mike ChouinardEveryone gathers for a final photograph. Photo by Mike Chouinard

The Comox Valley Farmers’ Market celebrated its 30th birthday Saturday morning.

The organization started on May 2, 1992, and they gathered together some founding members and long-time vendors, along with invited dignitaries, to mark the occasion.

While the market bustled along as usual, there were prizes, music, speeches and birthday cake.

RELATED STORY: Comox Valley Farmers’ Market celebrates 30 years

“It’s a big milestone for us — 30 years,” said market general manager Twila Skinner.

She spoke about the early years of the market and how it had grown in size, with more vendors and visitors throughout the years, all while sticking to the original vision.

“Through all of this, we have remained true,” she said.

Board member George Ehrler also spoke about how the market had provided a testing ground for many new businesses in the community such as Tree Island Yogurt or Dark Side Chocolates, as entrepreneurs would start small to test out their goods with the public before expanding their operations.

“It’s kind of an incubator,” he added.

Skinner highlighted some of the founders and long-time vendors who were on hand for the event, as well as a few members the market community had lost.

Many guests were invited to deliver greetings, following the welcoming by Elder Donna Mitchell from K’ómoks First Nation. These included MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard, Mayor Bob Wells from Courtenay, Mayor Leslie Baird from Cumberland, and Coun. Jesse Ketler and Area A director Daniel Arbour representing the Comox Valley Regional District. Mayor Russ Arnott was not able to attend but sent his regrets.

Ketler, who chairs the regional district board, said the CVRD was working with local farmers on developing some kind of space for them that would help with aspects of operations such as storage.

“We are working on a food hub for the valley,” she said.

Finally, the crowd joined in to sing “Happy Birthday,” before original member Gunnar Pedersen cut the birthday cake and everyone gathered for a group photo.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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