Comox Valley Farmers’ Market feeling squeezed for space

The Comox Valley Farmers’ Market is feeling the squeeze at the Exhibition Grounds.

For two consecutive years, CVFM general manager Twila Skinner said booking requests have been denied without consultation, and the market has been automatically displaced to the Comox Valley Sports Centre. She is concerned it will continue to happen.

“With only having 27 weeks outside at the exhibition grounds, if it happens multiple times, it affects vendors in a big way,” Skinner said in a presentation Nov. 5 at regional district committee of the whole. “For vendors, this is their livelihood, and a decrease in 25-40 per cent (of sales) is significant for them.”

Moving sites brings parking issues and a lower number of customers, added Skinner, who feels one group should not automatically be displaced over another.

She asked the committee about protocols to deal with multiple events that use the same spot at the same time.

“What gives one user group preference over another? Why are there no attempts to make something work between all parties.”

Skinner notes the CVFM represents a significant economic and social benefit to the Valley. Along with the year-round, Saturday market, it operates seasonal markets Sundays in Cumberland and Wednesdays in downtown Courtenay.

“The bounty of food available year-round is enjoyed by several thousands of patrons. We contribute over $2.5 million annually to the Comox Valley economy. Farmers’ markets are only gaining popularity and strength, and the numbers will only increase going forward.”

The market is asking the CVRD to facilitate conversations, and to collaborate with groups that have conflicts with dates and locations to reach a reasonable solution – which might, in the end, mean the market is displaced as other events continue to grow.

“We need to minimize the impacts as much as possible,” Skinner said.

The committee asked for a staff report outlining rental arrangements for the fairgrounds.

Area C director Edwin Grieve questions how the district can maintain this function without much money coming its way.

He notes that Vancouver Island Music Fest is requesting a waiving of fees. He also notes a desire to install washrooms and more hydro, even though the CVRD has yet to pay off its long-term debt from the last batch installed. He feels the committee needs more than a cursory report.

“We have to look into how we’re going to grow this site properly,” Grieve said.



reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cell phone porting scam making its rounds through the Comox Valley: RCMP

The Comox Valley RCMP is reminding residents to be vigilant when handing… Continue reading

Woman airlifted from Cumberland after crash

A 73-year-old woman had to be airlifted out to hospital Tuesday following… Continue reading

Tax requisition same, tip fees up for solid waste in Comox, Strathcona regions

CSWM board will have to finalize its latest financial plan by the end of March

Valley man warning others through video following cyber attack

Julian White had his online portfolio hacked less than two weeks ago.

Life on street inspires Comox man to help others without homes

For Sam Franey, it all starts with making connections between people

VIDEO: Wet’suwet’en supporters vow to keep protesting at B.C. legislature

Supporters say they will continue ongoing action to hold government accountable

Comox Valley RCMP issue warrant for the arrest of alleged thief

The Comox Valley RCMP have issued an arrest warrant for 44-year-old Richard… Continue reading

Comox Valley RCMP officer assaulted during traffic stop

On Feb. 21, a member of the Comox Valley RCMP was assaulted… Continue reading

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

Nanaimo woman to compete in new season of ‘Big Brother Canada’

Carol Rosher, a cancer survivor, is one of 16 houseguests appearing on reality TV show

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Most Read