Comox Valley Farmers Market needs more room in winter

The Comox Valley Farmers Market keeps growing. As a result there’s no really suitable place to go in the winter months.

Vickey Brown, market manager, told Courtenay Council last week that the market can’t fit all the vendors into the Native Sons Hall and the overflow has to go outside.

“We’ve outgrown the Native Sons Hall. Fees for the hall continue to increase. We continue to get bumped for other events,” she said.

She asked for council support in relocating the winter market, held Saturdays, to the Florence Filberg Centre.

Brown also asked for the city’s help in finding a central, accessible and more permanent location for the Wednesday downtown market held in the summer.

And she asked the city to provide electricity to the downtown market site, as well as new, permanent directional signage to it.

Brown noted that the farmers market is a “significant economic driver in the valley”, with gross sales last year of $1.419 million.

The market, started 25 years ago, requires that all vendors are selling items grown or produced in the Comox Valley or Strathcona regional districts.

The majority of the vendors come from the City of Courtenay, she said.

Brown said last summer’s ill-fated experiment of moving the Wednesday market up to the top of Fifth Street didn’t work out because of fire regulations preventing them from clustering all the vendors in the middle of the street.

They’re looking this year at having the market on England Avenue in front of the old Thrifty’s store.

Brown said a study conducted by the B.C. Association of Farmers Markets a few years ago showed that people coming to a downtown market generally end up shopping at other stores.

“It’s revenue-generating for other businesses. It always gets more eyes on those businesses,” she said.

Mayor Larry Jangula said, though, that he had received numerous complaints from downtown businesses about the location of last year’s market.

“Sales were down … this is them telling me,” he said.

He suggested that the proposed “agriplex” on the Comox Valley exhibition grounds would be an ideal location for the Farmers Market year-round.

But Brown said transit service on Headquarters Road is sadly lacking on Saturdays.

“We will go where there’s space for us. We would be concerned that our customers would follow us there, and not drawing people into the downtown core of Courtenay,” she said.

Council will deal with Brown’s requests at a future meeting.

Just Posted

Looking for crafters for the Gnarly Little Spring Craft Fair in Courtenay

Calling all youth crafters and entrepreneurs! The Gnarly Little Spring Craft Fair… Continue reading

Courtenay supports church renos, lunch program

Council approves $25,000 request from St. George’s United

The Hub Organ Trio coming to Courtenay

The Georgia Straight Jazz Society features an amazing trio at the Avalanche… Continue reading

YANA a blessing for Michaela, Harley, and Baby Violet

Comox Valley association a pillar of the community

Deadline looming for North Island College scholarship applications

Students have until April 24 to apply for a record number of… Continue reading

Kickers beat Meralomas in quarter-final

The Comox Valley Kickers women’s rugby team defeated the Vancouver Meralomas 56-5… Continue reading

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Kickers beat Meralomas in quarter-final

The Comox Valley Kickers women’s rugby team defeated the Vancouver Meralomas 56-5… Continue reading

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Most Read