Farmers’ market moving to downtown Courtenay

The Comox Valley Farmers' Market is moving its mid-week market from Comox Bay Farm to a downtown Courtenay site.

The Comox Valley Farmers’ Market is moving its mid-week market from Comox Bay Farm to a downtown site on England Avenue between Fifth and Sixth streets.

It will run Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to noon in July and August.

The Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association has encouraged the move.

“I think it will be fun,” CVFM general manager Vickey Brown said. “The musicians are looking forward to it and the vendors are excited about it. I think it’s a really good match for us to be in the downtown core.”

Hours could expand next year depending on the wishes of customers.

Brown is working out road closure details with the City, which she said is supportive. The application will go before council shortly.

The market is in its 21st year in the Valley. It started with 10 farmers at the Exhibition Grounds selling from the back of pickups. It has grown to almost 100 members and upwards of 60 vendors on Saturdays. Wednesday markets consist of about 30 vendors.

The outdoor market runs from April to October. Come winter, it moves indoor at the Native Sons Hall.

Brown figures the market attracts a few thousand visitors each week — 4,000 on a sunny day.

“We’re one of the few markets that are food and agriculture products only. Most markets have opened up to some crafts or artisan pieces,” she said. “The vast majority of our vendors are farmers or producers of locally grown products … It’s a very good way to support farming in our community and help preserve the farmland that surrounds this Valley — and allows us to eat well all year-round.”

A 2012 socioeconomic impact study indicates most market attendees shop elsewhere in town and spend money.

“We generate several million dollars in the Valley every year, and all that money is recirculated in the Valley,” Brown said.


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