District supports market promotions

The Regional District of North Okanagan will ask the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust to fund marketing

Funding is being sought for markets no matter what they sell.

The Regional District of North Okanagan will ask the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust to fund marketing and signage for farmers and public markets.

Initially, the board was only considering farmers markets, but after a lengthy debate, directors also endorsed public markets, which may be more flea market-based and not predominantly focused on produce.

“Our market can’t just survive with produce,” said director Kevin Acton of the size of Lumby.

“We need other elements to survive.”

A market can only take on the farmers designation if an overwhelming percentage of the items for sale come from local farmers or crafters.

“We’ve been trying to promote markets in Lumby and Cherryville and there’s a disadvantage if we don’t qualify as a farmers market,” said director Rick Fairbairn of accessing funding for marketing.

Director Mike Macnabb opposed RDNO’s involvement, saying markets should apply to SIDIT directly.

“We’re not in the business of keeping other people in business,” he said.

However, that argument came under fire.

“Economic development and agriculture are the two top things our communities want to see and we need to get behind them,” said Acton.