Downtown market may move

Vernon council was asked Tuesday to allow the DVA to hold a market in Cenotaph Park Saturdays

A final decision hasn’t been made, but there appears to be support for adjusting the  public market schedule in downtown Vernon.

City council was asked Tuesday to allow the Downtown Vernon Association to hold a market in Cenotaph Park on Saturdays between Victoria Day and Labour Day, as well as one Friday night a month on 30th Avenue.

“It’s a pretty good proposal,” said Mayor Akbal Mund.

“It’s a bold move on their part to try both and see which works best.”

The future of the Friday night market has been in question as the city has received complaints from some merchants about how business and traffic were impacted by the closure of 30th Avenue. Other merchants, though, praised the market for bolstering their profile.

Given the difference of opinion, Coun. Catherine Lord says the DVA’s new proposal may be a compromise.

“They’ve addressed a lot of the issues,” she said.

“I like the idea of what’s happening.”

According to DVA executive director Lara Konkin, meeting the needs of all merchants has been a priority.

“We have come up with a proposal that will accommodate as many groups as possible,” she said.

If approved by council, the Saturday market would run in Cenotaph Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“It will be great for the city and be a fun place for families,” said Coun. Dalvir Nahal.

The Saturday market would also see existing businesses on 30th Avenue use sidewalks for outdoor cafes or to feature their merchandise and generate foot traffic.

“It will allow the street to stay open,” said Konkin of 30th Avenue.

Use of Cenotaph Park would require an adjacent alley to be shut off to public traffic, and that is a concern for Coun. Juliette Cunningham, who has a business next door.

“On Saturdays, I have clients who (park in the alley) and drop items off,” she said.

Konkin believes the DVA can find a solution that benefits those businesses next to the alley.

The Friday night market is scheduled for May 27, June 24, July 29 and Aug. 26, and it  would be held in a different block each time, meaning limited closure of 30th Avenue.

Vernon council members are expected to discuss the DVA’s proposal and make a decision Feb. 22.