New market clarifies its role

DVA unveils new Friday market while there is already a Friday night market at mall and Friday market in Coldstream

Fridays are going to be busy for market-goers.

The Vernon Friday Night Market will return to the Village Green Centre parking lot May 9, while the Coldstream Farmers Market has become year-round on Fridays and the Downtown Vernon Association is unveiling a new public market May 2.

“We do fairly well and get a lot of people,” said Eugene Rohrer, Friday Night Market co-ordinator.

However, he admits that having two markets on Friday night in Vernon, plus one in Coldstream, could create confusion among consumers.

Rohrer isn’t sure if some of the 25 to 30 vendors at the Friday Night Market could move to the DVA’s event on 30th Avenue.

“There may be a few who go downtown but I have talked to our produce people and I believe they will stick with us,” he said.

Lara Konkin, DVA executive director, agrees there could be public confusion about her group’s Avenue Market and the Friday Night Market.

“We’re not referring to ours as a farmers market. We essentially won’t be a farmers market,” she said.

“We will be successful using the downtown merchants and vendors not using the (farmers) market. It’s an open public market and not a farmers market. We will have different vendors and we will be doing it primarily for the merchants downtown.”

The Coldstream Farmers Market originally ran during the winter only but is now year-round at the Coldstream Women’s Institute Hall.

“Some new, young agrarians are participating, and more will be attending quite soon,” said organizer Anita Fletcher.

“This latter addition is an integral part of encouraging and sustaining local farming. Our other intention is to declare our market genetically engineered and genetically modified organism free.”

Konkin says she wants to work with the other markets to address public confusion and ensure all of the endeavours are successful.

“We will do our best in our promotions that this (downtown) is something different, those markets are still continuing and people should support them,” she said.

The Friday Night Market actually began on 30th Avenue 19 years ago. But it was decided in 2000 to end the relationship with the DVA for a number of reasons. It initially went to Briteland but then shifted to Walmart and finally to the Village Green Centre.

Along with the three Friday night markets, the Vernon Farmers Market begins April 17 at Kal Tire Place and runs Monday and Thursday mornings.