City on board with market

City councillors voted to support the Castlegar and District Heritage Society with reviving the Farmers’ Market this summer.

City councillors voted to support the Castlegar and District Heritage Society with reviving the Farmers’ Market this summer.

Mayor Lawrence Chernoff said they received a letter from Jean Merritt of the Castlegar United Church in March stating they were looking for someone to take over the market.

With no takers, Chernoff said it became a question of how quickly they could retain the market as time ran out.

“We didn’t want to see this lost,” he said.

Issues of community and food strategy were at stake, he said, and he didn’t want to see even a one-year gap.

The Castlegar and District Heritage Society eventually expressed interest in bringing the market to the downtown core.

Coun. Deb McIntosh, who didn’t vote on the question because she works for the society, said they waited until the very end to see if anybody would step forward.

“We didn’t want the community to lose it,” she said.

She said by bringing it downtown to the Station Museum grounds, they would be able to tie it in with summer activities like SculptureWalk.

The market format will be similar to recent years, with locals selling produce, baked goods and other homemade products, but McIntosh said they’re open to suggestions or requests.

“The community will let us know what they want,” she said. “They’re pretty vocal.”

McIntosh said they’re hoping to incorporate clients from the Community Harvest Food Bank and Drop-In Centre (which she’s also involved with) to provide them with a stipend for working the market.

Along with formal support, the city will be providing $1,500 for general expenses related to the market, providing $500 for advertising, directing staff to liaison between the city and the Heritage Society and to provide direction for the benefit of the market and to encourage the Heritage Society to apply for next year’s Columbia Basin Trust grants for long-term funding.

McIntosh hopes the market will open on July 9.

For more information or to be a part of the market, call McIntosh at 365-6440.

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