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Move in the works to relocate popular Okanagan Farmers' Market
The new president of the Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market says a move is on the horizon.
Tuesday afternoon, the newly elected president of the market’s board of directors, Bob Chisholm, confirmed the market is looking to move on from the parking lot across from Orchard Park Mall, beside the Central Okanagan School District offices.
“We are considering a move at some point,” said Chisholm, who is also the manager of Kaye’s Bees Apiary.
“We’re really outgrowing the location,” he said. “And we’re bright enough to realize Orchard Park may not be in the same position forever.”
With the footprint of the mall continuing to expand, Chisholm confirmed the board of directors believes they will likely need to move, and have pegged two or three new locations as potential sites, though he could not say whether a rumoured move to either the UBCO or Okanagan College campuses were among the top picks.
Moving the market location is serious business, he noted.
A couple of years ago, the market tried a trial evening market downtown by the Sails and it “never really caught on,” he said.
It takes significant time for a new market locale to get established as evidenced by the number of people who are lost in the first few weeks of winter each year when the market moves indoors to the Parkinson Recreation Centre.
Within two to three weeks, Chisholm has noticed most of the customers return, but it takes them a bit to understand the market is still operating, he said.
The farmers’ market belongs to the B.C. Association of Farmers’ Markets and uses its economic models to help estimate the worth of their contributions. It’s estimated the market contributes $7 million to the local economy—an estimate based on the worth of the goods sold, factoring out tourist sales.
There is no date set for a move, or even a firm timeline, but anyone wishing to follow the markets’ progress can expect to keep up-to-date on the web.
Among the new president’s goals for the year is a move onto Twitter. It already has a website, www.kelownafarmersandcraftersmarket.com, and has established a Facebook page.