In contrast to last year, the end of the 2011 season of the City Market on 104 Street doesn’t feel as final. Although Mack and I will miss having all of the vendors and festivities just out our front door, we are comforted knowing that the market is continuing indoors at City Hall next week (they also debuted their new website this week!).
One of the signs taped to the street as a reminder
I really hope the word spreads far and wide so patrons will still think of the City Market as a new year-round shopping option. Though I know it will take some time to embed this fact, I don’t think enough has been done to promote the seamless transition to City Hall. We just ran into a woman in our building this morning, a regular market shopper, who didn’t know about the continuation.
The other half of the battle is convincing shoppers that this year-round City Market will be populated with enough vendors to make a trip there worthwhile (instead of, say, heading to the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market where one would be certain of the vendors present). It is a bit of a chicken-egg argument (vendors need a critical mass of patrons to purchase their products, but patrons need a good variety to be enticed), but I really think it would have been great if even a partial list of vendors who had committed to the City Hall edition was released. Again, as I mentioned last week, I realize that the City Market still hasn’t received applications from all vendors, but I think it would help people plan their shopping trip, and create a concrete buzz for next week.
Irvings Farm Fresh will be at City Hall all winter
Regardless, as far as a wrap-up to the outdoor portion of the market year, the weather was brilliant. Sunny and warm, it almost made up for the many rainy and miserable Saturdays this summer.
Riverbend Gardens could even go without a tent!
Mack and I always love to see events that tie-in to the market, either right on the street or in the area, and the studio sale in the Great West Saddlery building was no exception. We popped upstairs to see designers Bridget Smatlan, Jessica Halabi, Gabrielle Cruz and Corinna Chow in their element. It was good to meet all of you!
Corinna and Gabrielle in their studio
As I did in my last City Market report post in 2010, I wanted to again pay homage to the dedicated producers who work to bring us fresh produce, proteins and wares week in and week out, whatever the weather. Here are just some of the producers:
Andres and Megan of Greens, Eggs and Ham
Jen of Jen’s Organic Garden
James of Sundog Organic Farm
Irvings Farm Fresh
Patty of Lola Canola (in her last market appearance!)
Rick of Barr Estate Winery
Ed of Sunshine Organic Farm
Mathias and Gerda of Green Valley Farm
Thanks for a great outdoor season, and see you at City Hall next week!