Saturday, August 01, 2015

What Happened To Downtown Farmers' Market?

Less than 30 vendors

For the first time this year since this market changed names (I think) and calling itself the Bastion Waterfront Farmers' Market I stopped by on Friday July 31 and was both surprised and disappointed by what I found.

This market had 50 vendors listed on their website in 2014 and over the years seemed to build a loyal following of both vendors and shoppers, but something seems to have changed this year as I only counted 24 vendors and almost no shoppers.

The market changed their hours of operation this year to 2:00 - 6:00 pm so whether that has impacted the market is hard to say. For the past years they were open from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm so possibly the 'regulars' came down early and it looked like the market no longer was there. How well the change has been promoted is doubtful.

Compared with the Tuesday night street market in Parksville that boasts 175 vendors it is hard to understand why Nanaimo has such an abysmal showing when it comes to street markets.



  1. It's not hard to understand at all----there are too many markets in Nanaimo. how about we concentrate on 'one' big good one. Pick a perfect day, a central spot, and bring in everyone to a 'real' market.

  2. I have been a vendor in the Parksville market and have watched it grow. The ten to 2:00 time on a Friday in Nanaimo was always a problem time for me to get there and see the vendors. Another thing Parksville has done different is to expand beyond the Make it Bake it Grow it style and allow other vendors in much like the Sydney market. Expanding the vendor base will draw people to the market and benefit all the vendors. These two markets have been very successful in drawing large crowds with a combination of vendors. Had I been able to get into the Friday market I certainly would have booked a booth there. I think there is room for both types of vendors in the markets. I also think this market has been relying on its existence and really not done much in the way of promoting the market. It's time to improve that as well.


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