The Creston Valley Farmers’ Market could be relocating all of its indoor markets to Creston and District Community Complex.
Market manager Jen Comer received support for the idea at the Oct. 1 Creston Valley Services Committee meeting.
“We have been struggling with the issue of location,” Comer told regional directors.
The space at Morris Flowers Garden Centre, which has been used for several years each fall, is popular, she said, but the market has outgrown it.
The community complex was tested last winter.
“Last year, the Creston Room worked really well,” Comer said.
One of the sticking points is the difference in rent, she said. At $271 per use, the Creston Room is more than 50 per cent more expensive than Morris Flowers.
“The cost of the Creston room is the same whether it is empty or completely set up for an event with chairs and tables,” she said.
Comer asked if a lower price could be negotiated for longer-term use, bringing the rental fee in line with the greenhouse.
“We have been very supportive of the farmers’ market, we enjoy having it here,” said Randy Feduik, community complex manager.
He said lower rates for “long-standing bulk use” have been negotiated in the past.
“Would the farmers’ market consider a weekday market?” asked Tanya Wall, Regional District of Central Kootenay Area B director. “The Creston Room is less busy during the week and weekdays might generate more traffic from people on site for other programs.”
“Absolutely,” said Comer. “We know Saturdays and Sundays aren’t practical (at the community complex). We have discussed Wednesday afternoons with staff.”
She said a Wednesday winter market could help make a transition to an outdoor weekday market downtown, which would be in addition to the traditional Saturday market.
“Wednesday works really well for Nelson on Baker Street,” Area A director Garry Jackman said. “It’s probably better than the weekend when people are busy with other things.
“I am 100 per cent supportive if there is a plan to end the contract in two or three years.”
Comer said the market’s goal is to create a year-round indoor space for a market and that a move to the community complex would not be considered permanent. She also said the move would require the support of vendors.
“You have the blessing of the committee,” chair and Area C director Larry Binks said. “The staff will work with you.”