Every summer’s Sunday will see the Mountain Market at Fernie’s Rotary Park. Vendors from the Elk Valley and beyond will offer their artisanal work to market goers. Dawn Deydey, a representative of the Mountain Market spoke to The Free Press about the weekly event that brings in approximately $325,000 annually.
“In 2012 we took part in a UNBC [University of Northern B.C.] study that showed that over 1,000 people attend the market each week, with over 10,000 visits each year. I don’t doubt that that number will double in 2016,” she said.
According to Deydey, the numbers of vendors and participants have increased each summer since 2012.
“We were really excited to have more food vendors, more local farmers selling produce and now, locally sourced meat available. Plus, the quality of artisans that are attending the market continues to impress,” she said.
The Mountain Market is a member of BCAFM, British Columbia Association of Farmers Markets. The Association works to support local farmers and farmers markets throughout the province. Each vendor must have a minimum of 75 per cent of their table space for products that they have made, baked or grown. Deydey summed up how the market works to promote locally produced goods by using the slogan, “you make, you bake or you grow. To be a Mountain Market vendor you need to sell products that do that. For the last 15 years we have been promoting and supporting our local artisans and farmers.”
While vendors vary from week to week, there are some that have been at the market every year since its inception in 2001.
“Each year is filled with different vendors at the market. Each week can be different, as vendors don’t need to commit to the whole market season. This ensures that each market has something new and exciting to explore for the community,” she said. “At the same time, we have a whole bunch of long time vendors favourites that are there each week. In fact, we have some vendors that are celebrating vending at the Mountain Market for 10 and 15 years. We are lucky to have vendors coming from across B.C. and Alberta to share their amazing local products with us in Fernie.”
If you are looking to join the market as a vendor, the events website, mountainmarket.ca has the information and contacts that are needed to take the first step. The Mountain Market also offers free space for youth vendors that are 16 years-old and under, however they must meet all vendor guidelines. Most Sundays will see a mix of craft, food, farmer, and non-profit vendors as well as buskers and musicians. The first Market is on July 1, which will be held outside the Fernie Aquatic Centre. They will continue every Sunday to Sept. 11, each market starting at 10 a.m. in Rotary Park.