Monday, July 4, 2022
Markets are an important part of building resilient local economies and are great starting-off point for a new business. Farmers markets play a part in selling fresh produce and highlight sustainable selling practices (ex. 95% of the Yellowknife Farmers Market waste is composted). Buying and selling at a farmer’s market is a great way to give back to your local community, through supporting your local businesses and growers, and promoting sustainability.
Curious about the markets in your community? Check out some of the markets happening within the Territories this summer!
Yellowknife- Yellowknife Farmers Market: The Yellowknife Farmers Market (YKFM) occurs every Tuesday (June 7 to September 13) from 5:15pm-7:15pm at the Somba K’e Civic Plaza. About 40 vendors have signed up for the season, with over 400 people in attendance during the first event of the season 2022! The YKFM has various programs to aid in increasing local food production and tackling local food insecurity.
Do you have extra produce? The Yellowknife Farmers Market allows you to donate or sell your extra produce through the Harvesters Table. Learn more about starting your own Harvesters Table.
Credit Photo: Sarah Pruys/Yellowknife Farmers Market
Hay River – Fisherman’s Wharf: The Fisherman’s Wharf is held every Saturday (starting at July 2) from 10am to 2pm. Started by the West Channel Heritage Society, it has steadily grown into one of the communities most anticipated events for the summer with 43 vendors signed up and attracting more than 300 visitors every week! The Wharf is well-loved by community members, along with tourists from across Canada as well as all over the world.
In 2019, The Fisherman’s Wharf partnered with the Town of Hay River to build a permanent vending site complete with washing station for each stall.
Fort Smith – Desnedé Farmers Market: Every Sunday (June 19 – September 15) at 1:00pm – 3:00pm enjoy locally made products and baked goods at the Long Warehouse in Mission Park. In 2020, Desnedé Farmers Market implemented a waste reduction strategy by replacing single-use waste with compostable products. Get the DESNEDÉ FARMERS’ MARKET 2022 Handbook - Learn more!
Norman Wells – Parks Day Market: On Saturday, July 23 from 1:00pm - 3:30pm, enjoy the first Parks Day Market at Mackinnon Park. Vendors are invited to sell whatever they want! Anything goes, arts & craft, garage sale, homemade items, baking goodies. Plus, visitors can enjoy a Poker Rally, Volleyball tournament, and other games, with live music and beer gardens!
Fort Good Hope: Fort Good Hope has several markets planned throughout the year. Held once a month, from June to November (dates to be determined). The markets will include harvests from the community garden group, along with crafts.
Inuvik - Arctic Market: This market runs from 11am to 2pm every Saturday (June 18 to September 10) at Chief Jim Koe Park at the Inuvik Welcome Centre. The Town of Inuvik was awarded money from the federal government and the government of the Northwest Territories to assist with the revitalization and redevelopment of Chief Jim Koe Park – including the creation of an Inuvik Welcome Centre which will house their Summer Arctic Market!
The first Arctic Market of the year included the grand opening of the Inuvik Welcome Centre on June 18, 2022.
Does your community have a local market? Why not start one! A local market doesn’t have to only include fresh produce vendors, it can also include cooked meals, baked goods, arts and crafts and other vendors to show of the unique skills of the entrepreneurs in your area! A diversity of products is actually what will make your market strong!
Here are some quick tips to starting a market in your community:
- Assess the need – is there already a market or fair? Are there local people looking for an opportunity to sell their products? If there already is one, volunteer to help build it up. What day, time and how often would a market be beneficial? For example, Yellowknife’s market is Tuesday evenings, Hay River’s wharf is Saturday mornings and the Arctic Market in Inuvik has both a regular summer and a winter market!
- Bring together an organizational team and develop a structure – community garden facilitators, farmers, community leaders, community event coordinators, and health experts are all potential sources of support for your market. It may take some volunteer work but there are also funding opportunities available. There are many ways to structure your market, they can be corporations, cooperatives or non-profits.
- Understand local regulations.
- Find a location.
- Recruit vendors – remember diversity is helpful! Get a social media account for the market to help people recognize and get excited about it.
- Involve the community – team up with other projects to support each other! You could include performances by the Aboriginal Headstart drumming group, have a talent show or local musicians, an oral story or time when elders can participate, organize an art show, include fundraising opportunities – your market can reflect the heart of your community!