Banff farmer's market to return
By: Cathy Ellis
| Posted: Thursday, Oct 20, 2011 06:00 am
CATHY ELLIS BANFF
A popular farmer’s market will be back in Banff next year.
Banff town council has unanimously endorsed the temporary use of the Central Park parking lot for 14 consecutive Wednesdays, from June 13 to Sept. 12.
Mayor Karen Sorensen thanked the market managers, Jolene Brewster and Rene Geber, saying the market is a valuable addition to the town for both residents and tourists.
“Very sincerely, I have heard nothing but positive news on the farmer’s market,” she said. I know you had to fight a little bit to get us here, but thank you very much.”
Next year’s market will have shorter hours, running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. instead of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Brewster said the shorter hours would be better for vendors, adding this year typically saw a big lull in customers in the middle of the day.
“We think we can do the same success and offer the community the same thing with shorter hours,” she said. “We found people love coming to the market in the morning. It’s completely busy until 2 p.m. and then it dies off.”
Council also agreed to revise the 100 per cent make, bake or grow seller requirements. It will now allow market vendors who are farmers to be the producer, or an immediate family member, a staff member or a member of a producer-owned co-operative or their staff who have made, baked or grown the product being sold.
Councillor Stavros Karlos initially raised some red flags, but said he could support that revision if the intent is simply to allow for more producers.
“I don’t want to see someone who’s employed by an artist coming in and selling their employer’s stuff,” he said.“That puts the market in a much more competitive role with local retailers.”
The market managers also asked council if they could advertise the farmer’s market with additional signs at both entrances to town, as well as at the corner of Banff Avenue and Buffalo Street.
Council wants any sign proposals to come back to them before making any final decisions. Only Councillor Leslie Taylor opposed this, noting it was a “slippery slope personified”.
“We would have so many requests for signs at the entrances to town,” she said. “I don’t think we can go there.”
Business licence fees were waived for individual market vendors, but the market managers must have a business licence to run the market.
Fees for the use of town-owned land over the 14-week period will be $14,820.