The organizers of the very successful summer Revelstoke Farm & Craft Market are proposing a relocation to Campbell Avenue between Victoria Road and First Street.
For those less familiar with street names, that’s the wide, divided avenue in the block where the Revelstoke BC Liquor Store is located.
A Dec. 5 letter to Revelstoke City Council signed by the market’s executive committee points to two issues driving the relocation request.
The first is space conflict with retailers in Grizzly Plaza. The executive committee notes vendors need to use covered stalls to protect their wares from sun and rain, but that’s caused visibility complaints by retailers who feel blocked out by the market.
The second issue is a snub of the 30-year-old market on the 2014 May long weekend. City staff informed the market they wouldn’t be able to hold their traditional Saturday market on May 17, 2014 because the plaza has been booked for a vintage car show.
“We are very disturbed that we were not consulted on this matter,” stated a letter undersigned by the market executive. “In the history of the market, this has never occurred. This is one of our best days of the entire season and that business cannot be recovered. Farmers have produce, eggs, bedding plants … that they depend on selling weekly. Otherwise they become compost.”
In an interview with the Times Review, Revelstoke Farm & Craft Market executive president Tamaralea Nelles said pre-empting the May market was disappointing. “We are not happy; we were just told this is happening.”
The idea to move permanently arose at the same time the committee scrambled to find a new location for that weekend.
The farmers’ market executive sent a proposed layout for the new market. It includes 65 stalls lined along the curb lanes and angle parking stalls on the divided, one-way streets.
The executive said another option is to keep the market in Grizzly Plaza and open up part of the parking lot next to the public washrooms to add more room for stalls.
At the city’s Dec. 12 development services meeting, councillors expressed concern that communication issues are at the root of the matter. The market shouldn’t have been pre-empted for a car show, or at least should have been given the right of first refusal, they said. Coun. Chris Johnston noted the farmers’ market was a leading reason why Grizzly Plaza was built in the first place.
The committee will seek to open communications with the committee to work through the issue.
Also at the development services meeting, committee members asked staff to provide an update on plans to close Grizzly Plaza to vehicle traffic permanently.
At a Dec. 12 city security committee meeting, the fire chief expressed concern that the proposed Campbell Avenue location was on a main fire department egress route.
The successful Revelstoke Farm & Craft Market is a big weekly event here. What do you think of the proposed move? Is Campbell Avenue a better spot? Or should they just get some more space where they’re at? Provide guidance to city leaders by commenting below.
Embedded here is a Dec. 5 letter from the Revelstoke Farm & Craft Market to the City of Revelstoke requesting a move to Campbell Avenue.