With summer right around the corner, many seasonal Farmer’s Markets in Calgary are gearing up for a great year, and The Bridgeland Riverside Farmer’s Market (BRFM) is certainly no exception. Run by 10 resident volunteers, this local initiative will be making it’s 2016 debut on June 23rd at the Bridgeland-Riverside Hall (917 Centre Ave NE). This year BRFM has introduced extended hours – testament to the success of the 2015 season – and will now be running every Thursday from 3:30 – 7:30 until October 6th.
The 2015 season was the first year the BRFM had dedicated special events. These included a Launch Market in June, a County Market in August, a Fall Harvest to wrap up their season and a Holiday Event in November that ran for two days. They saw unbelievable success with all these events, especially with the Holiday Market which sold out of vendor spots entirely. This success has allowed them to continue with these fantastic community events, with the Launch Market, Bridgeland Bike Fest, and Fall Harvest all slated for 2016.
Being a community initiative, BRFM is dedicated to gathering feedback from clients in order to meet the needs of the community it serves and continually improve each year. Learning that the special events of 2015 were hugely popular and provided value to both vendors and market-goers, their plan is to not only continue them this season, but expand on them. One such improvement based on feedback is to have more free activities for children, after they were well received in 2015. They also plan to build upon the inclusion of buskers and bands at every market, so local artists can share their music with the community.
With an underlying commitment to supporting local farmers, producers, and artisans, last year BRFM decided to tackle potential financial barriers that some community members faced, especially newer business and youths. To address the issue of accessibility, BRFM launched a unique program that was aimed at ensuring the Market is a true community space. The program gives participants access to a table and tent, waiving the fee that vendors would normally pay to have access to a space in the market. Aspiring entrepreneurs and/or youths with small businesses can apply to have one of the “community tables” for one week, giving them valuable exposure and an immediate economic benefit that can help them grow their business. This year the Aspiring Entrepreneur Community Table initiative is being sponsored by Luke’s Drug Mart, Bridgeland Market, and has a partnership with Momentum.
With this continuous dedication to improvement, community-building, and growth, the summer of 2016 is sure to be a fantastic year for The Bridgeland Riverside Farmer’s Market. Join them any Thursday between June 23rd and October 6th from 3:30 – 7:30 for your fill of fresh produce, local music & art, and community connection in our beautiful city.
– Mark your calendars for the June 23rd Launch Market (and for the Bridgeland Bike Fest August 11 & Fall Harvest on October 6th!)
– Check out BRFM on Facebook and learn about all the fantastic vendors lined up for the 2016 season.