Urban Market gears up for return in June

by Lindsay Ducharme

marketSpring is officially on, as is the planning for the third annual Wood Buffalo Urban Markets. On April 13th event organizers hosted a community information session in an effort to attract new and unique vendors to the market’s ever expanding lineup.
“The information session was basically intended to give vendors information on schedules, the new location being Jubilee Plaza, talking a little bit about what the requirement and eligibility, the equipment they need as well as some of the tips and suggestions of being a successful vendor at the market,” said Natasha Chisholm, Urban Market project manager.
“Our eligibility (includes) anybody who makes, bakes or grows their own product in Alberta. We are a registered Alberta Farmer’s Market so we are mandated that 80 percent of our vendors must fall within that category. So that’s things like fresh produce, homemade jewelry or candles, prepared foods, baked goods, and coffee. We would love to see some cool new vendors like maybe essential oils or homemade furniture would be nice,” she added.
Chisholm feels that the markets, which this year will run from June 17th through September 23rd, are the perfect opportunity for small and emerging business owners to get a feel for the unique Fort McMurray market.
“I think it’s a reasonably prices investment if people are trying to test out the Fort McMurray market. It can be scary and costly to start a business in Fort McMurray, so I think this is a great opportunity. We have come up with a few different ways to try and limit the cost for people. It’s a great way to test out your product and see if people respond to it,” she explained.
Fans of the Urban Market can expect the variety they have come to know from the Urban Markets, on a larger scale this year at their new location at Jubilee Plaza. Chisholm said 10-15 people attended the most recent information session, all of which are vendors who would be new to the market this season. Chisholm this year’s vendor lineup will be the most comprehensive one to date.
“People love the sense of community the markets bring. Many of the people I have spoken to say how much they loved their farmer’s market back home so they are really excited to see this type of event in Fort McMurray. I think people also really love the concept of supporting local and the smaller business side of Fort McMurray.”
“We have quite a significant number of vendors who have already gone through the process and are likely to apply again but didn’t need the information for the process. We will have five to ten key vendors that will be with us for the whole time and then we will have a number of visiting vendors throughout the season,” she promised.
Those interested in becoming a vendor can learn more about market requirements and the application process at http://www.woodbuffalo.ab.ca/living/Events-and-Festivals/Urban-Market.htm.