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All six summer Vancouver Farmers Markets will open as 'essential service'

The markets will have distancing and other safety protocols in place
vancouver-farmers-markets-haul
Photo by Courtney Vye, via Vancouver Farmers Markets/Facebook

As their two winter markets wrap up for the season this weekend, the Vancouver Farmers Markets (VFM) has announced their full slate of six markets around the city will open starting May 2.

Deemed an "essential service" and permitted to operate during the current COVID-19 crisis, the VFM has made adjustments to their operations in order to facilitate safe physical distancing, and other measures in place to curb the potential spread of the virus.

In accordance with BC Public Health Officer Bonnie Henry’s orders, VFM will be food-only for the time being, with no craft, flowers, or non-food nursery items available for purchase, explains the VFM.

Among the distancing and safety measures in place are capacity limits, no live music or eating on-site, and a request for shoppers to "shop, don't stop," while inside the market. Additionally, no food samples will be distributed.

“We had originally planned a series of special events for our 25th anniversary,” says VFM’s interim executive director Laura Smit. “Now the focus is on providing an essential service to the community and helping our farms stay in business.”

Vendors and farmers who have been participating in the two VFM winter markets attest that attendance has been steady - tanglible proof that for many Vancouverites, the markets are indeed essential.

Along with the six weekly markets, shoppers can access food from VFM vendors through its new online platform, VFM Online Orders. While VFM is working on implementing centralized pick-up and delivery in the coming weeks, a variety of these options are available through individual vendors on the platform. 

This summer, opening days will roll out from early May to early June. The first markets to open will be Trout Lake and Riley Park the morning of May 2, followed by Kitsilano on May 3.

Here are the locations and days/times of this summer's VFM:

  • Trout Lake (13th Ave & Lakewood Dr.) - Saturdays, May 2-Oct 24, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.    
  • Riley Park (30th Ave. & Ontario St.) -  Saturdays, May 2-Oct 24, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.  
  • Kitsilano (10th Ave. & Larch St. ) - Sundays, May 3-Oct 25, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.  
  • West End (1100 Comox St.) - Saturdays, May 23-Oct 24, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. 
  • Mount Pleasant (8th Ave. & Guelph St.)  - Sundays, May 24-Oct 25, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.  
  • Main St. Station (1100 Station St.) - Wednesdays, June 3-Oct 7, 2-6 p.m.

Other farmers' markets operating in Metro Vancouver are also carrying on as esential services, like the Burnaby Artisan Farmers' Market, however others have opted to cancel for 2020, like the Steveston market in Richmond. There remain several markets in the area slated to open later in May or June that have yet to determine if they will go ahead with their season.