Friday, April 08, 2016 - 9:45 AM

City of St.John's and Partners to Build Community Market

Speakers at the Community Market announcement

The City of St. John’s today announced the proposed plan for a new community market at the former Metrobus location on Freshwater Road is moving forward.  The City is contributing $2 million through its capital budget, close to $1.17 million is coming from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), and $490,000 is from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development (BTCRD). The St. John’s Farmers’ Market Cooperative (SJFM) will operate the facility and have also contributed $100,000 towards the project.
 
“The decision to move forward with the community market comes after several years of work by the City, the St. John’s Farmers’ Market, and its funding partners,” said Councillor Tom Hann. “The completion of a feasibility assessment and business plan enabled us to determine that a market is viable and financially sustainable in the proposed facility. We look forward to working with the St. John's Farmers' Market to create this vibrant community space."

Funding will support the capital construction which will allow the SJFM to relocate to the new space to run both the market and a community facility equipped with a kitchen and meeting area.

“Budget 2016 supports Canadian innovators, and gives them the help they need to encourage economic growth and build strong communities,” said the Honourable Judy Foote, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Member of Parliament for Bonavista-Burin-Trinity, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.  “This new community market is a great example of how the Government of Canada remains committed to fostering entrepreneurship and economic development in communities in Newfoundland and Labrador and across the country.”

The City’s Economic Roadmap 2021 specifically identified the community market as an action item and points to its value in creating a desirable city for newcomers and young professionals. Supporting a community market aligns well the City’s corporate strategic direction, Neighbourhoods Build our City.

“Farmers, craft producers and local artisans contribute to the province culturally, socially and economically, while the co-operatives they sell in, like the St. John’s Farmers’ Market, play a significant role in the vitality of our province’s economy,” said the Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development. “Our government is committed to promoting the agriculture/agrifoods sector and to working with local producers and processors to maximize their potential to produce and sell locally. Through our investment in the community market's new location, along with our municipal and federal partners, we are encouraging the St. John’s Farmers’ Market to continue to expand and showcase the many local products available in our province. I look forward to years of growth for what I am sure will become one of the best community markets in the country.”
 
The community market involves many partners and stakeholders with potential to build further partnerships with local organizations, neighbourhood groups, small businesses, and the not-for-profit sector.

“A permanent home for the Market has been the Cooperative's dream ever since we started out as a small group of vendors and volunteers,” said Joshua Smee, Chair, Board of Directors, St. John’s Farmers Market Cooperative. “After years of bursting at the seams in our current location we are incredibly excited to expand not only our space, but also what the market can offer the community. People from all over St. John's have donated their money and their time to help make this happen, and we can't wait to open the doors. The Cooperative also owes a special thanks to the Aviva Community Fund and the VOCM Cares Foundation – taken together, their support got us more than halfway to our $100,000 goal.”

The City will be issuing a request for proposals for the building’s design with construction slated to begin in 2017 for a grand opening in 2018. Further details are available in the backgrounder attached.

“We look forward to working with the SJFM and the surrounding neighbourhood through a community engagement process as we move forward with this exciting project,” said Councillor Hann.
 
Media Contacts:
Kelly Maguire
Media Relations
City of St. John's
709-576-8491
kmaguire@stjohns.ca
 
Julie Afonso
Acting Director, Public Affairs
ACOA NL
709-772-2984
julie.afonso@canada.ca
 
Tansy Mundon
Director of Communications
Department of Business, Tourism, 
Culture and Rural Development
Forestry and Agrifoods Agency
709-729-4570, 693-1865
tansymundon@gov.nl.ca   

Joshua Smee
Chair, Board of Directors
St. John's Farmers' Market Cooperative
709-763-5216
exec@stjohnsfarnersmarket.org