Gore Bay summer market proposal receives further encouragement

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GORE BAY—Excitement seems to be building with more support given to the idea of a new downtown summer market being established, in the Town of Gore Bay.

“This is exciting for the town; it will be great for the town. It is going to create a great atmosphere, a buzz,” stated Gore Bay Mayor Dan Osborne after a Gore Bay general government meeting last week, in which members of the Gore Bay Street Market Crew provided an update and a memorandum of understanding for the committee to consider.

Jeff Hietkamp, Ashley Whyte and Carrie Lewis are members of the group. Mr. Hietkamp told the committee that a survey had been carried out to gauge if local, downtown, businesses are in favour of having the market held on Meredith Street, downtown.

“The response to a market being held on (Meredith Street) downtown was good, really good. There was excitement, and in a couple of cases, real excitement from business owners for the idea,” said Mr. Hietkamp. “Our only question is, what will happen if it becomes more popular than we think it will? Maybe we would have to look at extending the market even further down the street.,”

Mr. Hietkamp provided a map of the market area that will provide space for 36 vendor booths.

“We want to see the market grow and have even more vendors,” said Ms. Whyte.

Committee member Ron Lane asked if the local pharmacies had been contacted and if they could foresee any problem with access for customers having to walk to their stores to get products and prescriptions filled. The concept is to close to vehicular traffic the area of the street from the post office to the town parking lot Friday mornings. It was noted that the owners of both pharmacies indicated there would be no problem and one said that if someone can’t get to their store, they will deliver what is needed on the street.

Mr. Lane had brought up the need for washrooms and Mr. Hietkamp said “we thought vendors could use the facilities in the community hall, 61 Meredith Street, and in the municipal building (beside the library).” Vendors will be encouraged to park their vehicles for the day by the town pavilion at the town waterfront.

Mr. Hietkamp also said that either the local United or Anglican church would look at renting space in the community hall to provide tea or coffee.

After further discussion, including talk about insurance with the market being added on as a rider to the town’s insurance (but with the need for each vendor to have their own insurance as well), committee chair and councillor Kevin Woestenenk said, “we will be supporting the proposal for the market as a recommendation to council. We are definitely in support.”

The Gore Bay street market would be held each Friday morning during July and August, as well as the first Friday of September of this year.