The Comox Valley Farmer’s Market will be back in action this weekend but at a new location. 

Traditionally, the weekly Saturday market is held at the Native Son’s Hall from October to April while the weather is less favourable outside for its usual spot at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds.

This year, however, with the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization was worried they wouldn’t be able to run over the winter months because of restrictions on indoor gatherings. 

They asked Courtenay to consider a few options for its operations, and they now have a response.

The city’s Manager of Business Administration, Joy Chan says out of the two recommendations,  Courtenay decided on the parking lot between the Native Son’s Hall and the Sid Williams Theatre.

“After a review of the locations, we decided that the Native Sons Hall would be the best, most viable solution for the market. The Filberg is not currently zoned to prevent farmers’ markets and also the location of the parking lot required a right of way for emergency vehicles so we wouldn’t be able to have vendors there.”

“With the Native Sons Hall being the most feasible location, they would only be using about 3/4 of the parking lot due to the fact that the Sid Williams Theatre requires emergency access to their rear loading bay.”

Chan adds that things are all set to go after the Farmer’s Market got the ‘okay’ from Vancouver Island Health yesterday afternoon. 

“At this current time, they are looking to open the market at the Native Sons Hall this weekend and as of this afternoon (Monday), VIHA has given the thumbs up for their COVID safety plan.”

Courtenay Councillor David Frisch says it’s great to see the market be able to operate throughout the winter. 

“I’m really excited to see us make something happen for this group and I think it’s going to be especially positive, not only for food security but for our downtown business and for commerce down there, and for also keeping our community connected and able to go out and enjoy our downtown.”

The new Comox Valley Farmer Market location will launch this Saturday at the Native Son’s Hall parking lot from 9:00am to 1:00 pm.

More information can be found on the group’s Facebook page.