An Update on the Antigonish Farmers Market Fundraising
by Michael Dickson
Hello everyone! As much as I enjoy featuring vendors which are the easiest topic to write about (as we have so many amazing vendors and their story tends to write itself), this week I would like to talk about where we are with our fundraising for the new Agriculture Centre.
We currently have $428,163.19 raised towards our goal of $700,000. Which is extremely exciting! Our fundraising expert Andre has really been putting his best foot forward in applying for funding from the right places to help make sure that we can and will reach the goal of $700,000. So to Andre we are extremely grateful.
Andre on top of using his top notch skills to apply for funding, also spends his Saturdays at the Market with a collection jar and the plans for the new building, so if you are interested in having a chat with him he is available every Saturday to give a detailed breakdown of what it is we are working towards and why it is that we need the 700k to put together the best Agriculture Centre that Nova Scotia has seen. We truly will be a hub for local, for healthy foods, for creating new businesses, for bringing an amazing community together, and most importantly in my opinion for showing everyone that you should always shoot for the moon because if you miss you will land among the stars. We are truly going big and the new Agriculture Centre will be a massive push in the right direction of the local movement which is stronger now than it has ever been.
The Antigonish Farmers Market is truly in one very unique position to be a hub. First of all, if you look at a map, Antigonish is the perfect location for such an Agriculture Centre. We have customers that shop at the market from all across Nova Scotia, from across Canada, all the way from the USA, and here was one that really shocked me, we have customers that came to our market from Australia! We have a very healthy mix of vendors at the market each and every week. We really have something for everyone, from the best vegetable producers in Nova Scotia, to top notch meat products that can stack up against any grocery store, we have the very best specialty farmers bringing amazing honey products, the best maple syrup and even cosmetic products made from honey, to the very best bakers that bring a delicious blend of fresh baked goods that anyone will love, amazing jewelry that will delight everyone, hand crafted wooden products that will stand the test of time. We have beautiful stained glass that will spice up anyone’s house, T-shirts that support not just a high school students local business, but charity and local artists as well, we have the best of the best liquors, wine and craft beer that you will find in Nova Scotia, we have more different kinds of cooked food at the market that will tickle everyone’s taste buds; from an unique twist on waffles all the way to the ethnic foods from all across the world. Never before in this area could you have come to one place to explore so many different cultures while still supporting the local movement.
The Antigonish Farmers Market is growing leaps and bounds from when it first started in 1995 with only a handful of vendors selling outdoors, to now over 60 unique vendors each and every week. The market is getting very close to moving into a year-round fully functional building that will, yes, have heat in it for the winter! That being said we would not be where we are today without the support of the vendors, the incredible efforts of our board, and last but not least the community that has come together to show everyone that we aren’t just the crop, we are the cream of the crop and we will rise to the top.
As more and more people are approaching me as the manager of the market I feel such an overwhelming sense of pride in the Antigonish Farmers Market. The positive feedback that I keep getting from customers and vendors is the reason why this is the very best job in the world. They say that if you love what you do you won’t work a day and I never truly understood what that meant until I took on this position. With the support we have, there is no doubt that we will continue to grow for years and years to come. This new Agriculture Centre is a prime example of what happens when we all unite under one banner and for that everyone at the market is very grateful.
Well folks that is all I have for this week. I always welcome feedback on the work that we do for the market so please feel free to reach out to me at Manager@antigonishfarmersmarket, via our website www.antigonishfarmersmarket.ca, by calling 902.867.7479 or on our Facebook page at Antigonish Farmers Market Association.