After a year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a large outdoor craft vendor market returns to Prospera Place in Kelowna, B.C., on Sunday.
Craft Culture Events has organized 60 local craft and artisan vendors and three food trucks, transforming the arena’s parking lot into a bustling shopping centre for local goods.
“With restrictions loosening around the province, outdoor markets are once again permitted under the Provincial Health Orders,” owner Karalyn Lockhart said in a statement.
“Teaming up with Prospera Place was a natural fit. Not only has the hockey arena hosted the annual Craft Culture Holiday Market for the last eight years, but the parking lot provides a huge area where customers can distance and safely shop outside.”
Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday, customers can browse dozens of stalls of handmade products, all produced in British Columbia.
Shabbang Food Truck, Dosa Crepe Café, and the Wicked Peach Food Truck will be on location serving up delicious food all afternoon.
Admission to the market is by donation, with partial proceeds being donated to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.
Customers are reminded that physical distancing protocols will be in place, and are asked to wear a mask in situations where distancing is not possible.
“Now more than ever, local makers are urging the community to come out and support small businesses at markets,” Lockhart wrote.
“As part of the hardest-hit industries of the COVID-19 pandemic, this past year has been exceptionally hard on vendors who traditionally rely on markets to sell products.”
Organizers and local vendors were left reliant on online sales to generate income when in-person markets were cancelled, Craft Culture Events said.
“While this did provide enough to keep most businesses afloat, many vendors barely scraped by or were forced to close down.”
Lockhardt said while some local artisan businesses did not survive the pandemic, those that did are ecstatic to return to the outdoor market and meet customers face-to-face.
“We’ve been waiting a long time for this. Community support means everything right now,” she said.
If you can’t make it this weekend, Craft Culture has three other markets planned this summer at Prospera Place, on July 11, Aug. 1, and Sept. 19.
A full list of vendors and event info can be found at craftculture.ca