With six weeks to go until the first Port Colborne Farmers’ Market, the City is excited to announce the newly established partnership with the Downtown BIA (Business Improvement Area), who will manage the Farmers’ Market for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
Approved by Council at the March 8, 2021 meeting, the Downtown BIA will manage the popular Friday morning Farmers’ Market as part of a two-year pilot project. As the City plans creative and strategic ways to boost the local economy, this is an opportunity to partner with key players like the Downtown BIA to expand and attract new businesses.
“We are committed and passionate about our local business community,” said Downtown BIA Chair, Jesse Boles. “Our strategic plan is to take the market and help it grow. We want to use the market as a baseline catalyst for all our downtown efforts and help drive economic growth for the city. We look forward to welcoming both vendors and visitors this year.”
The City will work closely with the Downtown BIA to provide support throughout the transition. A joint Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is being drafted to confirm key issues and responsibilities to ensure a successful Farmers’ Market and partnership moving forward.
New operational changes for the 2021 season:
- The Farmers’ Market will open Friday, May 21, 2021 (Victoria Day Weekend) and run every Friday until October
- Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to noon
- COVID-19 protocols will be implemented to ensure the health and safety of staff, vendors, and visitors
“This is a great opportunity to partner with the local business community to take the Port Colborne Farmers’ Market to the next level,” said Mayor Bill Steele. “The current COVID-19 climate has impacted markets throughout Ontario and City Council recognizes the importance of revitalizing ours.”
With more than a decade of market and event management experience, the executive team at the BIA is ready to take the market to the next level. The new Market Manager, Mary-Lou Ambrose-Little has successfully founded and managed several markets across Ontario for more than two decades. And Jesse Boles, BIA Chair, is a Niagara College Culinary Institute graduate and has owned and operated successful catering and event management companies for more than 12 years. The experience combined, will help elevate the local business community’s profile across Niagara and beyond.
The local downtown business community is already confirming local farmers, food vendors and handcrafters. To date more than 25 vendors have been confirmed, with the goal of having more than 35 vendors by opening day. If anyone is interested in being a vendor, they can reach out to the Downtown BIA for more information.
“We are really excited about this season’s market,” said Downtown BIA Market Manager, Mary-Lou Ambrose-Little. “This is our opportunity to build on the already existing foundation and add some new twists like food demonstrations, buskers, and special events. We will work closely with City staff and community volunteers to make sure we are ready to go for the 2021 season.”
About City of Port Colborne
Located on the south coast of the scenic Niagara Region, Niagara’s Port of Call has found the perfect balance – successful industrial and commercial sectors, comfortable and scenic residential areas, white sand beaches, unique culinary choices, the world class Sugarloaf Marina, fishing, golfing, trails, shopping districts along the historic Welland Canal and an energized festival and entertainment scene that includes live theatre – truly a community that adds to the overall Niagara Experience.