Downtown Nanaimo seeks proposals for night farmers’ market

The Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association is looking to start up a Friday evening market at Diana Krall Plaza.

Targeted opening for the market is early May, running until late August or early September, providing anything from organic meats and produce to arts and crafts. The association is hoping to hold the event in a public space that will draw people to the downtown core.

“Our goal is to add ambiance and lively things for people to do and see downtown ... bring them downtown to show them what we have to offer,” said association marketing and event coordinator Robyn Tonack, adding there is also a huge array of businesses, restaurants and services for people to discover.

Tonack and the association are hoping for a variety of vendors and the aim is to establish a “well-rounded market” with more than just meat and produce.

“Something for everyone is what we’re looking for,” she said.

Requests for proposals for a person or group to establish, organize and manage the market are also being sought.

Bids will be accepted until Feb. 14 and interviews with proponents take place between Feb. 17-20. Selection of the proponent takes place on Feb. 21, with successful the bid to be announced shortly thereafter.

The business improvement association is serious about the market and will be providing seed funding – 30 per cent of the overall budget to a maximum $3,000 – for start-up costs and for management and operation of the market.

“The DNBIA would contribute up to $3,000 to help seed this market for the first three years,” Tonack said. “This is an incentive to have somebody come in, do the groundwork ... we want someone to come in with longevity. We are looking at allowing some seed money to them in order to facilitate this.”

More information on the market, including details on the request for proposal, can be found at

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