Ottawa is providing $475,000 to help markets cover operating costs
By Diego Flammini
The federal government is providing support to farmers’ markets in British Columbia.
Federal minister of agriculture Marie-Claude Bibeau and B.C. minister of agriculture, food and fisheries Lana Popham announced the BC Farmers’ Market Expansion Program on Jan. 5.
This one-time, cost-shared program, delivered through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, is providing $475,000 in funding with up to $15,000 available for each applicant.
“This new program funding will help ensure farmers markets can stay open and operate during emergencies so British Columbians can access the foods they count on,” Popham said in a statement. Markets will be able to grow and welcome more vendors while keeping everyone healthy and safe.”
To be eligible, a farmers’ market must have been in operation for at least one year (established before November 2020) or operated in the summer 2021 season.
Applications must be submitted by Jan. 28 at noon PST. They will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis or until funding runs out.
Applicants will be required to provide contact and project information, including total costs.
Farmers’ markets can use the funding for signs, merchandising, storage and other operation costs.
B.C. is home to more than 140 farmers’ markets.
This available support will help these markets continue to operate as they have in challenging times.
“The BC Farmers' Market Expansion Program is a critical investment in the resiliency of local farmers' markets, which have risen to the challenge and fed our communities in both good times and throughout COVID, forest fires and flooding,” Heather O’Hara, executive director of the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets, said in a statement