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'This is massive': Farmers' market returning to downtown Edmonton's 104 Street

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A farmers' market will once again occupy 104 Street in downtown Edmonton this summer.

Starting Saturday, June 15, the market will run every Saturday between Jasper Avenue and 102 Avenue until Oct. 12.

The market was announced in the wake of the Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market Association dissolving in January due to financial issues.

The Edmonton Downtown Business Association (EDBA), the group behind the initiative, held a media event on Tuesday to introduce the new market, which it is calling a "revived downtown farmers' market."

The Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market had operated on 104 Street before moving to an indoor location on 97 Street in 2019.

"The reason we're doing this is to get tens of thousands of people coming downtown again, every Saturday, all summer long," said Puneeta McBryan of the EDBA.

"The overwhelming response that we received first when the former association announced they're going bankrupt. And then when we announced that we were going to do everything possible to make it come back.

"The outpouring of support we received tells us that the public will absolutely be here."

The EDBA will manage the market for the first year and Foundry Events will operate it.

Foundry was selected through an open request for proposals process which resulted in nine applications, according to EDBA.

The organization has previously managed events for Explore Edmonton,Tourism Jasper, and the Edmonton Airport (YEG).

McBryan says work is underway to create a new non-profit organization to take over the market after the first year.

"We do not want this to be one year back on 104 Street, and then have it disappear again."

"There are some funds underway for a new non-profit potentially to form. And if that doesn't work out, we are prepared to continue managing the market permanently if that's necessary."

McBryan says vendors are already asking about the possibility of an indoor market over the winter.

"There's absolutely a possibility beyond October to look at different indoor locations. And hopefully that if that new organization forms, they might be able to run an indoor market as well."

More than 75 vendors have already applied for the market, and some familiar vendors will be returning, including Lacombe Fresh, Riverbend Gardens, Reclaim Organics, Ocean Odyssey, Steve & Dan's, Sundog Organic Farm, and others.

Businesses in the area say they're thrilled the market is coming back.

"This is massive for us. In the years that we didn't have it we saw a decline in sales," said Scott Kreves of Kelly's Pub on 104 Street.

"We probably lost about 60 per cent of sales for Saturdays."

The EDBA says funding for the market is being provided by the city through Edmonton's Downtown Vibrancy fund, with the EDBA contributing additional resources.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Amanda Anderson 

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