Today’s Poll

Winter market touted in vision for the new year for youth centre

Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
By Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
January 1st, 2023

A possible year-round farmers market is on the menu for the city’s Youth Centre as it laid out its plans for the new year recently.

The prospect of having a market throughout the winter was dangled by the Nelson and District Youth Centre’s (NDYC) new manager of youth and community programs, Terri Wilkinson, when she spoke to council Dec. 9.

In her presentation she hinted at building on the foundation of the summer farmers’ markets — with both the downtown and Saturday markets run by the Youth Centre — with a winter market, as well as expanding the speciality markets.

Farmers markets were “hugely” successful in the summer, said Wilkinson.

“I think to expand and have that year-round (market) is a brilliant idea that I am very excited about” the prospect, she said during the council budget meeting.

Outgoing centre manager Jordan Martin pointed to the addition of the August Market Night in Nelson as an example of the success, and to add to that and have additional night markets was the way forward.

“In consultation with community feedback, and working with the farmers market advisory committee, it was noted that the second night market … would be really well received by the community and provide that much more benefit and services,” she said.

“So we will be hosting another one at the end of August. Of course, we are going to continue on with the harvest market,” Martin added.

In the past, the farmers market organizers (the former West Kootenay EcoSociety) hosted a garden starter market and two night markets. Now, going forward, there will be four specialty markets added to the mix, said Martin.

“The harvest market was such a success that we want to continue to every year,” she said.

Details on the winter market — location, dates and parameters — were not given at the meeting.

On the floor

One of the major projects for the youth centre this year will likely be the re-surfacing of the floor throughout the centre, as well as some kitchen upgrades.

The kitchen upgrades were expected to expand programming with children and youth in a big way, said Wilkinson.

Martin said there was some grant funding from 2022 that could be moved to the current year to make the kitchen upgrades possible.

No winter campground

As the managers of the city’s campground the Youth Centre staff are looking to make some modifications in how the service is delivered this year.

Wilkinson said the NDYC is looking into the feasibility of having an online booking platform to improve operations and to allow visitors to book themselves in, said Martin.

“In the past we have seen multiple calls come in at once and it does provide a little bit of stress for the staff because, amongst their duties … (online booking) would take that stress off of them and allow people to book online,” she said.

The platform would also allow the campground to track statistics.

Coun. Leslie Payne wondered what the barrier was to operating the campground year round.

“The winter facilities just aren’t adequate,” said city manager Kevin Cormack. “The barrier is funding to winterize those services.

“I don’t know if there is a demand in winter.”

Whitewater Ski Resort and Baldface Lodge have approached the youth centre in the past in order to rent the campground, said Martin, so the demand is there.

“So, have we ever looked at how much it would cost to (winterize)?” asked Payne.

Public Works had costed it out several years ago and it was somewhere around $140,000, said Coun. Keith Page.

“That’s something you can talk about in priorities (sessions) if it is something you wish to pursue,” said Cormack.

Park it here

New signage is expected to be added within the city’s parkade this year, with an illuminated street sign.

“We’ve been needing a higher visibility sign from the street for some time,” said Wilkinson. “It would really allow visitors to see that we do have parking available within our city.”

There is currently a 38-person waitlist for monthly parking spots in the parkade

“Now that the parkade is at full capacity do we ever look at a second one?” asked Coun. Keith Page. “Do we ever start to look at how we build capacity, build financial capacity to take on a project like that? Should we want to do that at some point if it is at full subscription?”

“I don’t think you would ever (finance) it through fees at the current parkade,” said Cormack, adding that a new parkade could cost $60,000 or more per spot.

“It’s not a business case because (parkades) are not revenue generators.”

Categories: General

Other News Stories