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Clarenville Farm and Market receives government funding for permanent structure

Krista Reader-Chatman details the upgrades to the Farm and Market.
Krista Reader-Chatman details the upgrades to the Farm and Market. - Jonathan Parsons

CLARENVILLE, N.L. — After one season in business, the Farm and Market in Clarenville will be building a permanent building to replace their tent, thanks to $334,000 from the federal and provincial governments.

The Farm and Market is a social enterprise established with the Clarenville Inn on the Trans-Canada Highway. It features local vendors, farmers, and prepared food for the public—in addition to cultivating vegetables and plants on site. They also help employ individuals with disabilities through work with Ability Employment Corporation. Throughout the weekends of last year, the market featured entertainment and community atmosphere with vendors and patrons from all over eastern Newfoundland.

At the funding announcement on Friday morning, April 6, Bonavista-Burin-Trinity MP Churence Rogers announced $241,458 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). Terra Nova MHA Colin Holloway, there on behalf of minister Christopher Mitchelmore, also pledged $92,868 from the provincial department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation.

Board members and government representatives at the funding announcement in the Clarenville Inn on Friday. From left to right: Chairman Keith Pardy, MHA Colin Holloway, Kathryn Small, MP Churence Rogers, Krista Reader-Chatman, Lori Hann and Bonita Critch.
Board members and government representatives at the funding announcement in the Clarenville Inn on Friday. From left to right: Chairman Keith Pardy, MHA Colin Holloway, Kathryn Small, MP Churence Rogers, Krista Reader-Chatman, Lori Hann and Bonita Critch.

With the help of sponsors, the non-profit Farm and Market contributes 10 per cent of the total cost.

The federal funding is from ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund, as part of the government’s Atlantic Growth Strategy.

Although a boon for Clarenville itself, the market is also having a positive effect on tourism and other areas of the economy on the whole region, Rogers said in his address to the crowd.

He says the region can benefit from more tourists coming to the communities, and retaining many of the visitors who may pass through the area.

“For me, as an MHA, I’m very proud,” said Holloway at the announcement.

He added, with the importance of social enterprises in communities, the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation will be releasing a social enterprise action plan in the near future.

Managing director Krista Reader-Chatman says the permanent structure will help the market operate longer, in harsher weather, grow more vendors, have more entertainment, and have a unisex washroom facility on-site. They already have seven new vendors and workshops planned for this year.

“We’ll be able to go in and vend, no matter what the weather is outside,” said Chatman at the announcement.

The work is expected to be completed and ready for the 2018 season.

Farm and Market outlines growth and 2018 plans and schedule

At the meeting, Farm and Market’s managing director Krista Reader-Chatman detailed the 2017 inaugural season for the initiative, as well as what the group is looking ahead to this year.

This included:

• A look at the design of the new building;

• 2017 visitors to the market: 18,905;

• 2017 vendor booths sold: 525;

• Active vendors in data base: 103;

• Total market revenue: $60,336;

• Estimated vendor revenue: $210,000;

• Capital assets valued at $386,835;

• Current liabilities: $8,500;

• Net income: $4,425;

• Free cash: $4,200.

There is also a full schedule of events throughout 2018:

• June 23, Farmers’ Day with Ross Traverse;

• July 14, International Food Festival;

• July 28, Classic Car Day;

• Aug. 11, Dog Dress-up parade;

• Aug. 25, Powwow and Music Hoedown;

• Sept. 15, Chili Cook Off with Port Rexton Brewery;

• Oct. 6, Turkey Drive;

• Oct. 27, Monster Mash;

• Nov. 10, Remembrance Day Fun Run;

• Dec. 15, Christmas Market.

Jonathan.parsons@thepacket.ca

Twitter: @jejparsons

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