Our Wonderful James Bay Community Market
By Jessica Duncan
Photos by Kate King
As yet another James Bay Market season rolls to an end, I am finding myself somewhat overcome with emotion. In years past, I’ve been more inclined to breathe a mid-September sigh of relief as I anticipate relaxing Saturdays spent in the coziness of my home. This year, however, I have been deeply struck by just how nourishing our James Bay Market community is, and how spending my Saturdays here as a vendor has felt like a weekly visit with family, and just how much I’m going to miss this weekly joy over the winter months.
Are you one of the many regular visitors to the James Bay Market? Has the market fulfilled your need for community? What keeps you coming week after week? Watch a later edition of the Beacon! To serve you better and fulfil your shopping needs we are planning a customer survey. We need your help to make our market even more successful and to meet the needs of our growing community by taking the time to fill in and return our survey. More details will follow. Thank you in advance, for your help and replies to our upcoming survey.
All summer long, every Saturday, the grassy corner of Menzies and Superior has been a gathering place for sellers and buyers, musicians and volunteers, and residents. Every Saturday we have come together and interacted to create community. Visitors to the market will have caught the rich tones of Maria, of Maria’s Flowers, conversing with her Mama in their native Portuguese, or the musical peal of laughter ringing from Adria of Little Bee Blooms, as she bantered with her market neighbour from Fawn Lily Community Foods. You may have noticed vendors deep in conversation with customers, or you, yourself, may be one of those customers who comes to chat with the vendors as well as to fill your bags with market fare. It has been a constant source of amazement to me how this bare patch of grass transforms into a tiny, lively village every week, May–September. I may be biased, but I would hazard to say that farmers’ markets bring out the best in humanity.
On behalf of my fellow vendors and the James Bay Market board, I would like to extend an enormous “thanks” to all of you who made the past 22 Saturdays so wonderful. We thank you for your support and for your friendship. We thank you for participating in this distinctly community-minded activity of visiting your local farmers’ market.
Fortunately, you don’t need to wait until next May to enjoy the James Bay Market community again. On December 1, from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., the always-popular Dickens Fair will take place at the James Bay Community School. Many of your favourite summer vendors and some new vendors will be there with their juried, handmade, high-quality crafts, delicious food and works of art. There will be a café, a children’s room with fun activities and door prizes. Admission is $2.00 with free entry for children under the age of 12. So, be sure to come along to this longtime James Bay community tradition, and bring the whole family.