In addition to our 2017 Year in Review post, we thought you might like to take a look back at all the awesome happening at the New Glasgow Farmers Market last year! We look forward to making new memories with you in 2018!
In addition to our 2017 Year in Review post, we thought you might like to take a look back at all the awesome happening at the New Glasgow Farmers Market last year! We look forward to making new memories with you in 2018!
We are just a few days away the from opening the Market for the 2018 winter season. We thought it was a good time to look back at where we’ve been for 2017. Being that you have shown your support for us, we figure it’s only fair that we tell you what we’ve done as a result of your support and encouragement.
We had a lot going on in 2017! Early in the year, we received a grant from the Pictou County Health Authority to put toward a community garden. We got a group of vendors together to form a community garden committee to figure out how to make the most of the funds. As we sat down to our first meeting in late May, we opened a letter informing us that we had received a generous sum of money as part of the 150 Forward Fund from the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage. This was a game changer! We were able to come up with a more comprehensive plan and wanted to get it all done by July 1 in time for Canada’s 150th. This was a massive undertaking in a short time. This year, our committee will be looking at ways we can maintain the garden and how to keep it going. Read more about the community garden here.
We held two large fundraising events. The first was our annual dinner, this year it was Dinner By the River. We could not have anticipated its success and the event sold out in minutes! It was fantastic to sell out, but wished we could have accommodated everyone. We had such a great vision of having people dine by the river, but of course, Mother Nature did not co-operate as we were on the heels of a tropical storm and the rains came down in sheets. We quickly adapted and moved the Dinner inside. With a lot of help from our friends, we transformed the Market into an elegant space for 175 guests and musicians! Guests enjoyed an elegant 3 course meal by Pantry Kitchen Catering while listening to sweet jazz tunes by Men About Town. Later, with the help of Market supporter Mike Vinneau and the great production of Hoss Tec Sound, the dome was turned into an intimate concert venue where
amazing local musical talent took the stage. The Kitchen Criminals, Hot Mess and Pistol Packin’ Papas kept people dancing until the wee hours of the morning! Despite the weather, a ton of fun was had by all! We are looking forward to this years event where we are aiming to double capacity to host a full entertainment experience at our first ever, Luau at the Market!
The second event was our first ever All Hallow’s Ball! We asked people to dress in their best costumes and our guests did not disappoint! We had some AH-MAZING costumes! We had Market prizes for the top 3 costumes. Guests were treated to spooktacular foods from our friends at Smokinstein who came up from Halifax to join us. We had more local music rock the house! We were joined for the first time, by Marigold and then Market supporters and always loved Mike and the MacPherson’s and the Leah and Kyle Collective were with us and all of them in great costumes!
The party was such a success that we’ve been convinced to do it again! So mark October 20th, 2018 on your calendars for this years event, Nightmare on Glasgow Street!
Both of these events were part of our fundraising plan. For those who aren’t familiar, the Market is a non-profit organization run by a volunteer board and full-time Market Manager and volunteers. We are home to 70 fabulous vendors who are all entrepreneurs and small business people composed of farmers, food producers and artisans. We offer them a low-cost place to do business every Saturday. The Market relies on tables fees, fundraising and grants in order to operate. Additional fundraising includes our 2 annual gift baskets, our monthly 50/50 draw and the ATM. Two dollars of the transaction fee from the ATM comes back to the Market which directly helps the Market and it’s vendors.
While the Market operates independently and is financially solvent, we get by with help from our friends! That means vendors, customers and community partnerships. We value an important working partnership with the Town of New Glasgow and work closely with the Department of Community Economic Development who was instrumental in securing the 150 Forward Fund grant for the Community Garden this year. We are thankful for the ongoing encouragement and support that the Town of New Glasgow shows us.
We also receive support the Municipality of Pictou County in the form of a grant. This year with their help, we were able to purchase new tents to provide our outdoor vendors. We thank them for their ongoing support and important contribution.
With the proceeds from fundraising, we were also able to give the dome kitchen a makeover of sorts. New tile floors were laid and much-needed new appliances were purchased. Another special project was a portable stage and this deserves special mention. This stage was designed and built by avid Market supporter Mike Vinneau. He donated his time to build a stage that out musicians can use for our events. This is a cost saving measure and saves rental fees, making our fundraisers that much more successful. When not in use, they can be moved or reconfigured for many types of uses and events. In fact, you may remember, some of your vendors were elevated for part of the season. That’s because they were on top of this portable stage. This is something we’ll be able to use for years to come and countless events. We thank you, Mike!
We also added seating in the way of new Adirondack chairs and convertible picnic tables and benches. We will be investing in some seeds and other needed touches on the community garden in the spring as well as some other cosmetic enhancements to the dome. All of these things we are able to do because of your support!
Also very important to the success of the Market and its operations, are our weekly volunteers. They lend a helping hand to our Market Manager and our vendors, not to mention our events and general operations. They are fun and personable and there are not really enough words to express our thanks and gratitude.
We don’t have pictures of all of them and we have many that come through our doors, but we would like to give special thanks to regular volunteers Rhonda, Christopher, Jennifer, Colin, Stacey, Maxine, Kelly-Rae, Kaleb, Mike, Pat, Noah, Colleen and the list goes on.
This year, the Market enjoyed increased traffic all season long. Our spring season saw a 60% increase in traffic, while we enjoyed a 23% increase during the peak season, on some weeks with as much as a 50% increase and overall traffic annual increase of more than 15%. That means, we had more community visitors and tourists visiting us throughout the year and growth is a good thing! We increased the number of vendors, you may have noticed that many of them join us on an occasional basis and we welcomed some new weekly vendors in 2017 as well. We are thrilled to welcome new vendors as space allows.
This year we were also thrilled to win the Leadership in Business award from the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce! This is a big deal for us! We try very hard to achieve growth and be a part of our community while working for our vendors. As an anomaly in business community, we don’t really fit in any kind of category so we were honoured to be included among so many other well deserving local businesses. We will continue work hard and provide a great place for our community, its citizens and many entrepreneurs.
Like many of you have done or will be doing, we will be sitting down to make our goals for 2018. We are looking forward to another fantastic year and we hope to see you every week. Don’t forget that we will be open every Saturday from 9am until 1pm from January 13th 2018 straight through until December. We will share with you all of our special dates as soon as we have them.
Over the next day or two, we will share with you our year in photos, special events for the coming year (which you can already find under the event section of our Facebook page) and we want to share with you additional successes including our vendor successes as well.
We thank you for you ongoing support and can’t wait to see you this Saturday!
See you at the Market!
The New Glasgow Farmers Market will be open om Friday, November 10th from 4pm until 8pm for a special weeknight Market. We will be closed Saturday, November 11th in observance of Remembrance Day.
Below are the remainder of our Christmas/Holiday Market dates for the rest of 2017.
We will re-open for the 2018 Winter Market on January 13th at 9am!
As described, the Leadership in Business Award is “presented to a business that is a leader in its sector and a significant contributor to a stable local economy. This business strives to be the best in class in all that it does from employee relations and customer service to exceptional financial results.”
That’s a pretty huge compliment! Of course, I am a little passionate about our market and local and as such, I have never been accused of being short on words. I had a speech written so that I could be sure to get across what I wanted to say on behalf of the Market and it looked short at the time but once I was up there, not so much. In the interest of time, couldn’t quite manage to get it all out.
Below is what I wanted to say and what I had written. It’s been edited for context, but mostly I want to be clear that this is a team achievement. We are a co-operative. This is a win for us as a whole Market. An enormous amount of work and dedication goes into the Market from a whole lot of people and the Market is supported by the community. When you show up to shop, attend our events and bring your friends, you are supporting farmers, artisans, musicians and entrepreneurs. Any local business requires local patrons to shop and support it. We are no different.
Here’s entirety of what I wanted to say on behalf of our Market:
“Thanks to the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce. We are very honoured to receive this award and to even be considered a leader in present company is very humbling. In truth, the Market represents more than 70 individual leaders and I am thrilled to accept this award on their behalf. The Market is a bit of an enigma, not really fitting in anywhere in particular which makes this even more special for us. We are unique in that we offer a space for a number of farmers, food producers, artisans and local musicians to come and showcase their work that is low cost and low risk. All of our vendors have different reasons for attending, some are there to test new products and use the Market as a springboard into bigger ventures, others are there for the social aspects and to keep busy. For some the Market is a livelihood, for others a hobby and for some it’s a way to fund other endeavors.
It is the Market’s goal to join producers to the community and connect people with their food through education and awareness in a marketplace, something that has been lost in decades gone by. And while our primary focus is education and awareness, it is also to connect people personally in a world that is becoming increasingly impersonal.
We want to make a positive, lasting impact on our community and being an independent, non-profit organization run by volunteers, it’s not always easy. But as the song goes, we get by with a little help from our friends. We are lucky to have some great partners and cheerleaders in our corner. The Town of New Glasgow, the Municipality of the County of Pictou and our community who helped us to double in size over the past couple of years and this year some of our business community came together to help us install our new “Giving Garden:
As a result, we have enjoyed a 30% increase in traffic this season. We are now able to remain open year-round, which gives increased “employment” to our vendors. We now have one full time employee and have doubled our vendor capacity. We hold special and unique events not just to raise money for improvements and programs, but in an effort to connect Pictou County residents to each other and the broader community by highlighting all of the amazing innovation, creativity and uniqueness that this county has to offer and showcasing it to everyone we can. We offer a unique setting that is inclusive of everyone in a fun and casual atmosphere, reflective of the warmth of Maritime culture. The Market is a place where vendors and customers alike get to associate with people they may never have otherwise connected with and learn about other cultures. I often refer to it as my happy place and we strive to make it everyone’s happy place.
We are committed to supporting local agriculture, we continue to strive to make a positive contribution to local business and bettering our community. Thanks again for this recognition and we’ll see you at the Market!”
Thanks for reading and sharing. Most of all, thank you for supporting. We are lucky to live in a community rich in creative, innovative, dedicated, talented people and organizations. With the holiday season knocking at our door, we really encourage you to shop local and show them your support. And of course, no matter where you live, visit your local Farmers Market!
Hayley MacLeod graduated from Acadia University with a BA in English and a BMus focused in Music Education.
Today, she teaches traditional fiddle, classical violin and music theory from her private studio in Pictou County.
Hayley began playing and recording with local musician Ashley George in 2015 and the two now play in a 4 piece Celtic Rock band, The Kitchen Criminals.
We are thrilled to welcome Hayley to the Market for the first time tomorrow, September 30th to help celebrate Culture Days, and nothing say Nova Scotia culture more than the fiddle! You will catch her from 9am until 10:30am!
Well, now that the dust has settled and we’ve had time to catch our breath, it’s time for a (very) long overdue Giving Garden post! We didn’t get the opportunity to thank everyone at the opening so here it is!
What started out as a very small garden with a modest budget generously granted to us by the Pictou County Community Health Boards, quickly grew into a massive undertaking when with the help of the Town of New Glasgow who assisted us with the application and donated the land, we received an additional $13,000 grant from the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.
Being that the funds given to us were part of the 150 Forward fund in honour of Canada’s 150th Birthday, we set ourselves a very ambitious deadline of Canada Day. That gave us just 4 weeks from the time we received the good news until the deadline to turn the space behind the Market building from drab to fab! We had our Community Garden committee made up of a few dedicated volunteers to get things going. We had a huge task…with very rocky ground!
Armed with funds, big dreams and lofty goals, we set out on our mission. Each week, a group of volunteers who are also vendors came out to get to work.
In addition to these volunteers, there are a number of contributors we would like to thank for their kindness and generosity for helping us to reach our goals and stay on budget.
Firstly, we would like to thanks our partners who we already mentioned above. To the Pictou County Community Health boards for their generous contribution who believed in our vision and started the ball rolling on this project with their investment. Secondly, to the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage who granted us the financing to make our end goal achievable in just one summer. And last, but not least, to the Town of New Glasgow for their in kind donations of land and resources and who submitted the application for funding to the Province on our behalf.
Next, we would like to make a couple of special mentions. Kenny Lim and his team from Murray Lim concrete poured the beautiful new concrete pad at the back of the building. Kenny took the time to listen, got the big picture and made sure we had the pad that would give us the most for our dollars. They made time for us in their busy summer schedule and kept us on ours. Due to their hard work, you will have an outdoor classroom and beautiful space to enjoy for years to come.
Charles Champagne, who saved the day with his machinery. Charles came out in his spare time (he’s also a farmer so there’s not much of that) and helped us move dirt and gravel. Without his help, there’s no way we would have made our deadline. We would have still been digging into the rock today if it weren’t for him!
Colin and Bob, aka the new Dynamic Duo. Colin and Bob put a significant amount of time into the garden. Colin designed the garden’s layout and built all the wooden structures as well as the three colorful picnic benches you can enjoy every Saturday. Bob and Colin were there every single day and put in some very long hours. In fact, Bob still waters the garden every morning until we can get a long term plan in place!
We purchased plants from West River Greenhouses. Farmer Bob spent time with us picking the right plants for the right locations and making sure we had what we needed.
Central (now Kent) Building Supplies who gave us a break on painting supplies for our patio furniture.
We’d also like to thank Nature’s Nook and Kranny, who after they heard one of our plants went missing, donated new shrub to replace it.
We kept our dollars as local as we could and shopped with many local businesses to keep the money in our community. The Adirondack Chairs came from Market vendor Paul Judge and were painted by volunteers. You will also find birdhouses from youth vendor Samuel Thompson of Samco Creations.
This year, we concentrated on getting plants in. There’s not a ton of variety but we have been able to give away what little we’ve harvested. We have some broccoli and cauliflower coming along and next year, things will get bigger and better!
It makes our hearts happy to see people enjoying the garden, not only during Market, but also during the week. A relaxing place to sit back and enjoy the view of the river to talk with friends or just for silent reflection. We still have a few finishing touches to go. We have a sign coming and a bench and some other odds and ends too.
After that, the next steps will be coming up with a long term plan for maintenance and distribution of any harvest we have. We will be looking for assistance from community groups for help with this in the coming months. Some of our fundraising efforts will help with maintenance of the garden. If you’d like to contribute you can always buy 50/50 tickets at the welcome table each week, attend our fundraising events etc…all of the proceeds from these things to to help the Market and initiatives like the garden.
We’d like to thank the following volunteer vendors who spent their time to help install the garden (hopefully we’ve remembered everyone):
Bob & Christine, Petite Riviere Winery
Colin & Adam, Knotty Acres
Niki, Sweetheart Farms
Megan, Marshdale Farms
Dionne, Art by Dionne
Nelson, MacD’s Bees
Sarah & Brian, Sunny Cove Honey
Conny, The Natural Edge
Melissa & Al, Handcrafted by Melissa
Janice, The Cupcake Lady
Rachael Robitaille & David
We have been getting a couple of messages so we just wanted to make sure you knew, we are open in a big way on Canada Day!
Lots of free giveaways, lots of Canada Day special by your vendors and of course the opening of our community garden project, the Giving Garden at 10:30 am!
We have extended our hours until 2 pm so you can fit us into your day! Lots to see and do…we’ll meet you at the Market!
Happy Canada Day!
Pat Spaulding is not your typical East Coast acoustic musician, calling Pictou County his home, he writes most of his songs about life in the county. Over the last few years his passionate performances of his original material have been captivating many crowds at venues all across the province. Pat has appeared at the Pictou Lobster Carnival, has also been featured on East Coast rocks with Bo Presley and recently performed in the sold out performances of the Pictou County Pop Classics 60’s show.
We are lucky to have Pat join us at the New Glasgow Farmers Market on a regular basis. Pat loves playing with us as much as we love having him. He says, “From the vendors and the patrons of the market to all the wonderful smells and all the great local products, people are genuinely happy when they enter the market and I get to be a part of that.” If you haven’t has a chance to listen, grab a snack, pull up a chair and enjoy the music.
Find him at the Market next on July 1st at the Market’s Canada 150 Bash beginning at 9 am!
Pat Spaulding is an artist you don’t want to miss out on.
Tristan is a well know musician based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Known for his rich, powerful voice, strong acoustic guitar playing and outgoing personality on stage, he is a captivation act to catch.
Currently living in his home town in the Musquodoboit Valley, Tristan was influenced deeply by the albums his parents had of British & American rock and folk artists.
Steeped in the love of the blues and traditional music, Tristan has developed his own style of playing and writing songs that has a new but familiar feeling to them. Tristan has had the honour & privilege to share and play the stage with many great artists over the past years with such members from the Gig Dogs, McGinty, Evans & Doherty, Bruce Timmins, Fleur Mainville & Dave MacIssac.
Catch Tristan at the Market from 12pm until 2pm at our Canada 150 bash on July 1st!
This Saturday June 3rd, we have some very special guests…a Highland dance group!
The highland dancers are dancers at the Holly MacDonald Bent School of Dance. A group of the premier dancers are preparing to dance at ScotDance Canada Championship Series in PEI in July. They will be taking part in the small group choreography challenge, as well as other competitions including the Canadian Championship. The theme of the choreography is Canada 150, and their dance will represent the joining of the original four provinces coming together to form Canada.
At the Market, they will be performing a variety of dances including the Highland Fling, Sword Dance, Sean Tribuhas as well as the national dances.
See them from 9am until 1pm this Saturday!