The Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce is anticipating that a collaborative street market near the highway at the bottom of Johnston Road on Wednesday evenings will draw a crowd.
A meeting will take place on Friday, April 6 to discuss the development of a new street market in Port Alberni.
The collaborative summer market concept is similar to ones seen across the Island—Parksville, for example, holds a “Summer by the Sea” market on Tuesdays, and Qualicum Beach holds an Uptown Market on Thursdays.
The proposed location for a market in Port Alberni would encompass Victoria Quay, Gertrude Street, Johnston Road and Roger Street. Both Twin City Brewing and Em Salon and Spa, located on Margaret Street, have expressed interest in being a part of the concept.
Jane Roth, tourism and visitor information counsellor at the Chamber of Commerce, explained the reasoning behind the meeting.
“Also vendors outside of Port Alberni,” she added. “If there are vendors in Ucluelet, for example, who want to take part. It will be more like a street market—it doesn’t have to be local.”
In previous years, the Hupacasath First Nation has organized a Sunset Market at Victoria Quay on Wednesday evenings. Roth explained that this concept is simply moving the Sunset Market to a new location.
“We’ve been working together with the Hupacasath First Nation,” she said. “We’re just moving [the Sunset Market] up a block.”
She explained that heavy wind was an impediment for the Sunset Market last year.
“We’re hoping that the buildings down there will block the wind,” she said.
The area is also located just off of the highway, which means that it will be visible to tourists travelling through town this summer.
“We’re hoping to catch the tourists on their way to Tofino,” she said. “It gives them a chance to stop.”
Although the meeting on Friday will be mainly targeted at vendors, anyone with interest is invited to share ideas, questions and concerns.
“Even constructive criticism can help us moving forward,” said Roth.
The meeting will take place at 9 a.m. at the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce board room.