Rent is going up in the spring for vendors at the weekly Duncan Farmers’ Market.
Barry O’Riordan, executive director of the market, which is held every Saturday during the year in City Square, said that from April until the end of October, full-time vendors will see a $5 a week increase, to $21.50.
That will mean they will be paying $650 for that 30-week time period.
Vendors who don’t attend the market full-time, called drop-ins, will see an increase from $25 to $30 per week starting in April and through the summer.
“The City of Duncan is increasing the market’s rent and we need to pass that on to the vendors so we can balance our books,” O’Riordan said.
“Our fall and winter rates won’t change. Our rental rates are still very reasonable compared to some other farmers’ markets. We have one of the best farmers’ markets in B.C. and we’re always looking to add new vendors to increase our product variety.”
With more than 150 vendors, the Duncan Farmers’ Market is one of the largest markets of its kind in British Columbia.
All the products sold at the market are locally grown and produced.
The Downtown Duncan Business Improvement Area negotiates rental rates for the Duncan Farmers’ Market on behalf of the City of Duncan.
Ian Locke, executive director of the DDBIA, said the previous four-year contract with the farmers’ market has recently ended.
He said the terms of that contract had an $11,000 annual cap on what the market could be charged for rent, with no increases during the term of the contract, but the market has grown in that time.
Locke said the new rent will see the city initially receiving an additional $1,500 per year, plus an annual three per cent increase during the course of the new four-year contract.
Locke emphasized that only a small portion of the rent increase to vendors is required to meet the rent increase to the Farmers’ Market for use of the downtown.
The City does not receive funds from the rental, said City CAO Peter de Verteuil.