Even if members of the TRU community can regularly make it to the Saturday market downtown, the Kweseltken Farmers’ and Artisan Market is absolutely worth the visit as it boasts a wide array of Indigenous vendors who are not featured at the regular Saturday market as well as many informational booths
Shay Paul, Executive Assistant to Community Futures Development Corporation of Central Interior First Nations’ (CFDC of CIFN) General Manager says, “there are all types of vendors at this market. You’ll find informational booths [on conservation efforts and food sovereignty]. Additionally, you can find all sorts of local artisans and agricultural producers.”
“It is different than other markets in the region in my opinion,” says Paul. “There is quite an array of different things and a diverse kind of collection of materials that you’ll find [at the arbour]. There are sometimes vendors from the Kamloops Farmers Market, all sorts of fresh produce grown by Indigenous farmers and all sorts of artwork and beadwork.”
Paul says the market was extended through Oct. because of a combination of challenging factors. “Usually, the market starts at the beginning of June. But because of the residential school findings which came out at the end of May, the market was pushed back. And then, the poor air quality and the wildfires resulted in the evacuation center being set up here at the arbour. So then, at that point, the market had to be moved. There were just a lot of challenges all around.”
Because previously scheduled weekends were cancelled throughout the summer and a bit of a break was taken near the end of August, Paul says “evidently it was decided the market would be best extended into the fall.” It will be interesting to see what kind of things are featured throughout the fall in comparison to what might have been featured in the summer, says Paul.
The Kweseltken Farmers’ and Artisan Market is still accepting vendor applications. Paul suggests anyone interested reach out. The market allows vendors to run on a week-by-week basis, meaning if you want to only join for a couple of weekends, that’s okay! You can find more information, as well as the Market Regulations and Application form at http://cfdcofcifn.com/kweseltken-farmers-artisan-market/.
“Please feel free to approach the Kweseltken team at any point up until the last weekend. Anything is possible,” says Paul. “The idea of having, you know, a low commitment, or a week-by-week kind of setup is very interesting and kind of takes the pressure off of artists and agricultural producers.”
The Kweseltken Farmers’ and Artisan Market is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday and is held at the Kamloopa Powwow Arbour right off the highway in Sun Rivers.