Public Market shows “Local is good!”

KPM gathered for the first event of the 2020 Kamloops Co-op Café Series

Kamloops Public Market Coop is looking to inform Kamloops residents about their general plan of action. (Kamloops Public Market)

On Jan. 15, Public Market representative Daphane Nelson invited local business people and Kamloopsians to join an educational discussion about the Cooperative Model of performing. The first event of the Kamloops Coops Café series was hosted at the Kamloops Innovation Centre on the North Shore.

Kamloops Public Market on their official webpage defines cooperatives, as “autonomous associations of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise”. KPM’s vision is to create and operate a year-round community hub offering local products and culture in a remarkable gathering venue.

The idea of Kamloops Public Market was originally proposed by Dieter Dudy, Rick Duggan, Greg Lindros, and Daphane Nelson. Their goal was to create and support the operation of a community cooperative that supports local farmers, artists, producers, business and to encourage community gathering and tourism.

“The Kamloops Public Market is a cooperative, and this is going to be a series to do outreach and to educate about cooperatives while providing training and education for members, people of the general population and managers. Everybody involved with coops needs to know more about coops,” Nelson said. 

During the event, Nelson defined cooperatives, exemplifying well-known coop communities such as Rochdale, and outlined seven coop principles. She highlighted cooperative values like self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equity, equality, solidarity.

She exemplified different cooperative types, like coops of producer, consumer, investment, housing, worker, community service, financial and multi-stakeholder.

As Nelson noticed there will be some more educational series about cooperatives, at the Investor coop in February. She also explained that right now the developer of the idea of KPM is looking for more opportunities that can be unfolded with the coop. In the given series she is a representative to facilitate conversation about coops.

On the question of if the Public Market will be located on the Parking Lot of the Riverside Park like its outlined in the Kamloops Public Market Proposal on the kamloopspublicmarket.org, Nelson noticed for now KPM representatives are still planning their further steps.

“Well, that was originally one of the concepts, but we’ve definitely taken, I’m not going to say a step back, but we’re not going to talk about the location at this point, just given all of the things that are going on. So, the next stage of our development as a coop was to actually start doing some outreach and without a specific location in mind, we just decided we were going to go around the community and start doing this stuff,” Nelson said.

“I think Granville Island is a lot of different market spaces, and this one is going to be a lot more like under one roof,” she said.

“The intent is to be only local, but I think it will depend on the amount and the willingness of the local producers to be involved,” explained Nelson.

“We would love to become an incubator for coops. Imagine a bunch of breweries coming together and having their different beers on tap or something like a childcare coop. Somewhere to drop your kids off while grocery shopping, and just a bunch of different coops under one roof,” described Nelson.

“We don’t have a date, for now, there is so much going on in the community right now, that’s why we just decided that instead of focusing on the location we will just focus on the outreach,” Nelson shared KPM’s next steps.

Also, she noticed that she would love to encourage TRU students to come and join KPM’s series of educational coops.

The next series of KPM meetings will take place in February at TRU in the Culinary Arts building.