Community markets in downtown Estevan are set to start in May

Estevan is going to see a new exciting activity coming downtown.

The Estevan Downtown Business Association, Coldwell Banker Choice Real Estate and The General Store, have announced that community markets will start taking place downtown as soon as May.

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The place and time are already arranged; now it's all about who is to participate in the event.

"We already have vendors registering. We're very excited," said Josh LeBlanc with Coldwell Banker Choice Real Estate.

While the hope was to get the initiative going last year, the pandemic put it on pause. But this time the downtown community is set to make community markets a success.

"Now that we have a better understanding of what it is that we have to do, we're excited to get things rolling," LeBlanc said.

The first community market will invite shoppers to come check it out on the first Thursday in May, which is May 6. Markets will keep going every week on Thursdays from 6-9 p.m., up until the last Thursday of August.

"We encourage people to come downtown. There's lots of parking in the other parking lots and on the street. So come down, take a look at all the vendors, check out the other shops that are downtown. We're going to have food trucks, we'll have everything there. And we have all the other restaurants downtown that we encourage people to check out as well," LeBlanc said.

The parking lot behind the RBC Royal Bank was chosen as a location for community markets for now.

"If it grows, then we'll have to engage in some discussions with the city about possibly closing off the street or something like that. But we don't know how big it's going to be; we hope to have all the vendors registered by mid to the end of April, so we know how big we have to be and if we do need to make any other additions or alterations to the site."

So far there are about 10 vendors that have registered. The community markets welcome any kind of business.

"We're looking for everyone, so if they're the typical Farmers Market-style type of vendor, where it's baking, produce, canning, all of that, we're very excited to have those types of vendors. We're also looking for artisans, artists. We're also looking for people who have produce once that part of the time rolls around. So we're really open to anyone," LeBlanc said.

Traditional brick and mortar businesses are also more than welcome to apply and join the community market.

"What we're trying to do here is we're trying to create an event for the residents of Estevan. We're trying to support small businesses the best we can, and our goal with these markets is to help them be exposed to the public and let people get to know who's behind the face of the businesses and hopefully they can make some sales at the same time," LeBlanc said.

There are a few options for vendors to join the initiative.

"There are many different options for vendors to be. We have a one-time rate, so if they want to pay weekly, then that is $25. If they want to register for a month, that's $75. And if they want to register for the whole season, that's $240," LeBlanc noted.

He added that the application process is pretty straightforward. With any questions or to get an application form, people can reach out to LeBlanc at 306-421-6778, visit the Estevan Downtown Business Association Facebook page or email at josh@cbchoice.ca.

LeBlanc also extended his gratitude to everyone who's been helping with the project.

"Thank you to everyone that's helped us get to this point thus far. Thank you to the Downtown Business Association, The General Store and Coldwell Banker Choice Real Estate for stepping up as well to the business improvement district for working with us on using that spot and to the City of Estevan for being so accommodating."

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