Farmers markets want to attract newbies

A new campaign encourages British Columbians to discover farmers markets in their community. - Morning Star file photo
A new campaign encourages British Columbians to discover farmers markets in their community.
— image credit: Morning Star file photo

The B.C. Association of Farmers Markets has launched its It Feels Better at the Farmers Market campaign and selfie contest, which runs until July 21.

This public awareness campaign and contest offers prizes, activities, and incentives at participating markets throughout B.C. to entice market newbies to discover farmers markets.

“Over the last several years, we’ve seen a 62 per cent increase in the number of markets in B.C.,” said Elizabeth Quinn, B.C. Association of Farmers Markets executive director.

“There’s no doubt people are becoming increasingly passionate about buying local, in-season food and locally produced goods. With this campaign, we want to build on this growing enthusiasm in B.C. by reaching out to those who might not know that the markets offer much more than food — they offer an experience that feels amazing.”

Across B.C., there are more than 125 farmers markets, including throughout the North Okanagan.

In addition to locally grown food and locally made products, the markets offer a variety of community activities such as live music, children’s activities, cooking classes, artisan workshops and much more.

“It’s a joyful thing to be able to shop for food and at the same time meet the people who grow and produce what we eat,” said Lydia Ryall, campaign spokesperson and winner of the 2014 Young Farmers of the Year Award.

“I’m thrilled to help spread the good word about our B.C. markets and I’ll definitely be ready to pose for a farmers market selfie with anyone who wants to visit our booth.”

The campaign involves the provincial government’s Buy Local program, the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C., the Ministry of Agriculture and Vancity.

“British Columbians go to a farmers market to enjoy the high quality foods produced in their communities, and for the conversations and relationships they can have with people who grow our food,” said Norm Letnick, agriculture minister and Lake Country MLA.

“Farmers markets have a unique and festive atmosphere, and I look forward to seeing the creative ways British Columbians capture and share their experiences through this contest.”

Here’s what the It Feels Better at the Farmers Market campaign will look like:

n The #FarmersMarketSelfie contest will serve as a showcase of the feel-good experiences people in B.C. are having at their farmers markets.

n Selfie entries can be made until July 7. All B.C. residents 18 years of age and older are eligible to enter.

n How to enter: Snap a photo of yourself at any B.C. farmers market and submit it to

n Promote your selfie to get the most votes. The selfie that gets the most votes wins a Bernardin home canning starter kit and $500 worth of goods from your favourite B.C. farmers market.

n Each week, five random winners will be selected from five regions of B.C. Each of these random winners will take home a Bernardin home canning starter kit and $50 gift card to the B.C. farmers market of their choice (the market must be a member of the B.C. Association of Farmers Markets).

n Voting for the contest will happen until July 21.

n The It Feels Better at the Farmers Market campaign includes a series of online videos.

Follow the campaign on Twitter at @BCFarmersMarket, Facebook at or at


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