The Masset Market will have a year-round home thanks to new project funding announced by Northern Development.
On April 29, the trust announced over $1.8 million in approved funding through the Economic Diversification Infrastructure Program for 10 projects in Northern B.C. that seek to strengthen their communities and the economy, including $93,089 for the Masset Market.
The Masset Market project being funded involves the renovation of a vacant building on Masset’s main street into a year-round, indoor home for the market, as well as the addition of a studio and gallery space for a brand-new artisans co-op.
Proposed building renovations include new roofing and siding, roll-up garage doors, new windows and doors, new interior walls, a second washroom, an expanded awning, and a wooden deck.
“During these uncertain times, the trust is fortunate to be able to provide funding to communities and organizations in our region for valuable community projects,” Northern Development Initiative Trust CEO Joel McKay said. “From airport and museum upgrades, to innovative food networks and nursery expansions, each project provides both economic and public benefits for those who live and work in Northern B.C.”
Masset Market organizer Natalie Affolter told the Observer the market is already operating year-round across from the Credit Union on Main Street, however, it is in a temporary space made possible by the Village of Masset.
The new space will help facilitate more vendors, have better visibility and be more “inviting,” with permanent tables where people can have coffee or eat lunch “whether or not the market is operating.”
“The idea is that it’s bigger than just service to the farmers market, but more a community hub,” Affolter said.
“It definitely will be more of a visual, central place that tourists can see without having to know ahead of the time that it’s happening.”
She said the co-op is still in the planning stages, but it will likely be run similar to the Ice House Gallery in Prince Rupert, which provides a space for North Coast artists to showcase their work in the Atlin Terminal along the Cow Bay waterfront.
The next steps will be to clean up the site, she said, which is owned by Suncorp and being leased by the Village of Masset.
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