Robert McClure Farmers' Market - 2017

2017 Robert McClure Farmers’ Market - Opening Season Debriefing

Our first season was great success.  We are living out our vision: Intentionally creating space for the Holy Spirit to set our hearts ablaze and burst out. We made connections with the community, not only with individual members but with organizations such as the Pineridge Boys & Girls Club.

There was so much learning involved in:

·         Advertising and marketing

·         Vendor engagement

·         Organization

·         Communication

Key successes for the market include:

·         We developed a community with our core vendors; relationships that will have a lasting impact, such as the Clearview Colony and Buffalo Bistro.

·         We provided opportunities for musicians to showcase their talent.

·         The market made a profit of almost $4,000

·          We averaged 233 customer visits per week in the last two months of the market.

 

We have some exciting plans for 2018 and have applied for another grant with the United Church of Canada to help us achieve them.

We would like to improve the green space where the market is held so that it can be used not just for the Farmers’ Market, but by other groups in the community, on other days of the week and all year round.  We want to create a kind of ‘Community Hub’ providing an opportunity to connect with people in a non-threatening environment that will allow community members to connect with the church, and their families and friends to connect with us.

The Community Hub will provide an opportunity for us to share what we offer, promote the church and its ministries, and to provide pastoral and spiritual care for the community.  The Hub will offer an opportunity for local groups to use a space that is open to all for cultural celebrations, events, festivals and help to break down the social isolation experienced in our community. It is a smaller space that will allow for more intimate gatherings where people can connect more easily with each other.

Because this community hub is outside, there are fewer barriers to people engaging in the happenings there. People are less intimidated to attend an event in this space as compared to an indoor space.

This project will deepen Spirituality through music. We will provide cultural groups and organizations the opportunity to hold concerts that celebrate their individual cultures.

Our plans include new sod, trees and bushes to beautify the green space.  We will install an underground sprinkler system to ensure our investment in these items can flourish. We will build a gazebo for musicians to perform, purchase picnic tables & umbrellas to encourage people to sit and enjoy the market.

We will apply for more grants with Calgary Foundation and other groups. We would like to make the space wheelchair accessible.

We will invest in signage including: bridge banners, road signs, sandwich boards and a large inflatable promotional balloon. The balloon will be tethered to the church property and floated high so that we are more visible to passers-by on the main street which is located one block away.

We will continue to promote online: using our social networks, Facebook advertising and Instagram. We want to continue to build our social media networks. The hiring of a student to focus solely on online media will help this. Our Facebook page has 187 followers and we want to build this network to much greater numbers.

We will promote the market through flyers and postcards. Last year, we handed out 1000 postcards to people in the neighbourhood during Stampede. Next season, we need to become a part of the Stampede Breakfast caravan so we can have a stronger presence at North East stampede breakfasts.

We will start advertising in our local community newsletter: Rundle Rumbles and provide editorial content and photos for the newsletter.

We will connect with Momentum which is an organization that offers hope and opportunity to people living in poverty to find new vendors and partner with them to create new start-ups and have a thriving local economy for everyone in the community.

We will contact the recreation coordinators at Senior Residences in the Properties to have the senior’s bus visit Farmers’ Market as their social outing.

We will connect with the Calgary Mayor, Councillors, and local politicians to have them attend special events and promote the Farmers’ Market.

We want to invest in promotional, reusable shopping bags with our market name on them to give out to our market customers and generate brand awareness.

We want to begin to advertise our space in SpaceFinderAlberta.org to rent out the space and inform people of our presence in the North East. The more groups aware of our presence in the Pineridge, the more they will know of the market.

Below is an itemized budget for the improvements for the market in 2018:

Gazebo 12’x12’ $5,000

Concrete pad for the gazebo $500

Sea Can $3,100

Paint for Sea Can $200

Landscaping $8,000 (sod & soil)

Underground sprinkler $4,000

Picnic tables (3)          $900

Picnic table umbrellas & bases (3) $320

Impact Canopy - Costco $240            

Advertising -      

●     Inflatable  $1,000 

●     Bridge Banners (2) $840

●     Two signs at the Coop for 4 months $1,200

●     Reusable grocery bags with our name for the market  $500   

●     Balloons $450

●     Permit to post banners $210 

●     Postcards $300

●     Kijiji $50

●     Facebook ads $200

●     Newsletter advertising $500 

Face painter for market events (4 days) - $500

Prizes for special events                     $400

Total Budget $28,410

 Note: we have applied for a $25,000 grant from the United Church of Canada’s Edge Ministry program.