Summary

Connecting local farmers, artisans, and producers within 150 km of Nelson to local residents, our Nelson farmers’ markets are building greater food resiliency in the West Kootenays while lowering carbon pollution from food transportation and boosting the local economy.

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Nelson Farmers’ Markets

EcoSociety runs two local farmers markets in Nelson, BC. The Cottonwood Community Market runs every Saturday from 9:30 am to 3 pm at Cottonwood Falls Park from May 19 to October 13, 2018.

The Nelson Downtown Local Market runs every Wednesday from 9:30 am to 3 pm on Hall Street from June 13 to September 26, 2018. Our farmers’ markets are located in bustling Nelson. This busy community is a great place for farmers from the Slocan Valley, Creston, Robson, and everywhere in-between to connect with consumers and sell their products.

Together with MarketFest, EcoSociety’s markets contribute an estimated $950,000 – just under $1 million dollars – to the local economy from sales at the market alone. By creating pedestrian friendly zones and with easy access via public transportation, the markets create an atmosphere that is distinctively Nelson while drawing locals and tourists alike into the downtown core.

All weekly markets are registered with the BC Farmers Market Nutrition Coupon Program, which distributes coupons to low-income families and seniors. The coupons may be used to purchase fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, cheese, eggs, nuts and herbs at participating BC farmers’ markets. By enabling low-income citizens to purchase fresh food directly from the farmers, the coupon program increases access to healthy food while supporting local producers – double win! EcoSociety is proud to play an integral part in administering the Nutrition Coupon Program in Nelson.

Thanks to Columbia Basin Trust, Canada Summer Jobs, RDCK Areas A, D, E, F, G, H, I, and City of Nelson CIP grants for their support.

Vendor Information

The West Kootenay EcoSociety is proud to offer many distinct vending opportunities for local farmers, food makers, crafts people and entrepreneurs:

Nelson Garden Festival – Nelson Garden Festival takes place the Saturday before Mother’s Day every year on 600 block of Baker Street in downtown Nelson. The 2018 Nelson Garden Fest event happens on May 12th. This market is for garden items and garden related items only.

Cottonwood Community Market – Cottonwood Community Market runs every Saturday at Cottonwood Falls Park in Nelson from mid-May through to the mid-October (a total of 22 market days). Fresh farm products, ready to eat foods, handmade crafts, services, and more are welcome at this market. The 2018 Cottonwood Community Market season runs from May 19th through to October 13th.

Nelson Downtown Local Market – Nelson Downtown Local Market runs every Wednesday from mid-June to the end of September on Nelson newly renovated Hall St. right off of the historic Baker St. (a total of 16 market days). You will find farm fresh produce, hand made crafts, ready to eat foods and much more at this market.The 2018 Nelson Downtown Local Market season runs from June 13th through to September 26th.

MarketFest – MarketFest takes place on Friday nights at the end of July and August on the 200 and 300 blocks of Baker Street in downtown Nelson. Baker Street is transformed into a lively night market featuring 100 vendors, live music, dance performances, kids entertainment and more. The 2018 MarketFest events will take place on July 27th and August 24th.

EcoSociety Winter Craft Fair – EcoSociety Winter Craft Fair takes place in early December every year at the Central School Gym in Nelson. All vendor products are hand-crafted and locally made. The 2018 Winter Craft Fair will take place on Dec.08th from 10 am to 4 pm.


If you are interested in being a vendor at any of the EcoSociety markets you must read our 2018 EcoSociety vendor handbook first. You can find a copy here: 2018 EcoSociety Market Guidelines.


2018 Nelson Garden Festival

Vendors from the 2017 Nelson Garden Festival will be contacted first and invited to return for the 2018 Nelson Garden Festival. They have until January 31/2018 to pay for their vendor spot. After this date all spots that are still open will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis. If you have any further questions about this event please contact Jesse at markets@ecosociety.ca or phone 250-354-1909.

2018 Cottonwood Community Market

In order to preserve a year-to-year continuity at the Cottonwood Market, the 2017 season vendors will be contacted by the EcoSociety and will have until April 30th to rebook for their 2018 season vendor spots. If you would like to be considered for any Cottonwood Market season vendor spots that become available please forward your contact information and a description of your product/service to markets@ecosociety.ca

If you want to be a drop in vendor at Cottonwood Market please read the following:

  • Arrive ready to vend on any Saturday between May 19th thru October 13th at 7:45 am at Cottonwood
  • Market at Cottonwood Falls park in Nelson
  • All vendors must bring there own 10×10 canopy tent to the Cottonwood Market
  • Also bring your on table and chairs
  • Wait in the middle of the market area for the Markets Director to arrive at 8:00 am
  • Sign your name on the drop in sign up sheet that will be there
  • The Markets Director will place drop-in vendors, using the sign up sheet, on a first-come, first-served basis in their stall spot. Farmers are always placed first.
  • Many vendor spots are sold to season vendors, so do not begin to set to vend without talking first to the Markets Director

2018 Downtown Local Market

There is tremendous demand for the limited spaces at the Downtown Local Market. Our guidelines give preference to produce vendors and returning vendors and as a result there are limited openings from year to year. There are 4 rotating vendor spaces that allow for new vendors to have a number of days at the market. If you are interested in doing this please email markets@ecosociety.ca to get onto a vendor wait list. At least 80% of each vendor’s merchandise must be locally made by the vendor themselves to be sold at this market. No resellers or imported items are allowed at this market.

We offer four vending options for this market:

  • Full season vendors are expected to participate in every day of the market. Full season vendors typically pre-pay for the entire season, and are usually selected from among our rotating or shared-space vendors.
  • Shared-space vendors either share a space with another vendor or rotate every other week with another approved vendor. Shared-space situations are arranged by the Markets Director at the request of rotating and drop-in vendors
  • Rotating Vendors are provided a number of dates during the market season when they are scheduled to vend. Rotating vendors are chosen from our drop-in vendor list, and provide diversity and variety in the marketplace.
  • Drop-in vendors are vendors who may be called upon at any time to fill a vacancy at the market. The Market Director will contact drop-in vendors to fill vacancies based on market experience, product type, and availability. There are also about 10 small day-of drop-in spots that vendors with small (3×3) tables can fit into. These spaces half-price the normal day vending rate.
  • Late-season produce vendors come to the market for a number of market days at the end of the season when the farm harvest is coming in.

To add your name to our vendor wait list for this market please email markets@ecosociety.ca. Please be aware that your performance (quality of product, timeliness, professionalism) as a drop-in or rotating vendor is critical to your chances to be selected as a full-season or shared space vendor.

2018 MarketFest Events

MarketFest offers 100 booth spaces per MarketFest event (there are two events in total-July 27th and August 24th) and it is possible to reserve more than one space at each of these events.

Vendors who participated in the 2017 MarketFest events: submit the 2018 MarketFest Vendor Registration form (which will be emailed to you by early March of 2017) with payment by April 30th to retain your space.

New vendors are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis after April 30th.Your space will be reserved once you return the completed the 2017 MarketFest Vendor Registration form and your payment. Click the following link go to the 2018 MarketFest registration webpage

Application Link: Both 2018 MarketFest events are now sold out. If you want to be put on a vendor wait list please email markets@ecosociety.ca with your request.


Vendor Fees

All vendor fees include GST.

Nelson Garden Festival

10×10 vendor spaces are $45 before January 31st and then $55 thereafter. General public vendor application forms will be made available here after Jan. 31/2018.

Cottonwood Market:

Drop in fees: vendor fees are $23 a day for a covered table space or 10×10 tent space. There is a $12 fee for a small table/blanket space. All vendors must bring there own 10×10 canopy tent to the Cottonwood Market. There are some 3×8 tables available for vendor use but bringing your own 10×10 tent, tables, chairs, ect. gives you many more vending options at Cottonwood Market.

Season vendor fees: Fees are calculated by multiplying the drop-in cost by the number of markets per year (22 will take place in 2018). Season vendors who pay before April 30th will receive a 15% discount.

Vendor Type    If paid before April 30  If paid after April 30 
10×10 tent space    $ 430 $ 506

Downtown Market: Vendor fees are $28 per day for non-food vendors and $32 per day for ready to eat food vendors. All vendor spots are 10×10 in size.

Season vendor fees: Fees are calculated by multiplying the drop-in cost by the number of markets per year (16 will take place in 2018) plus a $25 EcoSociety memebership fee. Season vendors who pay before April 30th will receive a 15% discount.

Vendor Type  If paid before April 30 If paid after April 30
10×10 tent

non-food

$402 $457
10×10 tent

ready to eat food

$473 $537

Market Fest:  There will be no refunds for cancellations. Vendor fees are as follows:

  • 10×10 non-food tent space – $62 per night per booth
  • 10×10 ready to eat food vendor’s tent space – $72 per night per booth
  • Trailer and/or truck rigs – $87 per night per 10×10 booth space

Winter Craft Fair: vendor fees are $55 for a 4×7 vendor space.

Thank you for your interest in becoming an EcoSociety market vendor! We appreciate all that you do!

Any further question you can call Jesse, EcoSociety Markets & Events Director, at 250-354-1909 or email markets@ecosociety.ca

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