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Spotlight on: New West Farmers Market

New West Farmers market returning to Tipperary Park on March 31
New West Farmers Market file
The New West Farmers Market, seen here in a previous year, returns to Tipperary Park on March 31.

What’s happening?

Starting March 31, the New West Farmers Market is returning to Tipperary Park, where it will run every Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. until Nov. 3. Tipperary Park is at 315 Queens Ave., next to New Westminster City Hall.

What will I find there?

Lily Nichol, the market’s assistant manager, said three food trucks will be attending on the opening day – and on almost every Thursday this season. Tokyo Katsu-sand, the beloved Bread and Cheese Truck, and Rolled West Coast (which serves ice cream) are attending the March 31 market.

“We will have alcohol, including cider, spirits, beer and wine, chocolate, bakeries, coffee, honey, seasonal produce, vegan items, pet products, candles, soap, and so much more!” she said. “We've got 58 vendors booked for March 31, but at our highest points in the summer we will have as many as 73 vendors. We have 110 different vendors joining us throughout the season and we are ready for our biggest year ever.”

Are any COVID-restrictions still in place?

Last year’s market at Tipperary Park featured a one-way route through the market, a limited number of shoppers and a request that visitors wear masks and keep their distance from others.

“At this time, our COVID restrictions have all been lifted, but we will still have our staff and volunteers in masks and will have sanitizer available,” Nichol said. “Dogs are now welcome again at the market.”

What’s the market’s vibe?

Opening day will feature live music from New Westie Nate Batara and balloon animals for kids. Weather permitting, people will be able to explore the Vancity portable mindfulness labyrinth.

“We expect a laid back, family-friendly and fun vibe for the season,” Nichol said. “All season long, the community can expect children's activities, fresh, local food, live music, and so much more. The New West Farmers Market is a community hub, and we will continue to grow and thrive with our amazing community.”

What’s new?

Quinn Kliewer has taken on the new role as market manager, having started out as assistant manager last year. Nichol, who was the market’s manager, and Kliewer have now switched roles, giving Nichol more time to devote to other things.

“Quinn is an amazing leader who moved to New Westminster four years ago from Alberta. She has a background in the arts and hospitality. She is such an asset to our small team, and I love working with her,” Nichol said. “I am excited to see the market grow with her!”

Is there anything else you’d like the community to know?

Nichol said the farmers market is grateful to the City of New Westminster for being an ongoing generous supporter of the market and for allowing it to continue operating with a larger footprint to accommodate its increasing vendor count.

“Last year we moved into a section of the parking lot in front of city hall to form an ‘L’ shape alongside the Tipperary lot,” she explained. “This worked well because most city employees were still working from home and there was lot to spare, and as employees have started to go back they’ve generously let us continue to use some of the city lot to address our increased demand for space.”

The market is also thankful for the generosity of the New Westminster Rotary, which helped the market recover from break-ins during the 2021 season.

“Last year we had our trailer destroyed from a break-in, where the metal was torn off the frame of the trailer and ICBC wrote it off. We then had a temporary shipping container which got broken into, and about half of the contents was stolen in a second break-in,” Nichol said in an email to the Record. “Between community donations, the ICBC refund and money from Rotary, we have been able to purchase the container we were renting, replace everything that was stolen, and we will be undertaking a project to equip it with shelving – and it will have a mural painted on the side this season as well."