Have a look at our Saturday Market here:
We are open Saturdays year round
(except for two weeks over Christmas)
Please respect our opening hours, we do not allow sales before 9:00 on Saturdays. This time is for vendors to do their own shopping and set up. Thank you :-)
Extra peak season market info below.
Extra Seasonal Markets open all Summer:
Weekly – Wednesdays 9-12:30
Downtown Courtenay - 660 England Ave (old Thrifty Foods Parking Lot)
25+ food and farm vendors each week
Shopping before 9:00 is permitted at this market :-) providing the vendor is ready for you :-)
Sundays weekly 10-1:00
Village Square on Dunsmuir Ave in Legendary Cumberland
Our newest market! In a really sweet site right on the main street in a green space. 11-13 vendors with great variety: veggies and fruit, meat and seafood, pies, hemp snacks and hempscream, healthy body products, mushrooms, wine and so much more.
Shopping before 10:00 is permitted at this market :-) providing the vendor is ready for you :-)
Don’t worry if you don’t have cash! We have a machine that will take your debit/credit and turn it into market tokens. They are just like cash on the field (only way funner) and never expire, and they make great gifts :-) Come find them at the Market Info table.
Looking for a vendor? Want to donate to our New Farmer Bursary Fund? Need a bag? Need Market Tokens? Lost something? Have a suggestion? Please let us know. The market coordinator and our volunteers can help you; they are located at the market tent.
Accessible washrooms are available at our exhibition grounds and at the Native son’s hall location. Washrooms for the downtown Courtenay markets are at the Courtenay Library (4th St. and Duncan Ave).
Dogs are allowed at our outdoor markets but we have high expectations of them:
- As you know, as soon as one dog leaves their scent, every other dog wants to do the same. So please make sure your dog has gone to the bathroom before they enter the market (even if it’s a walk around the parking lot or elsewhere on the fairgrounds). And of course any accidents are cleaned up promptly. (Please note: We do not have bags)
- Keep them under close control at all times on the market field (they do not jump on people or other dogs, bark or display aggressive or over- excited behaviour)
- All dogs must be on a short leash (under 3 feet).
- Please keep dogs away from vending tents and seating areas.
Please do not bring your dog to market if they are not able to manage the above behaviour. Remember that the Farmers market’s primary purpose is to provide a place for folks to buy locally grown/produced food. Not all our customers are dog lovers (and some are quite uncomfortable with them). Please be courteous of their preference to enjoy their day at the Market without any interaction with dogs. Thank you for your cooperation.
History of the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market
The Comox Valley Farmers' Market Association was born early in 1992 when a group of local growers saw the need for a gathering place for farmers to sell directly to the consumer. The association was founded by Dick McGinnis (President), Gail Beaucage (Treasurer), and Dave Bernard (Secretary). With support from regional district director Harold Macy, and guidance from district agriculturalist Gary Rolston, a produce guide was created and stakes were pegged at the site we still call home for what everyone hoped for – a successful weekly farmers market.
The vacant field was recommended by the Manager of the Powell River Farmers' Market because it was a grassy site and at that time, very visible from Headquarters Road. From those early days the purpose of the market has always been:
- To promote the economic health of the local farm community,
- To provide quality locally grown farm products,
- To educate the community in agricultural issues, and
- To promote local agriculture.
On opening day – May 2, 1992 – a dozen of us, some with tables, others just using our truck’s tailgates, set up to sell our wares. It only took a few weeks to realize that we needed more vendors and diversity to make the market more viable and bakers and fishers were added to the mix.
There was a lot of camaraderie among the vendors in those early days. There was only one ring of booths, and all the vendors could see each other. “There was so much space to fill and so much space between us, we had to shout at each other to speak,” remembers founding vendor Joan Lightfoot. On the last day of our first season it was so cold, wet, and windy that the few hardy vendors huddled in Sourdough Glen's bus, almost hoping that no customers would come to force us out into the elements.
Growth was slow in the first two years with the average number of vendors per week between 15 and 16, but we had a wide variety of product and some interesting characters selling in the early days. Loyal market goers will remember Sourdough Glen warming up his flat bread on a barbecue outside his bus, Shauna selling her fine baking which she displayed in the front trunk of her VW Beetle, Mike and Nina’s wild boar products, Carol’s rabbits (both frozen and live), Julie’s Icelandic bread, Lang with his salad greens, Colleen and Anne’s beautiful bouquets of fresh and dried flowers; and that isn’t mentioning the handful of producers who have been selling at the market continuously since the first couple of years.
In 1993 we wanted a logo that would identify us at a glance. The market man, created by the late Lowell Mackay, still appears on our promotional material today. Our slogan “Come for the Freshness, Stay for the fun” was added a few years later.
By 1994 we realized we needed to shake things up a bit to attract more people to the market. The season started off with entertainment by the Old Time Fiddlers and over 30 vendors. It was then that Lightfoot and the other vendors “knew that we were doing something right.” Our promotion of the market as a place to come for fresh, quality product as well as a gathering place for the community paid off with increased customers. We had become a regular stop for local people on the hunt for the bounty of the Valley.
The market has become not only a place to buy fresh, local food, but also a showcase for the talented musicians who live in the Comox Valley. Our mobile stage was built in 1998 and a sound system is powered by a quiet generator. We have become the place for community to gather on Saturday mornings, and Wednesdays too.
Many summer crops need harvesting more than once a week. In 1997 a midweek market was established with the co-operation of the City of Courtenay and the Downtown Merchants. The parking lot at the corner of Duncan and Fourth was chosen and we had a successful Wednesday-morning market at that location for many years. Due to increased demand for the parking spaces downtown, the city offered Simm’s Park for our midweek market. Attendance at the Wednesday market started to dwindle and the association decided to get a fresh start by moving the Wednesday market to the field beside the Komox Band Hall on Comox Road and to move the time to the afternoon between 3:00 and 6:00.
Our first Christmas market was held at the Native Sons’ Hall in 1998 and this once-a-year market led to the winter market being established in 2001. The Native Sons’ Hall became our home on Saturday mornings from mid October until the week before Christmas. Our season was extended to a year-round market in the 2008-2009 season. Many farmers have managed to extend their growing season to accommodate the year-long market.
The Comox Valley Farmers’ Market continues to thrive thanks to our loyal local food customers and our fabulous vendors - have a look at the vendor page to see who they are.
Come for the Freshness, Stay for the Fun.