Alberta Avenue can now count a series of night markets amongst its summer activities.
Starting June 30, local businesses at different locations along 118 Avenue will rotate hosting duties for the night markets on Friday evenings.
Erick Estrada, executive director of the Alberta Avenue Business Association (AABA), says holding each event at a different location will provide an introduction to the multiple services available within the community.
“[Each market] is catered to the different locations and businesses that participate,” says Estrada. “We are looking to bring that unique essence of the business mix that we have and showcase that to our neighbours and encourage them to approach.”
Estrada explains that the idea for the night markets was the result of discussions undertaken by AABA with local business owners, residents, and community leagues.
“A lot of activities that come to the Avenue…set up shop at the parking lot [of] the community league and do their event, but there’s not much engagement with the local economy,” says Estrada. “We decided to flip the script and start working with the businesses and community to see what it is that they value…and work with them in terms of space and logistics so that [the night markets] are a truly community-oriented event.”
Though exact details on what the night markets will include are still scarce, Estrada notes that there will be free family-friendly events that will feature food, music, and performers that will serve as a showcase for the area’s different art and cultures.
“[We] want to promote the entire district as a family-friendly area,” Estrada adds. “We want families to stop by and engage with business owners and see what they’re all about. It’s not just a business down the street, it’s a family-run business [with] people who are very passionate about the Avenue and [who] choose to spend their time here.”
Area business owners are not the only ones working behind the scenes, however. Local community leagues have not only participated in the planning of the night markets, but they will also be present at the events.
“There’s a lot of people already very engaged [and] community leagues are pillars in this event,” says Estrada. “We really want to promote local neighbours [engaging] with the businesses here because there’s not much difference. [Business owners] work and live nearby the Avenue.”
Estrada confirms local community leagues will be present at the events, promoting memberships and helping out with night market activities. He adds that AABA has already collaborated with community leagues on neighbourhood safety initiatives and clean-up events.
The official launch of the night markets is scheduled for May 26, Estrada notes. “We will be gathering a bunch of different people that will be participating. It will be like a mini test of what the market is all about.”
Though it is not yet confirmed that the launch will be open to the public, watch for news by visiting alberta-avenue.com and all its other social media channels.