The Night Markets held at different locations along Alberta Avenue are exceeding the most optimistic expectations of its organizers.
“It has been fantastic so far,” says Erick Estrada, Executive Director of the Alberta Avenue Business Association. “At first we were expecting a lot less guests, but as time went on and people came together, we are getting over capacity now.”
Over 35 unique businesses to date have participated in three separate Night Markets held on Alberta Avenue and at two others hosted on the exhibition grounds during K-Days. Estrada notes that these last two were an excellent opportunity to create interest and bring visitors back to the Avenue.
“A lot of the vendors that currently have a brick and mortar on the Avenue went out there to show the good businesses that are [here],” says Estrada. “I’ve been getting feedback from the vendors that people they met at K-Days have come down to the Avenue…people who haven’t been [here] for decades are coming back.”
Estrada notes that they participated at K-Days because of the event’s proximity to Alberta Avenue and adds that the Night Markets have also been approached to partner with events.
“Some vendors are eager to go out and represent the Avenue and some others are a little bit hesitant [because] of time commitments and capacity,” says Estrada. “I think it is a good momentum and if we get more invitations and if the events align with what we are looking to do, I think we will be exploring those opportunities as well.”
Another focus has been on continuing the Night Markets again next year, says Estrada. “Business owners and property owners are very eager to talk about that and promote [it].” he says. “We are taking notes on each of the locations to provide the most optimal use of the space for everyone. It’s very cool to hear the feedback from neighbours and vendors just looking to make it better next time.”
Estrada states that immediate plans included completing the remaining four Friday Night Markets. He details that these will be hosted on Aug. 25 at Canadian General Store, Sept. 1 and 8 at Battista’s Calzone/Flava Café, and Friday, Sept. 15 at Downtown Auto from 6 to 10 p.m.
Though the Alberta Avenue Business Association may be responsible for organizing these events, Estrada is quick to credit the community for the success so far.
“The goal with the Night Markets was to highlight the different things that happen on the Avenue and the different DNAs and flavours of each of the different blocks,” said Estrada. “I appreciate all the support from all the community that came together because this is truly an Alberta Avenue market, not the Business Association market. It’s everyone’s, and we are all making it great.”
Estrada encourages anyone who would like to volunteer to visit the Alberta Avenue Business Association’s website to register. He adds anyone who prefers to connect in person can do so via their community league or at the business association’s head office.
Featured image: Vendors at the first Night Market held in the Alberta Avenue Community Centre parking lot on June 30. | Supplied
Fridays, 6-10 p.m.
Aug. 25 @ Canadian General Store
9035 118 Ave
Sept. 1 & 8 @ Battista Calzone/Flava Cafe
11745 84 St
Sept. 15 @ Downtown Auto
11765 95 St
More info or to volunteer:
Alberta Avenue Business Association
11807 92 St.