Sunday Market at Bastion Square Adds Food Vendors

The Bastion Square Sunday Market in full swing.


If you’ve wandered through the cobblestone alleys of Bastion Square on a Sunday lately, you will have noticed something new. An eclectic mix of arts, crafts and delicious food now decorate this historic area of downtown Victoria every Sunday.  The Government Street Sunday Market has moved a couple of blocks and made Bastion Square and Langley Street its new home.


The location on Government Street was somewhat of an institution for Victorians, and when it moved to Centennial (Spirit) Square last year, part of the street-market feel was lost for many of the vendors. “I think there’s a lot more people that come through Bastion Square,” says vendor Matt Tooley of Cottlestone Apiary, explaining that “this is a better location for greater traffic, new customers, better flow and exposure. All the little alleyways make for a great feel, and when you’re right downtown, people wander through, even if they didn’t necessarily plan on it.”


Tooley sells a range of bee-made products including local honey, creamed honey, flavoured honey and even bee’s wax candles – a great marriage between cuisine and craft, highlighting the beauty of this vibrant market. The vast assortment of products offered includes local produce, breads, cheeses, preserves, and various goodies to sample as you peruse this centrally located cultural kaleidoscope.


Sol Kinnis of City Harvest Co-operative also prefers the move, and agrees that there seems to be a lot more traffic with their new location. However, like many other vendors, Kinnis would like to increase local awareness of the market, noting “it’s a bit of a tourist area so we’re hoping to get more actual Victoria residents, especially ones living in the downtown core.”


Through City Harvest Co-operative, Kinnis sells locally sourced produce grown in the backyards of Victoria residents. By offering a range of seasonal fruits and vegetables at the Sunday Market, City Harvest Co-operative provides Victorians living downtown with sustainable, organic and nutritious food without having to leave the area. They also sell seeds and plants, and offer information on how those passing by can also grow their own food. “When people come down to see us they can get a sense of how much produce can actually be grown in peoples’ backyards” says Kinnis. “Even if you live downtown and have a small balcony, you can grow quite a lot. We put tags on some of the produce that say how far it’s travelled,” she explains.  “Lots of our stuff comes from 1-5 km away,” adding with a chuckle, “forget the 100 Mile Diet, we have the 5 mile diet right at Bastion Square!”



Concepts of community, growth, and sustainability are all important to market organizer Corry Matechuck who says that having a farmers’ market downtown helps reach nearby residents, and offers them a local and sustainable shopping choice. “It’s a fun way for the locals and tourists to spend part of the day” says Matechuck. “They can listen to some music, check out all the amazing island talent, do their shopping for dinner, connect with people, support their local island economy and be part of a community.”


The Sunday Market at Bastion Square commenced on May 6, and will be open every Sunday until the fall from 11 am – 4:30 pm.






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