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Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market files for bankruptcy

After weeks of speculation about its future, the Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market has declared bankruptcy.

“It was a long time coming,” said Elaine Doucette, manager of the Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market. “We chose not to renew our lease because of our financial difficulties of maintaining this large building and utility costs and we just haven’t been able to acquire enough vendors to pay for the costs of operating the building.”

A special meeting was held to inform vendors on Saturday, who voted to accept the decision by the board of the Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market.

Doucette said the board decided on bankruptcy after speaking with an accountant and lawyer.

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“It just came to a head – where we are just so financially behind,” Doucette added. “The Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market Board will be dissolved.”

When the market moved from 104th Street to the historic Army & Navy building at 103rd Avenue and  97th Street in 2020, it had 250 vendors, Doucette said. Now it has just 60.

In June 2023, the market’s board said it could no longer afford the operating costs of the 113-year-old Army & Navy building and would have to move.

Doucette said the board is now working with the Alberta Farmers Market Association and the Old Strathcona Farmers Market to help the downtown vendors set up at other markets.

“A lot of them did get approved,” Doucette added.

The Edmonton Downtown Business Association said it is working with the City of Edmonton to get approval to run a downtown market during the summer months along 104 Street.

“We’re excited about that because that market had a lot more traffic than this one ever did,” Doucette said.

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