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This article was published 6/10/2015 (685 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The St. Norbert Farmers’ Market is already regarded as a jewel in the community and now it’s also a star.
The market received the province’s new Star Celebration designation on Sept. 30. The designation recognizes the market as a place for visitors to engage in local culture and heritage.
"This is truly a great initiative because it recognizes the importance of different cultural activities and events that take place in our province, those events, as I said before didn’t quite meet the criteria of Star Attraction, so we came up with Star Celebration," Minister of Tourism, Culture, Heritage, Sport and Consumer Protection Ron Lemieux explained.
"We have a lot of tourists who come to the market already and we realize that it’s such a great way for people who come to our province to see what grassroots Manitobans are doing.”
"My background was sports, and any time you receive a star it’s truly special. Whether you’re first star, second star or third star, I always appreciated getting a star," Lemieux joked.
The Star Celebration designation was also given to Festival du Voyageur, Manito Ahbee Festival and the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba. The Arborg and District Multicultural Heritage Village also received the Manitoba Star Attractions designation.
Star Celebrations is an extension of the Star Attraction program and the designation offers opportunities for enhanced marketing and promotion, as well as mentions in provincial tourism literature.
Festivals and events hoping to receive the Star Celebration designation must apply to the province. According to St. Norbert Farmers’ Market executive director Marilyn Firth, applying for the designation was important for a number of reasons.
"It’s really a combination of things," she explained. "We have a lot of tourists who come to the market already and we realize that it’s such a great way for people who come to our province to see what grassroots Manitobans are doing."
"Even though we’re the biggest market in Manitoba, it gives us another avenue to advertise our farmers’ market and invite people to come out," added market president Sandy Fox.
The market attracts about 150,000 visitors during the season and even brings in people from across the globe according to vendors keeping track of where their customers come from.
"We have people from all over the world coming here," Firth said. "That was really exciting to see because you think it’s the local people coming, but then you find out you have people from New Zealand, Australia, and Greece."
In addition to the Star Celebration designation, the St. Norbert Farmers’ Market is celebrating another successful season and the opening of new permanent washroom facilities, part of the market’s continued redevelopment.
"Our new washrooms will be opening hopefully by thanksgiving," Firth said. "That’s our optimistic opening day. So we’re very excited to see permanent washrooms so people don’t have to use port-a-potties anymore."
Fundraising for a new canopy structure in the market is continuing and new trees, including orchard trees in the community garden, have been planted this fall.
The St. Norbert Farmers’ Market’s last day is Oct. 31.