The East Kelowna community hall has been around for more than 80 years, which makes it a key part of the area’s essence.
It’s also the main reason why Kathy Sawchuk became a driving force behind the East Kelowna Community Market, which started in September 2017 and now runs every Sunday between May and November. She lives and works in the area, and she wanted the heart of the community to beat even stronger.
“It’s bringing back the grassroots in regards to community,” Sawchuk said. “We have the church, we have the different pubs, we have some of the golf courses … so we want to really bring back the East Kelowna hall as a community forum.”
Proceeds from the community market, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sundays, go towards keeping the building, which opened in 1940, in tip-top shape.
In order to attract a crowd, Sawchuk went out of her way to entice some of the Okanagan Valley’s top vendors to sell their wares at the market, which has both indoor and outdoor areas. She has a rotating roster of more than 200 vendors, and that ensures variety each and every week.
“They are very unique and have great quality,” Sawchuk said. “We don’t have all jewelry. We have wood crafts. We have health. We have dressings. We have produce. We have wine tastings here.
“So there’s a bit of variety here for everybody. That way it keeps the market fresh and exciting.”
Food trucks and beverage vendors are always on hand, and there is usually a musical performer on stage for some ambience as patrons stroll up and down the aisles. Sawchuk and her team also invite community groups four times a year in an effort to get them more exposure for their fundraisers.
“We’re growing and flourishing,” Sawchuk said.
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