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Sidney cancels contract with market organizers

Jul 07 2012

It's business as usual for Sidney's summer market, but the town council has opened the door for new market organizers next year.

Council has voted to terminate its agreement with the Sidney Business Association to run the weekly event, which happens Thursdays from June through August, and has served the required six months notice.

A request for proposals to operate the market beginning in 2013 is expected to be issued next month.

The latest decision on the market's future follows backand-forth dealings with the business association that included a vote to terminate the agreement back in April.

At the time of the controversial move, council cited questions about the association's "organizational and functional capacity" to run the market.

Several business owners had expressed concerns about how the association dealt with issues such as market activity limiting access to their stores.

But the council decision was reversed in May, and the association, which has been operating the market since it started in 2000, was granted a licence to run the market this summer.

Sidney Mayor Larry Cross said in a statement that council's most recent step was taken after "careful consideration."

"A key objective of Sidney council is to maintain the Sidney Summer Market and ensure its long-term success and sustainability," he said.

"With this in mind, the town wants to work with the entire business community in unifying the energies in our downtown into a single, strong voice, and the market is critical in achieving that objective."

The Sidney Business Association, along with the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, the Sidney Merchants Collaborative and the Sidney Business Development Group will be invited to give input.

jwbell@timescolonist.com

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