Saturday Market: Salt Spring Island

When many people think of Salt Spring Island, they think, automatically, of the ferry ride over, the passing islands, the chance of seeing a pod of killer whales, the funky coffee

shops when they get off the ferry at Fulford Harbour.

However, for many people, Salt Spring Island is synonomous with the Saturday market in Ganges. The island is home for a lot of highly talented, accomplished people who have a passion for excellence and come Saturday, they gather to set up their booths, set out their products and, in so doing, create a brilliant palette of local colour.

High quality food is always for sale. Locally made cheeses, local fish, a wide variety of market produce, baked goods for all tastes (including gluten free), chocolate treats, preserves, honey, various vinegars. There are arts, crafts, musical instruments, jewelry and more.

In spite of the cost ($30.00+) of the ferry, people come from far and near. Add in the cost of gas and a hop over from Vancouver Island can be a bit pricey. It doesn’t matter. People love going to the Salt Spring market. Like me, they are fed up with shopping malls. When I drive every year from Victoria to Manitoba and back, I have no desire to go to any shopping mall. Why bother? They all have the same stores, the same products. Sure, if you are a nervous traveller, afraid of anything but what you are used to, malls are great. You can spend all day in an environment that is just like home. In that case, why bother going anywhere?

Local markets, when well run, give a view of the community, provide an opportunity to meet local people, offer products that are unique. They have about them a sense both of authenticity and festival.

I don’t know about you but I’m fed up, more than fed up, with every product I go to buy in a mall coming from China. Canada, our country, great country, talented people, overwhelmed by mass marketing. If it costs a bit more, I don’t care. I want to buy Canadian. I want to buy local. I want to know the people who produce the food I eat and the products I use.

I want to support entrepeneurs such as this young charmer with her home made purses for the big sum of $2.00.

Her mother got her two friends into the next picture. They were there, she said, for moral support.  Where else would you meet three such charming young ladies? Where else would you get to support the work and initiative of young Canadians like this?

Local birdhouses are made with local wood and draw local characters. People watching at a local market is half the fun of being there.

How about buying a steel guitar? Locally made.

If you have a local market, support it. Go there, meet the talented people in your community. Be part of the community. Buy directly from your neighbours who tilled the soil, crafted the wood, threw the clay, made the product. No one except Canadians are working for the welfare of Canada. Everyone else is taking care of their own interests. If we don’t support Canada and Canadians, no one will.