There were many disappointed market goers around town after the Trail and District Chamber of Commerce decided its plate was full with upcoming initiatives and the venture was no longer cost effective.
After recently completing a three-year strategic plan, the chamber has refocused its main goals to more effectively serve the entire community of member businesses, clarifies Executive Director Audry Durham.
“Through the process, we have been trimming down the dozen-plus activities the chamber has been working on for the past few years,” she said. “With this in mind, we are proud to pass the Christmas Craft Market over to the United Way of Trail & District. Our original objective for hosting the markets was to encourage visitation to the downtown business core and encourage local shopping and this will continue to happen.”
The market is a turn-key event and was ready for a non-profit with a volunteer based staff to take over as a fund-raiser,” Durham added.
“We have been working with local groups for the past few months to achieve this. The market simply no longer fit into the chamber’s three strategic goals: to maintain and enhance our role as a leading voice for successful businesses and promoting the local region for doing business; to effectively serve a community of member businesses; and to be self-supporting.”
Another Trail group considered taking on the seasonal affair, but in the end, they could not pull it off.
So when a proposal landed on the United Way table during an October meeting, the board voted to organize the event and re-energize it with a new name and purpose.
Now called the United Way Christmas Market Fundraiser, the venue will remain at 900 Spokane Street. However, this year, there will be one night market as well as two daytime sessions.
“We are doing this as a fundraiser, so approximately 80 per cent of all revenues we bring in will be going to our campaign fund for the year,” says Naomi McKimmie, United Way executive director. “It’s a popular event, that’s the reason we are doing the Friday night one, so people who work on Saturdays will have a chance to come to the market,” she added.
“We were able to get the old Liquidation World again, and we are still working on getting costs brought down so there’s even more money to give back to the community.”
Vendors are already signing up and the floor space is being layed out for better traffic flow, McKimmie said.
“We were lucky enough to have copies of past maps, the chamber had no problem with that,” she explained. “We are ensuring that no two vendors selling similar items will be right next to each other anymore.”
The first fundraiser launches on Friday, Dec. 9 from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. A Saturday market follows on Dec. 10 from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and again on Saturday, Dec. 17 from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Proceeds from vendor fees with go into the 2016 United Way of Trail and District Campaign Fund for reinvestment in the communities of Rossland, Warfield, Trail, Montrose, Fruitvale, and the regional district’s Area A and Area B.
For more information, contact McKimmie at 250.364.0999, by email at email@example.com or visit the organization’s website at uwtraildistrict.org.