the big picture
vision, mission and governance
Established in 2018 as a non-profit society to bring uniquely vibrant Alberta Approved Farmers Markets to Calgary’s urban communities, the Calgary Earth Market Society (CEMS) operates two weekly farmers markets from May - October, the Beltline Farmers & Makers Market on Wednesdays at the historic Central Memorial Park in Calgary's Greater Downtown Beltline, and the Sunalta Farmers & Makers Market at Sunalta Community Association in Calgary's inner-city west end on Saturdays. We hope to have at least one year-round location in 2024-25 and onward.
The Farmers & Makers Markets After 5 years of years of "feeding communities and culture in Marda Loop, we are moving our Saturday market to the Sunalta Community Association. We're also opening a second weekly farmers market location in Calgary's Beltline at Central Memorial Park in May 2023.
Every year, our markets support more than 90 local small and sustainable farmers and growers, home-kitchen and small food producers, and talented craft artisans, over 50 local artists and creatives, and a growing number of non-profit community service organizations each year, who join us in having a lot of fun while being meaningful contributors to a more accessible and resilient local food system, a supportive circular economy, and to more connected, engaged and creative communities.
Our vision: "Feeding Communities and Culture"
We believe that food, craft and creativity are connectors: intrinsic, tangible parts of our culture, and that communities connect and grow through experiencing and celebrating their local food, craft, art, and cultures together. We establish and operate Alberta Approved Farmers Markets as places for people where everyone can connect and be part of building more sustainable, vibrant and connected communities together.
our MISSION: HOW WE GET THERE
The Calgary Earth Market Society and the Farmers & Makers Market centers community in all of our activities. We create community gathering places where people connect through local food and cultural experiences: Hubs for eaters, enjoyers, artists, creators, farmers and makers, that build strong and enduring relationships between neighbours, between entrepreneurs and consumers, artists and audiences, and between rural and urban folks. In creating markets that are participatory, inclusive, accessible and welcoming gathering places for all Calgarians, we strive to put everyone in our community first.
The Future is Here
Farmers Markets support sustainable local economies in the face of global challenges: they offer local shoppers a reliable place in their community to access the freshest and most nutrient-dense locally grown, raised and handmade foods and goods - directly from the local people who make, bake or grow the goods at the market. Farmers Markets provide low-barrier grassroots opportunities to new and small local farmers, growers, home based food artisans, small commercial food-makers, handcrafters and innovators to reach their communities, and all with the benefit of low environmental footprint and growing a local, circular economy that keeps money in our local communities.
We believe that great farmers markets include something for everyone, and that includes a variety of engaging and accessible at-market programs and programming - which, like the market itself, are free to attend and enjoy. By building relationships with other local food, arts & community service organizations, we are able forge partnerships that amplify our collective impact for the benefit of all people in our communities.
The Original Placemakers
Farmers Markets have been community placemaking events for thousands of years. Today's Farmers Markets have the ability to address contemporary societal and civic needs beyond food-based needs, with positive immediate and long-term benefits for minimal financial inputs. Well-operated Farmers Markets like the F&MM, located in the right public places, with creative and accessible at-market programs, local support and community engagement can:
Activate, regulate and positively impact the use of a public space
Attract existing and new people to an area, improving vibrancy and appeal
Provide low-barrier income opportunities for local farmers, food-producers, and artisan makers, and employment opportunities for local Artists and community members
Contribute positively to agricultural and economic sustainability, and a circular economy
Be a solution to a food desert
Provide opportunity for connection, entertainment, and enjoyment in a community
Be a desirable community gathering place that is free, welcoming and accessible to all to participate in
By demonstrating a clear commitment to these values the Calgary Earth Market Society endeavours to be a leader in local farmers markets, to seek growth opportunities in other neighbourhoods and to embed the same vibrant market atmosphere in pursuit of contributing to communities throughout the city.
The Farmers & Makers Market is an Alberta Approved Farmers Market is certified and administered by the regulations of the Alberta Agriculture and Forestry Farmers Market Program, and adhering to the provincial and federal legislation for Farmers Markets outlined in Part 3 of the Alberta Public Health Act Food Regulation, the Supporting Alberta’s Local Food Sector Act, the Safe Food For Canadians Regulation, the AGLC, and others.
Alberta Approved Farmers Markets are the only markets:
required to ensure at least 80% of everything vended at the market is made, baked or grown here in Alberta, and being vended by the makers, bakers or growers themselves.
required to operate as a not-for-profit and with a minimum number of market days each season to foster equitable market access for local farmers, makers and bakers, and local food access for shoppers
legally allowed to vend both home-prepared low and high-risk foods, as all vendors fall under the Market food permit, and the Market Manager's inspection.
not allowed to sell used or flea market goods (unless upcycled into "new" items)
required to have a certified Farmers Market Manager
required to report to and be monitored by the Alberta Government's Approved Farmers Market Program, and Alberta Health Services
More information on the Alberta Approved Farmers Market Program can be found at www.sunnygirl.ca
The Calgary Earth Market Society (CEMS)
The Farmers & Makers Markets are operated by the Calgary Earth Market Society (CEMS), a small not-for-profit established in 2018 for the express purpose of creating and supporting uniquely vibrant Alberta Approved Farmers Markets in Calgary.
CEMS is operated by a volunteer Board of Directors currently comprised of community supporters and market vendors. The Market is managed by a Market Manager, with the support of the CEMS Board of Directors.
The objects of the Calgary Earth Market Society are:
Provide viable and vibrant marketplaces which help create a sense of community in the urban neighbourhoods where markets are held.
Contribute to the economic viability of rural and urban small farms and local cottage industries by providing ready markets and creating long term opportunities for them to retail their products at a fair return.
Provide consumers with a choice of quality, locally made, baked and grown goods in settings that allow them to interact directly with the individual producers and to thereby foster stronger connections between urban and rural dwellers.
Help preserve rural communities and farmland by fostering sustainable small-scale agriculture.
Serve as a practical and accessible medium for public education and mobilization around nutrition, agriculture, sustainability and food policy issues.