Surrey market opens as Vancouver event folds
Vancouver's Chinatown night market is closing down, but Surrey's event offers a more multicultural experience. (SUBMITTED)
As one night market rolls up its awnings for good, another looks to fill the gap in Metro Vancouver.
This weekend Surrey’s new night market will open on the grounds of the Cloverdale fairgrounds with a different twist from other night markets in the region by billing itself as a multicultural market.
While night markets have usually had an Asian flavour, Surrey market director Satbir Cheema said the project is making far-reaching efforts to gain vendors from across Metro Vancouver’s broad spectrum of ethnic communities.
Nepalese, Italian, South Asian, Fijian and First Nations among other groups will all be represented at the market.
“Since they’re doing it in Surrey, it must reflect the demographic, so we want everybody included in here,” Cheema said. “There’s a whole sampling of different backgrounds.”
Such markets feature vendors selling a vast array of food as well as clothing accompanied with music, dancing and games for children.
The Surrey effort comes on the heels of the Chinatown night market announcing it will no longer be held after 17 years of existence in Vancouver.
Organizers of that market said not enough rent was being collected to keep the market open, as the number of vendors had dwindled from 200 in the 1990s to just 90 last year.
Otherwise, there are night markets in Richmond, but Cheema said the draw of the Surrey market will be that locals will not have to cross bridges or drive so far to visit such an event.
He said it’s hard to guess what the market will be like in five years, but perked up at the suggestion it could grow from 65 vendors this year to hundreds.
“Well, we can’t say for sure but that’s the hope,” he said with a chuckle.
The market kicks off July 5 and runs until Aug. 30.