The Rossland Mountain Market came very close to closing early for the summer.
The market, which is volunteer run, has had a call for volunteers out for the past several weeks, but didn’t receive any responses until Tuesday afternoon. Up to that point, it looked like this Thursday might be the last day of the market.
Luckily two volunteers have stepped up. Bethany O’Rourke and Carly Lawrence will help run the market for the rest of the summer, which is good news for the market’s director Miche Warwick.
Warwick is also an unpaid volunteer, and has been doing the bulk of the work organizing the market. The job includes not only putting in eight hours to run the market every Thursday, but also handling the behind the scenes work of booking vendors, responding to emails and phone calls, and managing social media.
She says that ideally the market would have five volunteers on staff: one to handle the behind the scenes work, and four to run one market a month each.
Volunteers do receive a small honorarium, but Warwick says the market doesn’t make enough to pay a salary for the market director.
“The revenue from the market is just not there to pay somebody to manage this famers’ market, which is really unfortunate because it should be a paid position” says Warwick. “There’s a lot of work, and planning, and organization, and dedicated time that goes into making this event happen on a weekly basis.”
Warwick herself plans to step away at some point, but right now she doesn’t think it’s reasonable to ask someone else to take on her job. She’s hoping they can establish a full team of volunteers before she steps away.