Vancouver Farmers Markets (otherwise known as Your Local Farmers Market Society) is about people who love fresh food at festive gatherings. With the initial goal in 1995 to create the fun and value of weekly Farmers Markets in urban settings, the Society and the Markets have become Vancouver plazas of fun, discovery, and connecting.
The good feeling of the Markets gets even deeper. We produce our weekly Markets to create healthy food networks that sustain our land, our community, and our homes.
When you shop at Vancouver Farmers Markets, you help keep BC farmers farming.
Through the Markets and our special events, the Society spreads awareness of agricultural issues facing our largely urban society. These issues range from the truths about genetically modified foods, to fair pricing for agricultural products, to the glory of a variety of foods available with a locally-networked food system. If you have questions about how and what kinds of food arrive at your table, a visit to the Markets, and a tour of this website, will bring you some fresh answers.
Vancouver Farmers Markets History - 1994 - 1999
To learn more about job opportunities with Vancouver Farmers Markets, visit our Employment page.
2013 - 14 YLFMS Board of Directors
YLFMS Constitution and By-Laws
YLFMS Constitution and By-laws
2012 Your Local Farmers Market Annual Report (includes financial statements)
2012 - 2014 Strategic Plan
To contact the Board, email 2013board (at) eatlocal (dot) org
Amy Robertson - Chair - After 6 years of service and a year off, I have returned to the board of the Vancouver Farmer's Markets. I’m also on the board of Glen Valley Organic Farm Co-op where my husband and I raised our three children in the early 1990’s. While farming there, I was chair of BCARA and founding member of the Mission farmers market and Langley Organic Growers.I am an avid cyclist, swimmer, basket weaver and gardener, as well as a certified doula and foster parent.
I have been an advocate of the local food movement at both the community level and in my home. The source and quality of the foods we choose is crucial when it comes to our health and a strong local economy. The more I participate in community events related to local eating and sustainable farming, the more I can promote the difference between intellectualizing local eating and actually using one’s hand to cook with local, sustainably grown foods. Without cooking, we can’t complete our passion and appreciation for food. The markets are a great place to start!
Kevin Klippenstein, Vice-Chair - Kevin grew up in Chilliwack and was in the food and beverage industry managing restaurants and bars and worked as a consultant- opening a new restaurant in Red Deer, Alberta. In 2001 Kevin, along with his wife Annamarie bought a farm in Cawston- Klippers Organics and have been selling everything they grow at farmers markets throughout Vancouver and to some restaurants and co-ops. Since starting with 5 acres in 2001 they have expanded the farm to 40 acres, created a website: www.klippersorganics.com and moved into social media with a facebook page: www.facebook.com/klippersorganics and able to follow the farm on twitter. Kevin has strived to be the best and was the first organic farm to be awarded the environmental farm plan, first organic farm to be certified salmon safe, and was awarded the BC/Yukon Outstanding Young Farmer of the year award for 2011. Kevin has a passion for agriculture and feels that through direct contact with the consumer farming can be sustainable. Farmers markets is the one venue that can make that possible.
Marta Becker, Treasurer
bio coming soon
Marcia Thomson, Secretary - My interest in local agriculture and sustainable food systems was shaped by my undergraduate study of economics, and the birth of my first child. Economics was taught as an “objective and rational science”, but I found myself questioning many of its underlying assumptions and values. What about human rights, social justice, and environmental degradation? Pregnant with my first child, I became keenly aware that every mouthful I ate was building my child’s growing body. This awareness, combined with my critique of economics, led me to seek out a diet of locally grown food produced and sold with respect for the environment and the farmer. I’ve been on that path since my first son was born sixteen years ago.
In 2004, I earned a Master’s Degree from the University of British Columbia in sustainable agriculture studies, and taught courses in critical thinking about food systems at UBC between 2004 and 2008. In 2008 I joined UBC’s fundraising office focusing my work on UBC Farm and the Botanical Garden. Through this work, I expanded and deepened my connections to many individuals, foundations and companies committed to creating a vibrant local food system.
As a board member, I am particularly interested to support YLFMS to achieve the goal of becoming “a leader in creating a resilient local food system.” Stabilizing existing markets, developing new markets, expanding business development opportunities for vendors, and increasing vendor participation are among my top priorities.
I am thrilled to serve on the YLFMS board. It’s a great pleasure to give back to an organization that has made such a tremendous contribution to community life in Vancouver, food security in the region, and the viability of local agriculture and small-scale food processing.
Andrew Arkestyn-Vogler - Co-owner Operator of Crisp Organics Andrew Arkesteyn-Vogler is committed to furthering local foods. His main goal, increasing the availability of locally sourced foods for the public would be a major focus of his term.
Meeru Dhalwala - Meeru Dhalwala was born in India and moved to Washington, DC at a very young age with her parents. In DC, she worked with various international non-profit organizations on human rights and economic development projects. She received her Master’s degree in Development Studies from Bath University in England. Meeru moved to Vancouver in February 1995 and joined her husband, Vikram, to work at his then newly opened restaurant, Vij’s. She quickly took over the menu and has been creating new recipes since summer 1995.
Meeru’s particular interest and focus at Vij’s/Rangoli is to forge business relationships with other local businesses, and farmers in particular. She is committed to improving her business environmental footprint, most notably through their choices in produce, seafood and meats. In 2009, Meeru signed up Vij’s to join local CSA (community supported agriculture) farms and has started long-term business relationships with various BC farmers.
Meeru is very passionate about sharing her cooking skills and ideas with other parents who have the same goal as hers: to feed their families a combination of easy, delicious and healthy. In particular, Meeru is keen to share money saving and healthy ideas with those who have limited budgets and wish to avoid cheap, junk filled foods.
Richard Lewin - I have been self-employed for 40 years. My business interests have included printing, art galleries, restaurants, farming and food service.
My current business, Golda's Finest Foods, grew out of my interest in vegetarian cuisine and nutrition. My products are value-added, using B.C. farm produce. Golda's Finest Foods has been a vendor at VFM markets since 2000.
I am a member of the B.C. Small Food Processors Association and I have served two years on the board of the B.C. Association of Farmers' Markets. I am interested in the expansion of the Vancouver Farmers' Markets and in encouraging B.C. sustainability.
Lenore Newman - Lenore Newman's love affair with food began on her family's fishing boats, where she gained an early introduction into the world of direct marketing of local products. She holds a Canada Research Chair in Food Security and Environment at the University of the Fraser Valley, where she is a professor in the Geography department. She runs a research program focused on Canadian regional cuisines, local food sovereignty, culturally preferred foods, and urban food systems. She has written extensively on the resurgence of farmers' markets in Canada, and is a strong advocate for fresh, local food. Lenore lives a short walk from the Trout Lake farmers' market, and her and her partner Katherine can be found there foraging even on the days Lenore isn't volunteering. Lenore is an associate member of Sustainable Solutions Group, a past president of the Environmental Studies Association of Canada, and sits on the board of several academic journals dealing with food and food studies. She writes both academic and popular works about food, and was happy to return to the west coast to pursue her love of hiking and cooking.
Eric Patel - Eric has extensive experience in strategy, finance and operations with companies ranging from Fortune 100 conglomerates to start-ups in the US, Europe and Canada. He serves on the Board of Directors for Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers and Daiya Foods, and on the Advisory Board of ACL Services. Eric earned a Masters of Business Administration in Finance from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business and obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Policymaking from Brown University. Prior to his current roles, Eric was CFO and helped lead the turnaround of Crystal Decisions (now Business Objects/SAP), one of the world's premier business intelligence software companies.
Eric is passionate about the potential to create a world-class sustainable salmon aquaculture
industry in B.C. and serves on the Solutions Advisory Committee of B.C.'s Save Our Salmon.
Carla S. Shore - Carla is Principal of C-Shore Communications Inc., a full-service public relations consultancy. As a public relations strategist and writer, she helps organizations manage communications issues that range from sensitive, high profile topics to publicity-driven events. Fluent in English and French, Carla's experience includes communications planning, media relations, media training, social media, facilitation, and speechwriting. Among her professional achievements, Carla was the Director of Communications for the Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of the Sockeye Salmon on the Fraser River, drafted the Agriculture Plan for BC, was media liaison to the Select Standing Committee on Health's investigation into childhood obesity, and is lead of the food security working group of the Vancouver Board of Trade's Sustainability Committee. She was a member of the Vancouver Food Policy Council for four years, but does not have a green thumb. Still, her tiny garden manages to grow food anyhow.
Carla is excited at the opportunity to join the board of Your Local Farmers Market Society and bring her communications skills to the table. The organization is facing many communications challenges, both in terms of strategic, pro-active communications and in issues management, and Carla is the right person to help ensure a strategic communications approach guides the organization's activities.
Steven Snyder - Originally from Windsor Ontario, Steve moved to Toronto to complete a Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Toronto. Living in Vancouver since the mid-nineties, Steve worked for a firm which specialized in ‘high end’ post and beam homes built in challenging environments. In 2003, Steve founded Shelter Design, a residential design firm. Currently , Steve has partnered with another firm to participate in the design of a Co-housing community. “Not only I am a member of the design team, my family and I are members of this community which embraces co-operation, sustainability and responsible stewardship of our shared land.”
Having worked in upscale restaurants in Toronto, Steve developed a love of ‘good food’. In 2002, Steve took a hiatus from architecture and founded Ramble Jamble, sourcing and making organic and wildcrafted preserves, and selling them at Farmers’ Markets’ all across the Lower Mainland and Whistler. This experience led to lasting relationships with the farmers who supplied and supported his products. “I am grateful for what I received being part of the market community, and at this time I am grateful to serve as a director.