Market season

What an infusion of energy the Saturday markets bring to the community. This season marks the 25th anniversary of the Penticton Farmers Market. The farmers market has always been downtown, first starting in Gyro Park and now in the 100 block of Main Street. There actually are two markets (Farmers and Community), but people only see it as one large cultural experience. I think there is a renewed interest in understanding where and how the food we eat is produced. You can't ask at the grocery store why the tomatoes are so juicy or peppers so sweet. Most of the farms are organic and local, so we are helping our regional economy and getting wholesome goodness.

The market is an economic driver, but more importantly it is a social hub and ritualistic destination. There are many crafters, artisans, snacks and now wines…making it a very diverse and robust sophisticated market. We bring our pets to get socialized, kids to keep occupied, and our wallets to spend money. We bring our guests to gather food the evening barbecue, enjoy the entertainment, and connect/reconnect with friends. It is truly a magical time for our community and something we showcase with pride as we have one of the largest and, in my opinion, best outdoor markets in B.C.

Speaking of talent at the market, many get their experience playing in front of a crowd at the market. I remember young Mason Burns with his guitar refining his classic rock covers…he now has a band Cosmic Brew playing all over the place. Whenever the drum circle is at the market the atmosphere truly becomes magical and electric. I had a chance to catch the finals of the BC Fresh Talent Quest playing at Orchard House (which is a phenomenal venue for live entertainment). The talent quest was 3 age categories all under 18 years of age. We have some amazing talent in the Okanagan Valley and, in particular, Penticton. Sports often get the glory and media coverage, but we do have a vibrant and active arts scene. I challenge you to engage the arts - Arts Matter!

I also attended the Sprott Shaw college graduation ceremonies last week and was happy to speak and celebrate their milestone. The graduates where of all ages; trying to better themselves, their families and get a jump start on a new career. I was impressed with the guest speaker, Councillor Tarik Sayeed, as he gave an inspiring speech. He talked about the “C” words: complain, criticize, and compare. It goes without saying we shouldn't dwell on always complaining and criticizing, which goes beyond our local political arena, is the glass half full or half empty? I was touched by the "compare" analogy because it is easy to compare ourselves against the person who has the fancier car, house, clothes or connections. There will always be someone that has more than you, just as there will always be someone who has less than you. The only comparison we should concern ourselves with is "How did I improve or work towards my goal(s) today versus yesterday?"