From left, Helen Green and Franziska Ulbricht serve dishes from the Real Food Cafe on Jan. 13 at the Hay River Winter Market. The Market will be on the road on Jan. 20 at the Chief Lamalice Complex.
— Angele Cano/NNSL photo

With the stability that Hay River Winter Market has found at Ecole Boreale this season, organizers are still revisiting an original idea of taking the show on the road.

That’s why on Jan. 20 the cafe, crafts and food market will be setting up shop at the Chief Lamalice Complex on the Hay River Reserve. When it began, the Hay River Commons Co-operative Limited, which is made up of local vendors, thought it might move from location to location, allowing for exposure to different neighbourhoods and people.

This is a good time to do it because the ice road crossing is up and it’s more accessible to other parts of town,” said co-op member Franziska Ulbricht. “If we pull together with knowledge and creativity, we can have a stronger sense of what opportunities we really have in the community.”

The idea of this type of market is not a new one for K’atlodeeche First Nation, said acting CEO Jennifer Norwegian.

She likes the idea of the different format and a platform to share ideas.

We have many talented craftspeople in the community and, if they saw the layout, they might get some ideas from it,” she said.

Sharing ideas will hopefully spread the market’s philosophy further, to different neighbourhoods and areas in town, said Ulbricht.

Those who founded the market want to spread the message of community sustainability, starting with creating a small local economy.

For that reason, the reserve is an appropriate place to have an away market, said Ulbricht. “There’s a lot to learn from aboriginal people on sustainable communities. Traditionally, they are the professionals in living within your resources, honouring them, and understand the importance of sustainability. The market is a platform for people to get together and talk about these things, and to encourage people to produce and use what resources they have.”

The space at the complex is much larger than the home base at Ecole Boreale, and so the co-op is encouraging more vendors and organizations to sign up for spots.

There will be door prizes and an open mic.

Although this is a one-time event for the season, the co-op is exploring taking part in the K’amba Carnival. 

The special market will be held at the complex on Jan. 20 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.