We believe what we do to create powerful stories, and how we honour positive relationships impacts Vancouver Island for the better.
Our mission is to leave people feeling honestly grateful with a real sense of belonging.
About the Market:
Vancouver Island Market was first established in March 2018, as a Spring Market with over 18,000 people in attendance. The first market was held within the corridors of Nanaimo North Town with just 80 vendors. In December of the same year, a three-day Winter Market was held in the old Sears building with over 200 local vendors. The market features included a gift shop area, a beer garden, daily live performances, a fashion show and giveaways. The event attracted many people from up and down Vancouver Island, as well as local news source Nanaimo News Bulletin.
Since then, three more markets have been held in the 65,000+ square feet of floor space, each showcasing the best of Vancouver Island’s local handmade artisans. Additional features have included workshops, vendor demonstrations, lots of samples, a mini escape room, and much more. Each market provides a unique opportunity to shop local for every season, while supporting talented local makers, bakers, and growers from all over Vancouver Island.
In addition to our markets, we have had success in connecting vendors to local consignment stores, local businesses to artisans for local events, and musicians to other markets. This is among other opportunities for small businesses, which we actively seek to promote and provide to many of our vendors.
About the Founder:
The founder, Mei Dunlop, has over 10 years of experience in e-commerce, including on Etsy and eBay. From what started as a small home business, Etchy Things and Accents, Mei found herself attending markets on her own. Mei loved the energy which the creative vendors brought, and always enjoyed being in that environment herself. After moving to Vancouver Island, she was amazed by all the talented makers around her and saw an opportunity to support them more. Thus, she began the Vancouver Island Market. Mei continues to be passionate about supporting local artisans through her market as well as social marketing and strategic planning. She continues to seek out unique vendors for her carefully curated markets.