Guelph Farmers’ Market could soon be under the oversight of 10 Carden Shared Space, better known as 10C, and open for more than five hours each Saturday.
Meeting as the committee of the whole on Monday, council granted deputy CAO Jayne Holmes authority to sign an agreement with 10C that would see the organization assume management of the building at 2 Gordon St. and continue operation of the Saturday market there, as well as offer additional programming at other times.
“This was totally worth the wait for this,” commented Coun. Mike Salisbury, who moved the motion. “I can’t tell you how excited I am to see that space being animated.”
In 2018, City staff initiated a consultative process to review the vision, mission, policies, and procedures of the Farmers’ Market. A call for ideas was issued this past April and council instructed staff to begin negotiations with 10C in July, following its response to that call.
Before an agreement can be formalized, the committee’s unanimous endorsement must receive formal council approval, which is expected during its Nov. 22 meeting.
The committee-approved motion makes it clear 10C would be responsible for all of the building’s maintenance, repair and administration, while collecting all fees, rents and other “recoveries” from the building’s use.
In turn, the city will receive a percentage of revenue generated.
As an example of that, John Regan, the city’s general manager of economic development and tourism, explained that for $350,000 in gross revenue, the city would receive rent of $37,500.
In 2020, the market saw a deficit of about $170,000, Regan noted, with a projected $130,000 deficit for 2021.
Mayor Cam Guthrie said it’s an example of taking an under-performing asset and making it a performing one.
“This is really exciting,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie. “I can’t wait to see how this will roll out.”
In addition, the committee agreed to provide $500,000 over six years (2022 to 2027) to recognize revenue lost due to the pandemic and assist with the cost of developing and implementing new programing, as well as activities marking the market’s 200th anniversary in 2027.