What is the vision?

A city public square, a hub for local goods, a gathering place where the community, friends and family come together providing a mix of retail, socializing, entertainment and education. 

Purpose Statement From Memorandum of Association:

The purpose of the Association is to provide a public amenity by establishing, administering and maintaining a multi-use public market and community recreational facility in the form of a Community Service Cooperative in Kamloops, British Columbia.

The Association will provide economic development opportunities for local businesses by combining marketing efforts, a distribution network to sell the goods and services of the producer members, and other activities as are necessary and desirable for these purposes. 

The Association will provide benefits to membership for the consumer and community group members by fostering community and creating an inclusive common space.

what is a cooperative?

Defined by the BC Cooperative Association, “Co-operatives take an ethical, sustainable approach to business by considering not only the economic impacts of their activities, but also their social/cultural and environmental impacts. This values-based, triple-bottom-line approach is one that many companies are starting to integrate into their business models, as part of their corporate social responsibility and sustainability efforts. However, these principles have been at the core of all co-operatives since their inception, positioning co-ops at the forefront of today’s new economy.”

Source: BCCA

Cooperatives operate on 7 principles:

  1. Voluntary and Open membership: Co-operatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services.

  2. Democratic Member Control: Co-operatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions on the principle of one member one vote.

  3. Member Economic Participation: Members contribute to and democratically control the capital of their co-operative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the co-operative

  4. Autonomy and Independence: Co-operatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members.

  5. Education, Training and Information: Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives

  6. Co-operation among Co-operatives: Co-operatives serve their members and strengthen the co-operative movement by working in solidarity with other co-ops and national, regional, and international co-operative organizations.

  7. Concern for Community: Co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.

what does my share purchase entitle me to?

The Kamloops Public Market Cooperative is selling shares to generate support for the concept of a Public Market at Riverside Park. By purchasing a Kamloops Public Market Cooperative share, you are saying YES to the concept of this multi-purpose community gathering space and local business incubator. The funds will be used to help the co-operators involved generate interest and ignite a movement for change. If this concept excites you, please purchase a share to support the cause.

Once the building is in place, we will have a better ability to speak to the finite benefits of KPM Co-op membership. However, at this point, the benefit to membership is to become a voice within a collective saying YES to the concept. The more members we have the stronger the case we can make to City Council for this exciting project. Keep in mind that as a member of a cooperative, you can also put forth ideas, attend the AGM to vote and elect the Board or resolutions put forth.

Finally, if the cooperative does not move forward successfully, surplus fund of a non-profit cooperative cannot be re-distributed to members per the Cooperative Act and surplus funds will be donated to a local non-profit to be named by the membership at a future date.

Why build a Public Market?

Public Markets exist to support the local economy in general and the local food economy in particular.  Public Markets focus on locally owned and operated businesses that highlight the best of local food, crafts, music, heritage and culture.  Public Markets are wonderful tourist attractions, powerful economic engines and potent job creators.

How long has the group been working on this?

The idea of a year round public market in Riverside Park is over 30 years old and was part of the Kamloops Waterfront Centre proposal that was not supported in a referendum.  More recently a market proposal for Hotel 540 was pursued but did not unfold.  We began planning another attempt in August 2017 with a focus on a prime location and community ownership

Why should the taxpayers consider building a Public Market when there are other urgent city projects in need of funding?

Once the Public Market is built, it will be a permanent endowment generating an ongoing tax revenue stream the city can then use for other projects. 

What are the benefits of a Public Market?

Beyond great experiences, Public Markets create good jobs, create entrepreneurial opportunities, provide new tax revenue for the city, increase growth and consumption of local agriculture and value added food products, make local food more easily available, keep profits recycling in the local economy, add value to nearby real estate, generate new tourist traffic, increase a sense of community ownership and pride in what it means to live in a city.

What makes you think a Public Market will succeed?

Public Markets succeed because they are fundamentally social places designed to connect people to each other, to their community, downtown street life and to the region's farmers and food artisans and the good healthy locally rooted food they produce.

Why a cooperative enterprise model?

Cooperatives are a way to dovetail the power of business together with our social and environmental goals.  Cooperatives share ownership and this model will allow anyone who wants a direct action opportunity to invest in the Kamloops community.  Direct member control and co-determination policies of cooperatives will sit Public Market members, directors, workers, management, vendors and investors side by side at the table as co-decision makers.

Why Riverside Park?

Riverside Park is located at the confluence of the North and South Thompson Rivers.  Strictly defined, confluence means 'a meeting of rivers' but other usages of the same word include the meeting of ideas, communities and culture from which something important often emerges.  When Kamloopsians think of a gathering space large enough to accommodate its masses, a parking lot whether uptown or downtown is not sufficient on a standalone basis.  The park location is large enough to accommodate a one-day event like Art in the Park boasting up to 30,000 visitors each year; housing this facility within the parking lot will ensure space for large gatherings and provide more parking for them.  Finally, we do not consider this a neighbourhood-specific project, rather, it will aim to be an all-inclusive amenity.

Why not locate the market at Value Village?

The Value Village site is privately held and Public markets should be inclusive as opposed to belonging to one individual.  To be successful, we will need to develop a sense of community ownership; it has to be "our market."  Inadequate parking for both consumers and the Farmer's Market makes this site difficult to consider for this large-scale community project.

Why not locate at the Stuart Wood site?

The Stuart Wood site was gifted by the Province to the City with the restrictive covenant that the land always be used for educational purposes.  The Public Market does not meet that criterion and if the covenant is not honoured the land will revert to the Province.

How will Riverside Park be impacted?

There will be no loss of green space, in fact, the current concept includes rooftop garden which will actually aim to increase park green space. The concept creates a focal point within the park that will compliment daily use, special events and Heritage House.  Finally, this new attraction and amenity intends to strengthen the civic value and tourism appeal of the park

How can I get involved and help with the Public Market startup?

Join the cooperative.  Encourage others to join the cooperative.  Support our membership drive and crowd funding campaign.  Encourage others to support our membership drive and crowd funding campaigns.  Write letters of support.  But most of all, don't stand back and let this opportunity pass Kamloops by.

What’s next?

We are not announcing a project; this is only a process to determine whether the project has the needed community and private sector support to make it happen as it will take two years for a final approval by city to proceed. The Kamloops Public Market Cooperative has now been incorporated as a Non-Profit Community Cooperative and we are currently building a business case including facility costs and funding sources to be prepared by year-end. A cooperative membership drive will take place this fall to support facility and programs operation.