November 29th, 2021

New indoor marketplace aims to be open year-round

By Al Beeber on October 21, 2021.


The city’s farmers markets may be closed for the year but southern Albertans have a new year-round alternative that opened Friday in Lethbridge.
YQL Marketplace is an indoor market at 1249 3 Avenue South that will run three days a week 12 months a year.
Hours are 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Fridays, 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturdays and noon until 6 p.m. on Sundays.
The market was the brainchild of Tiara Forsyth and Helen Manzara.
“Helen and I have been market vendors at the Exhibition for over 10 years each and we just know it was time to have its own year-round indoor marketplace,” said Forsyth Friday.
“We have lots of occasional markets in town but Calgary has two or three, Edmonton has a few, Red Deer just got theirs last years, Grande Prairie has one. And Lethbridge, we have one of the biggest populations in the province. So it was time,” said Forsyth.
“We found a building and everything just kind of fell into our laps as we needed it,” she said.
The opening weekend had about 15 vendors at the venue and “we’re just constantly going to grow as Lethbridge becomes more aware of the idea,” Forsyth added.
The idea was conceived in March and the two started doing online surveys asking vendors and the public for their input about a market.
“We did that research and when we felt like we had enough, we started looking for a space that would work. We needed a nice big space, something with ample parking, something that’s got good exposure, zoning,” she said.
Being open Sunday is new for Lethbridge “but Lethbridge wants it,” said Forsyth.
They have a young entrepreneurs program for vendors under 18 years old who will get a discount rate. But they have to “work their own booths, not having their parents handle it,” she said.

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