Sidney Street Market organizer Laurie McDermid of West Coast Impressions wore her familiar outfit and hat to welcome residents to the first Sidney Street Market of 2021, held on a temporary basis in the parking lot of the Mary Winspear Centre. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Sidney Street Market organizer Laurie McDermid of West Coast Impressions wore her familiar outfit and hat to welcome residents to the first Sidney Street Market of 2021, held on a temporary basis in the parking lot of the Mary Winspear Centre. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Sidney Street Market parks in temporary location for 2021

Market open Sundays at Mary Winspear parking through Oct. 10

Lines of people snaking along food trucks, children dueling with stringy balloons twisted into swords, and complementing guitar chords created an aura (and aroma) of the familiar as the parking lot of the Mary Winspear Centre hosted the inaugural Sidney Street Market of 2021 scheduled to run every Sunday until and including Oct. 10.

Whitney Stubbs, her husband Scott, and their children, Bellamy and Carmen, were among those who came out to enjoy the various offerings of the market, with Scott holding a white bag of still-hot mini-donuts while pushing Carmen in her stroller.

“It’s sort of a return to normalcy. It’s different, but it’s great for what we are able to do these days,” said Whitney.

Laurie McDermid, market organizer with West Coast Impressions, said she heard that comment from many who walked through the gates, which opened at 11 a.m and closed at 3 p.m. “They are happy just to feel that there is activity, that there is something to do.”

Last year, COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the market, which has historically drawn thousands to a closed-off section of Beacon Avenue on Thursday nights during summer months. The cancellation hurt the local economy and Sidney’s sense of community.

RELATED: Sidney Street Market plans for 2021 return at Mary Winspear Centre

“It is going to be so nice in a little while, as people catch on,” said Mike Dada, a Sidney resident and self-described comedy balloon artist.

“I think people really need a chance to be around people. We can do it safely. We are outdoors. We are masked. There is plenty of room for everybody. But it is a human condition that we need to be around people.”

This returning sense of normality also has an upside for Dada, who says he has been off work for the last seven months. He now looks to make up for lost lost time by being at the market every Sunday. “I’m excited to go out and make some smiles happening.”

The market features familiar protocols designed to fight COVID-19. They include a separate entry and exit, requirements to wear masks and use hand sanitizers, and other measures such as managed traffic flow. “It’s all done appropriately,” said McDermid. “It’s a huge area. It’s outdoors. Everybody is very comfortable.”

Linda and Roger Young were among the crowd. “It’s lovely,” said Linda. “They have done a really great job.” Roger agreed. “It’s nice to be out, great to see the vendors and (we) hope to support them.”

That thinking also influenced the Stubbs to attend the market. “I’m just glad that the market is happening this year, because it was really sad that it didn’t happen last year.”

Organizers expect ot have the market back on Beacon Avenue in 2022.

“(The 2021 market) will be a year of difference, like everything else,” said McDermid. “This is a modified version for this year and we’ll see how it goes from there.”

Do you have a story tip? Email:

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.


Just Posted

Two volunteers work to sieve a sample of sand and ocean water through a filter, capturing any potential microplastics. (Courtesy of Ocean Diagnostics)
Victoria startup making waves in microplastics research

New products from Ocean Diagnostics will make research faster, more affordable

Willows Beach in Oak Bay. (Black Press Media file photo)
Seven days of sun set to shine on Greater Victoria

Special weather statement warns of higher than usual temperatures

Chef Trevor Randle leads a June 21 online cooking featuring recipes – beef zesty lettuce wraps, blueberry strudel and blueberry spritzer. (Courtesy We Heart Local BC)
Free online cooking course explores B.C. blueberries and beef

Chef Trevor Randle calls them the province’s most flavourful foods

Google Maps shows significant traffic backups after a crash reported shortly before noon on Father’s Day, June 20. (Google Maps)
Father’s Day crash in Saanich closes lane of McKenzie Avenue

Police say there were injuries, traffic impacted

Victoria Regional Transit System routes 7 UVic/Downtown, 21 Interurban/Downtown and 53 Colwood/Langford will undergo changes as of June 28. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria school routes scaled down for summer by BC Transit

Service changes take effect June 28, enhanced service returns this fall and winter

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Most Read