Archive for the ‘Community Engagement’ Category

Street Vending + DTES Street Market Open House + Community Forum

September 5, 2014 Leave a comment

Street Vending and DTES Street Market forum 2 600



220th DTES Street Market

August 25, 2014 Leave a comment

220th DTES Street Market and 35th Street Market of 2014

Roland Clarke, Coordinator of the DTES Street Market says:

It was the second day of our “juggernaut” master plan to control the vending area and to restrict vending at the market to only vendors with membership tags. We have printed out about 216 memberships so far, so there should be more than enough vendors to fill the market.

The volunteers showed up at 8am today, and the washing crew showed up a little earlier at 7:30.

We had three security guards on duty during the day, so this helped quite a bit.

In the time between 8am and 10am we actually managed to hold the perimeter. Here are a few photos…



This was an amazing achievement for our volunteers.
The only people that we let into the area before 10am were vendors with proper membership cards, or people that could prove that they lived in the DTES.

The result was a much more orderly market, and a lot of vendors that realized that we are serious about the membership system.

This will also make it a lot easier in our move to 58 West Hastings St.

Only properly registered vendors will be allowed to vend in this space, and only in areas designated with tents and tables.

It shows that with the right funding we can run a controlled market… something that the whole of Vancouver can be proud of.

This was also (hopefully) the last Sunday where the park will be cut off by fencing. We were assured that a scaffolding would be going up around the Merchant bank, and that the fence would be taken down, allowing us access again to the water tap in the grassy area.

We also signed up a record number of new vendors this Sunday. We had over 65 people show proof of residency in the DTES and get their picture taken for their membership. We are about to run out of the original batch of vendor tags that we ordered. Time to order more…

Sometimes “Cheese” just means cheese

A final funny story that I have to share happened at the market this Sunday.

Quite often we get people running around the market selling cheese. This causes problems for us for a number of reasons. 1) cheese needs to be refrigerated, so someone could be selling spoiled cheese and cause people to get sick. 2) the cheese is likely stolen, since it is frequently sold way below the cost you would see in the store. Likely cheese is a really easy thing to hide, who knows…

So, during the day, there are probably at least half a dozen radio calls about “Cheese at the Market” or “another guy spotted with Cheese”.

Sometime in the afternoon, a VPD officer walked up to our guard at the North End of Carrall St.
He was quite friendly, and asked the guard “So… what does ‘Cheese’ mean?”.

The guard didn’t know what to say, so he said “Cheese just means Cheese – you know…. people walking around with stolen cheese trying to sell it”.

We had a good laugh about this after the guard told the story. I guess it makes sense that there was a suspicion from the VPD that “Cheese” was a code word for something else like “Bread” meaning money, or “Smack” or any other euphemism for drugs. Considering that a good portion of our radio broadcasts during the day are about the “Cheese at the Market”, it would stand to reason that they would be confused.

So, after that story, just let me confirm the basic rule: “No selling cheese (and any dairy product) at the Market!”.

0 220th DTES Street Market

219th DTES Street Market

August 20, 2014 Leave a comment

219th DTES Street Market and 34rd Street Market of 2014

Roland Clarke, Coordinator of the DTES Street Market says:

This was the first day of an experimental procedure.

We got all of the volunteers to come in early, and enforce a perimeter around the market.

We used the water hoses to clean the park, and then tried to only let in vendors that had valid membership IDs.

It sort of worked.

The clean up crew came at 7:30am
The RPICs, Greeters, Security guards, and tent crew all came early at 8:00am and got a small bonus for the trouble.

The main issue is that vendors were not prepared for the fact that they would have to move out of the area, and resisted. They were also quite surprised when we restricted access to those that had vendor membership tags. This is despite the fact that we had been postering the area consistently for a month.

We will try again next week.

The tragic collapse of the Merchant Bank building put a damper on our operations.
The fence went around the grassy area, thus denying us access to power. This prevents our use of the freezer, and thus dampens our profits somewhat…

On the whole, a fully successful market with lots of activity and happy vendors and customers.


0 219th DTES Street Market on Sun Aug 17 2014

218th DTES Street Market

August 11, 2014 Leave a comment

218th DTES Street Market and 33rd Street Market of 2014

Roland Clarke, Coordinator of the DTES Street Market says:

It was another exhausting hot day.
The heat was hard to take, but again, there were no major incidents at the market.

Another banner day of sales, though, with our freezer in action we were able to sell a lot of freezies and ice creams.

The security guards did a great job. Next week we will try and restrict vending to only vendors with valid membership tags.

0 218th DTES Street Market

214th DTES Street Market in Vancouver

July 14, 2014 Leave a comment

214th DTES Street Market and 29th Street Market of 2014

Roland Clarke, Coordinator of the DTES Street Market says:

In the heat of the day, we sold a large amount of pop, freezies and popsicles, making this an all time record for Street Market revenue!!!

Operations Upgrade Report

The Greenway Mural project progressed a little bit with the addition of a few more tarps. We now have 5 tarps hanging along the edge of Carrall St. in order to keep the shoppers inside the market and make for a clearer greenway.

We signed up another 30 vendors throughout the day. We now have over 80 vendor tags created and about half that many have been distributed to the vendors. They wear them proudly. We hope that this will enable us to keep track of who is not a resident of the DTES, and who should not be selling at our market.

We wanted to have a test run of independent security, but the guy that we hired for the day was stuck in Mission with a broken down car.

We found a local person, Ken, who has a BST certification that needs to be renewed. We used this as an opportunity to test out how a security guard would work and how they would interact with the RPICs.

Freezer cart was a great hit. This contributed to a record day in pop/popsicle sales.
This was a purpose built cart using our Great Beginnings money. Thank you, City of Vancouver!


0 214th DTES Street Market in Vancouver

213th DTES Street Market in Vancouver

July 7, 2014 Leave a comment

213th DTES Street Market and 28th Street Market of 2014

Roland Clarke, Coordinator of the DTES Street Market says:
It was on and off spotty with rain today.

This kept the market calm, but made it a little more unpleasant for the volunteers during the day.

There were a number of great things to talk about that were made possible at the market by the Great Beginnings grant from the City of Vancouver.

First, We made our first vendor ID tags. The system arrived on Friday, and that gave us a couple of hours to play with the system, set up the database, and create a vendor tag template. Here is an example of a vendor ID tag.

After 6-8 weeks or so, we should have a large enough penetration among our regular vendors to start demanding that vendors where tags, and to start kicking out vendors that do not have tags.

We had a vendor meeting, where we introduced a number of the upgrades to a little over 40 vendors – with widespread support. Tanya Fink from the planning department attended the meeting as well.

We introduced the concept of ID badges, the Greenway Mural, and the private security guards. Most vendors were quite supportive of the fact that we will have better security at the market.

After the vendor meeting, we accepted about 30 membership forms, and processed a little more than 20 badges to hand out on Sunday. All the vendors that got their badges were extremely happy and proud. The market is a big source of pride in the Downtown Eastside.

At the market, we started hanging tarps along the east side of Carrall St. in order to simulate the Greenway Mural, before the canvas hangings are ready. This Sunday, we hung 3 tarps. Next week, we will hang 5-6, and so on until the tarps are hanging the entire length of Carrall St.

We also began increasing the number of early morning clean up staff. This way we can have an impact on the early vendors. As the percentage of ID tags increases, we can also start to crack down on vendors that come too early in the morning.



0 213th DTES Street Market in Vancouver

DTES Street Market Vendor Meeting – Sat July 5 2014

July 6, 2014 Leave a comment

0 DTES Street Market Vendor Meeting July 5 2014


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