Organizational Discussion – behaviour and food
187th DTES Street Market and FIRST Street Market of 2014
Roland Clarke, Coordinator of the DTES Street Market says:
There is no other festival in the Downtown Eastside that can boast almost 200 event-days. This little street market is not only the heart of the Downtown Eastside, but possibly the largest historical event of the Downtown Eastside for all time.
Our 200th market day at Pigeon Park on Sunday will take place on April 6th – This will be a day of celebration for the Downtown Eastside. We plan to invite City Councillors, dignitaries, and anyone that wants to join in this incredible celebration of micro-entrepreneurial spirit with the people of the DTES.
The day was sunny and brisk. Despite the cold, it was a packed market, almost at capacity with 190 vendors at noon.
Again, lots of stores were open around the edge of the park, showing the great relationship we have with the neighbouring businesses.
Our new plastic tables were all used. By adding 10 new plastic 5 foot tables, and storing our old wooden ones, we added 5 tables to the rotation. We now have 13 x 5 foot plastic tables total, 4 x 6 foot plastic tables, and 24 x 4 foot plastic tables – for 41 tables now in circulation. I’ll check the total tent and table rental to see if our revenue increased at all.
Everything went reasonably smoothly, except for one notable area.
We had been having trouble with a particular vendor, Fred, for quite some time and sent him a letter asking him not to vend or be a customer at the market in the future. Near the end of the market day, despite being given this letter, he threatened several vendors and volunteers and the police were called. I’ve included a copy of the letter that Fred was given.
It is our hope that this dangerous individual will be red-zoned from Pigeon Park. With cooperation from the police, this would be possible.
Roland Clarke, Coordinator of the DTES Street Market says:
This was last market of the year. A momentous event considering that we have survived many attacks from many directions. This is was the fourth year of the Street Market at Pigeon Park and will not be the last. As we enter our fifth year, it is important to reflect on what we have achieved..
This was the 186th Market day at Pigeon Park on Sunday.
There is no other festival in the Downtown Eastside that can boast almost 200 event-days. This little street market is not only the heart of the Downtown Eastside, but possibly the largest historical event of in the Downtown Eastside for all time.
Lots of shops open
As I walked around the park in the morning, watching the vendors arrive and seeing the preparations of the RPICs, I couldn’t help noticing all the businesses that are now open around Pigeon Park. Nelson and Seagull was absolutely packed, standing room only. The Frock Thrift Shoppe was open and doing brisk business, and Rainier Provisions was open as well. If any of these businesses have issues with the Street Market on Sundays, their customers sure don’t.
I’ll take this time to remind people that when the Street Market started in 2010 NOT A SINGLE business surrounding Pigeon Park was open on Sundays. Now, almost all the businesses are open.
Last week, we purchased an awesome photovoltaic solar system for our office at 62 East Hastings. 2 175 Watt solar panels, fed into a MPPT charge controller, with a 150 Amp-hour battery going to a 3000 Watt inverter. Yay! Necessity is definitely the mother of invention. After waiting over a year for our power to be hooked up at the lot at 62 East Hastings, we are taking matters into our own hands and installing a completely zero waste solar energy solution for the Downtown Eastside. Hopefully, it will be up and running soon. We just need to get some wiring, and construct an intelligent mounting system that allows panels to change angle in the summer and winter.
Sometimes a particular item at the Street Market must make the news.
Today, we had someone selling two live lobsters. At the time, I was having a conversation with a reporter, and Jacek runs up to the tents and says “I just saw something that takes the cake – some guy is selling live lobsters”. An interesting problem for the volunteers because, if the lobsters were dead, this would be clearly banned from the market because they would need to be refrigerated. The fact that they were live posed an interesting problem. One of the volunteers said jokingly “what if they are pets?”. Jacek says “the guys selling them kind of looks like he might be a fisherman”. The RPIC at the time makes a quick decision that we would have to tell him to leave and sell his lobster elsewhere.
Luckily, before we could go and confront the man, the lobsters were already sold.
Delicious Anything but XMAS Community Dinner prepared by Tina Tomashiro, Hendrik Beune, Jeff Ashborn and friends in Vancouver DTES
Freezing temperatures and cheery Christmas shopping brought out the best in everyone in Vancouver DTES
Roland Clarke, Richard Cunningham, Jacek Lorek, Hendrik Beune and Vendors braved the sub zero weather to work at the DTES Street Market.
Metro Vancouver Alliance is a broad based alliance of community groups, labour, faith and educational institutions working together for the common good.
Broad-based community organizations operate on the principle of ‘power before program’. In other words, they build strong relationships amongst diverse groups in the community. Those groups then come together to listen to their members’ concerns and to agree on issues that can be worked on together. This ensures that the alliances are sustainable over the long term and that members work on those issues that concretely matter most to them. Members develop leadership skills and learn “the art of politics” through active engagement and participation.
MVA is based on a model of community organizing pioneered by the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF). Founded by Saul Alinsky in the 1930’s, IAF has over 60 active community alliances across the US, Canada, the UK, Germany and Australia.
Metro Vancouver Alliance (MVA) was founded in 2009. Over 30 organizations are now in membership and the alliance continues to grow.
MVA builds leaders. Our main goal is to build leaders within our institutions who will become leaders in the community. We listen to the concerns and feelings of our diverse membership and then discern common ground from all of the unique voices. Before MVA will take on an issue it must be relevant to a broad section of our membership, encourage the development of new leaders, have specific and winnable actions, and improve the community.
MVA organizes through relationships.
We build relationships both within and outside of our institutions to learn where people’s passions lie, build power, and remain accountable. Personal face to face conversations and meetings are the most effective way to connect with our neighbours and fellow citizens and discover their interests, pressures, and hopes.
What we’ve accomplished.
MVA has built an alliance of constituency based organizations that support our objectives and methodology. Hundreds of people have taken part in MVA leadership institutes and innovative projects. MVA recently held a summit of senior community leaders. On May 27th over 120 people from 38 institutions came together to kick off MVA’s listening campaign. Over the summer, our member institutions will shape the action agenda that will be taken forward when MVA launches in early 2014.
Last night 70 people gathered to share news about the listening campaigns going on in their organizations. MVA member organizations have been meeting over the past few months in one-to-one meetings and small groups, to discuss the issues that matter most to them. These issues will form the core of the public agenda MVA will take forward when in launches on March 19, 2014.
Roland Clarke, Coordinator says:
182 Sunday Markets at Pigeon Park!
Surprisingly sunny despite reports of rain! To me, anyway, this is clear proof that the gods of weather surely shine on our little market here in the DTES.I did a little calculation earlier today, and figured out that this market, on December 1, 2013 is actually the 182nd consecutive market held at Pigeon Park on Sunday for the past 3 and half years. 182 markets is nothing to sniff at. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication at the hands of the volunteers and the coordinators.
Here is how I did the calculation:
1) The first Sunday market at Pigeon Park was held on June 13, 2010
2) 29 market days were held in 2010, 52 in 2011, 53 in 2012
3) December 1 is the 48th market held on Sunday in 2013
This gives a total of 182 Sundays where there was a market held at Pigeon Park by the DNC or the DTES Street Market Society.
Our 200th market day will take place on April 6th (close to my birthday), and I am proposing a large celebration for this event. We should invite the mayor, councilors and dignitaries from all over Vancouver. Lots of time to plan…
Loss of a Loved Volunteer – Steve Beharriel
On November 20th, 2013 we lost one of our volunteers at the Street Market. Steve Beharriel was an RPIC (Responsible Person In Charge), and our Sergeant-At-Arms for the board of our Society. He had never missed a meeting for as long as people could remember, until he missed the Saturday meeting after welfare day. Later, on Sunday, we found out that the coroner had been to his room the day after welfare and taken him away. I can say that he was always pleasant to work with, never caused trouble and really loved the market. We talked briefly a few times and he told me that his mother was a school teacher. Friends say that his family is from Ontario.