The Antigonish Farmers’ Market Expands

News release

A new year-round building will increase capacity to support the growing agri-food sector in the region

July 13, 2019 – Antigonish, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Investing in rural community infrastructure enhances the quality of life for residents and contributes to economic success. In addition to attracting a wide range of tourists, the Antigonish Farmers’ Market offers local farmers, artisans and chefs the opportunity to sell their goods and grow a customer base with low overhead costs. With support from the Government of Canada, the Farmers’ Market will soon be a year-round attraction with more vendors and new offerings to help grow the agri-food sector, while enhancing the market experience for locals and visitors alike.

The Farmers’ Market is expanding with a new building large enough to accommodate more vendors and increase its overall capacity to meet growing demand. The facility will be insulated and open year-round, providing an opportunity for local businesses to increase their revenues and a tourism destination for visitors during the off-season. Vendors will also have access to a brand new commercial kitchen where they can work with the Human Nutrition Department at St. Francis Xavier University to develop new value-added products.

Sean Fraser, Member of Parliament for Central Nova, announced federal support for this project on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

The Government of Canada is making smart investments that will create good, middle class jobs in our country. It is helping small and medium-sized businesses to start-up, expand or modernize and supporting not-for-profit organizations to fuel business growth. Support for this project is one way the Government of Canada is working to achieve its Atlantic Growth Strategy outcome of long-term economic prosperity in the region. 


“Today’s investment will enable Antigonish to develop an even better tourism destination and experience to attract more visitors year-round. This will help the community reap the benefits of a growing small business sector and a global tourism boom. Smart investments such as this one diversify the economy and create good jobs for middle-class families.”

-        The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie

“Over the last twenty years, the Farmers’ Market has fast become a top attraction in Antigonish. Now, it is evolving into its new role of helping small businesses to scale-up and grow into their very own brick and mortar locations. The Government of Canada is proud to invest in this essential community infrastructure that will greatly benefit local farmers, artisans, chefs and their growing clientele.”

-     Sean Fraser, Member of Parliament for Central Nova on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“The Antigonish Farmers Market has grown and expanded so much over the past 20+ years, from its humble beginnings in 1995 with a handful vendors to today, seeing hundreds if not thousands of people come through the doors on any given Saturday and a building busting at the seams with vendors. The Antigonish Farmers’ Market is not only giving people from our area and beyond the chance to buy locally produced, healthy, sustainable goods, but giving the farmers, growers, crafters, cooks and bakers an avenue to distribute their goods.”

-        Owen McCarron, Warden, Municipality of the County of Antigonish

“The market builds our rural economy and increases our local food security by being a source for home grown quality food. Beyond the economic and business benefits, our farmers market gives our community access to fresh, healthy foods that promote the importance of healthy eating. The Town is so excited to see this vision for the Antigonish Farmers’ Market become a reality.”

-        Laurie Boucher, Mayor, Town of Antigonish

“It gives us great pleasure to be the lead private sponsor of the new Farmers’ Market Building. It provides us with the opportunity to lend support to the farmers and community who have supported our company for so many years. This is the largest single donation in our company’s history, which speaks to our belief in the importance of this project.”

-        Brian Morgan, Manager, Antigonish Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Company

“So many people have worked very hard for so long to get to this point. Everyone deserves to be proud of the work that was accomplished and we look forward to a great future for the Antigonish Farmers’ Market.”

-        Casey van de Sande, President, Antigonish Farmers’ Market Association

Quick facts

  • The Antigonish Farmers’ Market first opened in 1995 with only six vendors; it has now grown to more than 60 vendors, with up to ten being turned away weekly due to current space limitations. 

  • Each year, the Antigonish Farmers’ Market attracts over 70,000 visitors with annual sales in excess of $1 million – making it one of the largest markets in Nova Scotia.

  • The total economic impact of the Farmers’ Market on Antigonish and the surrounding communities is estimated to be more than $1.6 million. 

  • The Farmers’ Market has been instrumental in the start-up and success of a number of businesses that have scaled-up, including Peace by Chocolate, Haveracres Maple Farm, Cornect Family Farm and Steinhart Distillery. 

  • The Government of Canada is contributing $700,000 to this project through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund (ICF). The Municipality of the County of Antigonish and the Antigonish Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Company are each providing $200,000, while the Town of Antigonish is contributing $150,000. Through the generosity of the local community, the Antigonish Farmers’ Market Association raised another $102,000. 

  • The ICF focuses on investments that lead to long-term employment and economic capacity building in Atlantic Canadian communities. 

  • The ICF continues to build on the objectives of the Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it.


Chris Brooks
Director, Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
902-426-9417 / 902-830-3839 (cell)

Margaret Cornect
Vice President and Treasurer
Antigonish Farmers Market

Owen McCarron
Municipality of the County of Antigonish

Laurie Boucher
Town of Antigonish

Brian Morgan
Antigonish Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Company

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