2023 Awards

by | Feb 2, 2024 | AFMA Awards, Events, News, Uncategorized

Outstanding New Vendor Award

This award recognizes the diversity of the talents of AFMA’s new Make it, Bake it, Grow it vendors. This award is for vendors who have been selling three years or less. The products have to be local and unique. Characteristics of excellence and uniqueness include: packaging, labeling, marketing, popularity and customer impact for the market.

The winner is Bree Blake, Lobster.  The Crafting Shop.

Bree is a newer vendor to our market but you would never know it as she comes across as a seasoned pro. She is informative and professional but never pushy. She makes soy candles in a variety of forms and even most of her holders are handmade. She also uses only sustainable wrapping and bags. No matter what kind of day she is having she greets customers and vendors with a smile and chats with them without trying to sell. People are drawn to her and her tables did very well this year frequently near selling out. Her products are simple but beautiful and well made. Bree is exactly the type of vendor every market hopes too have at their market.

Outstanding Perennial Vendor Award

This award recognizes the diversity of the talents of AFMA’s long term Make it, Bake it, Grow it vendors. Products have to be local and unique. Characteristics of excellence and uniqueness include: packaging, labeling, marketing, popularity and customer impact for the market. These vendors have products that have stood the test of time, have a loyal customer base, and attract customers to the market.

The award goes to Theresa Zyp, ZypChicks Healthy Living.

AFMA members since 2018, ZypChicks Healthy Living were one of the first verified vendors.  They go above and beyond with customers and fellow vendors. They educate customers on the benefits or their products without using any high-pressure tactics or the expectation of making a sale. Customers are comfortable talking to them and learning but also intrigued to buy and try based on the information they have been provided.  With fellow vendors, they are always cheerful and helpful in any way they can be.

Outstanding Market Manager of the Year Award

This award recognizes market managers who have shown innovation in administration techniques, events, community involvement and promotions to improve their market.

Candidates have strong communication skills including the ability to communicate with vendors, board members, customers, media, surrounding businesses, and potential partners. They have proven ability to stay on top of social media and spread the word about the market but also to quickly and effectively deal with complaints before they become a problem.

Candidates strive for continuous improvement. They are teachers, visionaries, and big picture thinkers. They are in tune with what customers want and with what vendors need. They show creative thinking, creative problem solving, and integrity.

We are very proud of the wonderful market managers we have in our province and would like to acknowledge all of our nominees. In no particular order, the nominees are;

Wendy Buyar, Bentley Farmers’ Market
Hali Fitzpatrick, Alberta Beach Farmers’ Market
Marcy Bloss, Caroline Farmers’ Market
Tracey Richter, Lacombe Farmers’ Market
Jocelynn Fraser, Callingwood Farmers’ Market
Beverly Tkachuk, Lac La Biche Farmers’ Market
Gayle Rondeel, Rimbey Farmers’ Market
Heather McGowan, Evansburg Farmers’ Market
Shelly MacNichol, Edson Farmers’ Market
Chery Shea, Crossfield Farmers’ Market
Shauna Fisher, Gasoline Alley Farmers’ Market
Jessica Wood, Morinville Farmers’ Market
Nellie Nagtegaal, Capilano Farmers’ Market
Melonie McKee, Millarville Farmers’ Market
Kristen Heimbecker, Southwest Edmonton Farmers’ Market
Shauna McMinis, Seba Beach Farmers’ Market
Elizabeth Robbie, St. Paul Farmers’ Market
Andrea Toth, Farmers’ & Makers’ Markets Calgary
Alana Weaver, Stettler Farmers’ Market
Kaitlin Wierenga, Bashaw Farmers

It is our privilege to award this year’s Manager of the Year award to Bev Tkachuk from the Lac La Biche Farmers’ Market.               

It is my pleasure to honor and acknowledge Bev’s exceptional achievements.  Her dedication and positive attitude have transformed the Lac La Biche farmers’ market into a thriving and beloved community gathering.

Bev wholeheartedly believes in the importance of the Farmers’ Market in the community. Lac La Biche is a community that almost doubles in size with summer visitors.  These visitors are aware of and support the market because of the constant promotion Bev provides.

One of Bev’s outstanding qualities is her ability to plan and execute events that attract new customers to the market. Through her creativity and organizational skills, she consistently designs opportunities for vendors and visitors to connect and enjoy memorable experiences.

Her relationships, both within the market community and the wider community of Lac La Biche, have played a crucial role in the market’s growing popularity. Her ability to cultivate strong connections with vendors and members of the community fosters an atmosphere of camaraderie, support, and shared success.

As a market manager, Bev exemplifies clarity and kindness when it comes to communicating expectations to vendors. Her guidance and reminders serve as gentle nudges that help vendors fulfill their obligations and experience the rewards of being part of such a successful market. This consistent communication fosters an environment of professional growth and ensures that everyone is well-informed and engaged.

It is not surprising that vendors are willing to travel long distances to participate in this market, as it has earned a reputation as one of the best in the region. The combination of Bev’s exceptional leadership, the vibrant community atmosphere, and the outstanding events make this market a favorite for vendors and attendees alike.

Bev’s achievements remind us of the power of being consistently positive, happy, and well-organized. Her dedication and commitment inspire us all to strive for excellence in our own endeavors. Let us applaud Bev for her outstanding contributions and thank her for making this market an absolute favorite for all who attend.

Wanda Klimke Memorial Award for Distinguished Long-term Service

Named in remembrance of Wanda Klimke, a long-time dedicated AFMA board member, and a good friend of our association.

The Memorial Award honors a retired or deceased volunteer who has given much time and effort in direct service as a member and has promoted farmers’ markets throughout the community.

This year we are honoring Lillian Pilipchuk.

Lillian was a strong advocate and member of the St. Paul Farmers’ Market. She served as President for a time, as well as a board member. She worked hard helping to maintain, grow and promote the market. She was a bright star that welcomed customers and vendors alike. Lillian was a staple at the market. She was our longest standing vendor, part of our heart and soul. She welcomed and tutored a good portion of our members, always ready to lend a hand or ear. She was a great business woman and did a fabulous job at being a vendor and mentor.