Construction is underway again on the long-awaited performance stage at the Cottonwood Market.
The City of Nelson is constructing the stage as part of a new market plaza that includes a concrete oval for market stalls, water and hydro hookups, lighting, and landscaping. A washroom and concession area will be constructed on the adjacent site of the current market.
“We’re looking forward to the stage being completed and to a future year, after the pandemic, where musicians are able to safely use it to add vibrancy to the farmers’ markets,” said Montana Burgess, executive director of the West Kootenay EcoSociety, which runs the Cottonwood and downtown markets.
The stage will be used for outdoor concerts throughout the week in addition to entertainment at the Saturday Cottonwood Markets.
Because of COVID-19, the city and the EcoSociety are still in the process of deciding where, when and how the Cottonwood and downtown markets will be run. Council will make those decisions at a meeting on June 1.
If the Cottonwood Market goes ahead this summer, it is not yet known whether it will be located on the new oval or on its previous adjacent site.
The city has not responded to the Star’s requests for budget details, but in 2018 we reported the new market project had cost the city $194,000 so far and the remaining work including the $78,000 stage would cost another $198,000, all of which was expected to come from grants.
The 2017 approval was the second time council had agreed to a stage design for the market. An earlier version was approved in 2016 as part of a $600,000 plan for permanent market structures, and then eventually abandoned.