Two and half years ago Lindae Hilton moved to Williams Lake from Vancouver to escape the rat race and now divides her time between part-time work and managing the Friday Farmers Market at Boitanio Park.
“I had been toying with the idea of leaving Vancouver, but didn’t know where I would move to,” Hilton said.
Then in 2010, during the Olympics in Vancouver, she visited the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast display and was intrigued to check out Williams Lake.
“I spoke with staff at the display and that was my impetus to drive up that Easter to look at Williams Lake for myself,” Hilton said.
She also wanted to ensure the basic amenities were available and discovered they were.
“For those reasons I decided to come here, plus it’s only a six-hour drive from Vancouver,” Hilton said.
Her part-time job sees her at the Academy of Learning Tuesday and Thursday evenings helping students with computer training and setting them up for exams.
“I like the job because it keeps me current with computer software,” she smiled.
As for the Farmers Market, it’s one of those stories about how things unfold.
Within the first few months of moving to town she met her sweetheart.
He’d been here for 25 years already and his wife had recently died.
“His first profession was a farmer back in Saskatchewan,” Hilton explained. “Some time last year I decided I would try growing herbs — parsley, mint, cilantro — those types of things.”
A few weeks later she started selling them at the Farmers Market alongside her sweetheart’s produce.
Then in October she attended the market’s AGM.
At the meeting Vonny Johnston said she didn’t want to be the manager any longer, so when the group met again in March, Hilton put her name forward.
“It’s physically demanding to set out the signs, traffic cones, sound system, tent and tables but I’m used to that,” Hilton said. “I worked in the film industry before.”
As she looks forward to the season, Hilton is hoping to attract more vendors and customers.
On opening day two weeks ago there were 20 vendors, with one signing up at noon.
The cost for a spot is $10 each time, in addition to the $10 annual membership fee.
Hilton would like to invite artisans to set up in the park to promote their talent.
“They wouldn’t have to pay,” she said of the opportunity. “I envision an artist sitting on a chair with an easel painting, doing portraits or caricature, something like that.”
After seeing some of the student work at Art Walk last year, she’s hoping some students might be interested to participate.
In order to play CDs or have live performances, the market will need to pay for about $400 for a licence to Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), so Hilton has set up a donation jar in the park to help make this happen.
Hilton can be reached at 250-398-0580. Or check out the Williams Lake Farmers Market page on Facebook.
The market runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Friday, while the Friday Night Market at Spirit Square will not be running this year.