While most vendors enjoy the toasty warmth of the main Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market, artisans in Pavilion 20 endure icy temperatures by bundling themselves in hats, mittens and coats. Unlike the main market and the mezzanine, the pavilion remains unheated.
Janelle and Brendan Warren run Enter the Sun and sell jewellery and clothing in the pavilion every Saturday. The couple hires someone to work in the summer, and Brendan works there in the off-season.
"From what we hear it's a nice temperature in the summer because it's cooler in there. However, come the winter time, it's a different story," he says. "Let's face it, the temperature is definitely uncomfortable unless you're dressed for it."
Warren says the pavilion has some pros in terms of traffic flow, so many vendors take the good with the bad. "We personally have not complained," he says. "However, the vibe we are getting from other vendors is that the issue has been mentioned to the staff."
Lane Farguson, communications adviser for the Halifax Port Authority, says he hasn't received any complaints regarding the chilly temperatures and vendors are informed the pavilion is unheated when they sign up. Farguson says the pavilion is intended to cater to cruise ship business and remains open for holiday shopping at the request of the vendors. The pavilion artisans pay the same fees as their mezzanine peers, despite the lack of heat.
The market was recently reorganized to offer more aisle space and focus on primary producers and prepared food. Farguson says year-round artisans were moved to the mezzanine and seasonal artisans were moved to the pavilion.
One vendor who wishes to remain anonymous is not impressed with the shuffle and says he was moved even though he sells year-round. "We had a warm cozy spot, until they said, 'Hey, you're in the cold place with no internet.'"
Warren doesn't know how the cold will affect business but he says shoppers notice the nippiness. "Our booth is directly near the entrance," he says, "and I have heard a few folks mention the drastic temperature change when they walk in."
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