Chris Daigneault of Elite Services cuts some flooring on July 16 for installation at the new Fisherman’s Wharf pavilion, which will host a popular weekly market beginning on Aug. 1.
Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

A date has been set for this year’s opening of the popular Fisherman’s Wharf market in Hay River.

The market – which will operate from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays – will open on Aug. 1.

Glenn Smith, the senior administrative officer with the Town of Hay River, told the July 14 online meeting of council that work on the new Fisherman’s Wharf pavilion is still continuing and it was delayed a bit by heavy rains early last week.

“But we’re going to wrap up those activities in the next week or two,” he said.

In previous years, the market would normally open in mid-June.

The market is being operated by the West Channel Heritage Society under an arrangement with the town.

Bridgette Dumas, the Fisherman’s Wharf manager with the society, said Aug. 1 was always the target opening date for this year.

“We always said Aug. 1 because of Covid and the preparations and everything else,” she said.

This year’s Fisherman’s Wharf market will welcome the full opening of the pavilion.

It was to be used for the Polar Pond Hockey tournament in March, but that was at about the same time as restrictions for Covid-19 started to come into effect. Social events in the pavilion were cancelled for the tournament, and the facility was only used for registration.

Smith noted that the opening of the market is anticipated by community residents, visitors and the micro businesses that sell products at the vendor booths.

“It’s going to look a lot different this year, the market itself, because of the Covid restrictions,” he said, explaining there won’t be seating, buyers will enter the facility through a queue and follow safe practices, and they will pick up food or goods and leave the facility.

Smith noted the old booths at Fisherman’s Wharf will not be used this year and will be decommissioned.

“So we’ll be dealing with a couple of buildings that may go into another area,” he said. “Otherwise, materials might be salvaged and the rest of it scrapped. Some of the equipment has been repurposed for use in the new facility. That includes the water tank and the water heating system.”

Normally, the market operates until mid-September.

However, Dumas said it may stay open a bit longer this year.

“There is a possibility of it staying open to the end of September,” she said.

Smith noted that the new pavilion can accommodate events through essentially all seasons, since it has heating and a wall system.

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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