Who is Vancouver Island Market?
Founded in 2018 by Mei Dunlop, the first ever Vancouver Island Market was held in the corridors of the Nanaimo North Town Centre with just 80 vendors. The following market was held in the empty building previously leased by fallen retail titan, Sears. The Winter Market in 2019 saw over 30,000 people pass through during the 3 day event, and hosted over 200 vendors.
Why Isla Collective and VIM?
In taking over the empty space left by Sears, the Vancouver Island Market created a communal space of welcoming, warm local spirit.
Vancouver Island Market believes that small local vendors are here to stay, and that they are the heart and soul of our communities. By welcoming so many folks through the market there’s no denying: supporting local is on the rise.
Fast-forward to this spring. Unprecedented conditions caused by the COVID19 pandemic resulted in the closing of the Spring Market. Knowing that her vendors relied on her market to reach their customers, and wanting to continue to support these folks, we are so honored that she has partnered with us to provide all her vendors with an online market environment.
“No matter what she’s going through, Mei’s vendors and her staff are always number one in her eyes.” Mariko Brown of Isla Collective says, “she’s someone who is passionate about local entrepreneurs. We are incredibly excited for this partnership. Our core values and vision are so similar.”
Any vendor in the Vancouver Island Market network (past, present or pending) is encouraged to reach out to Mei or visit our online vendor submission form https://islacollective.ca/pages/join-the-collective .The collective is stronger with collaboration and we so look forward to working with you folks.