There is always something happening at IRMC. Keep up to date on things like the Year-Round Community Market, memberships and fundraising. 


In the News...

Coming Soon: Income Tax Receipts for Year-Round Market building donations!

We are excited to begin the process of issuing tax receipts in partnership with City of Nanaimo

Nanaimo City Council, meeting as the Audit and Finance Committee on Wednesday May 10, asked city staff to work quickly to establish a process whereby individuals and businesses that donate to the Island Roots Market Co-op's planned community market building at Beban Park will receive charitable donation receipts in return for their donations.

"This is a big boost to our fundraising efforts" says Larry Whaley, who is the volunteer president of the Island Roots Market Co-op. "It gives people who want to see an exciting, community gathering place with a focus on local food, good health and the rebuilding of the local food industry great way to contribute." 

Until now supporters of the co-operative, a not-for-profit business that runs three Nanaimo farmers markets, have been able to buy shares in the co-op and make donations but they were not able to deduct their contributions from their income tax because the co-op does not have charitable status. "Council's decision means that, once details are worked out, people will be able to support this indoor/outdoor market by keeping their tax dollars at home and directing them to building our community's sustainability." says Whaley

The co-op plans to build a three part 18,000 square foot indoor/outdoor community market at Beban Park. The structure will consist of a three or four thousand square foot environmentally controlled core that will be home to four or five key vendors and a place for community connections, an unheated indoor market area of a similar size and a covered outdoor community market space about 10,000 square feet in size. The co-op hopes to complete the building, estimated to cost about two million dollars, by the end of 2018. 

"Our fundraising is about to get serious and we still need to work out the details of the lease that City Council approved in principle last October but there is tremendous community support for the project and you will see a lot of activity this spring and summer." 

There are two things that you can do to support the project. First, visit the outdoor Island Roots Markets at Beban Park on Wednesdays from 4:00-6:30pm and 0n Saturdays from 10am-2pm to support local food producers, and second, log onto the co-op's website at to join the co-op and make a donation.

New Market Manager

Michele Greene is very excited to be the new market manager. Her recent completion of a Master of Arts in Sustainable Leisure Management from VIU fueled her passion for sustainability, food security, and creating community. Prior to working with Island Roots, Michele has worked with brain-injured clients, worked as an administrator at a preschool/daycare, and owned and operated a successful professional organizing company.


Michele has been living in Nanaimo almost 17 years.  She is a mom, wife, and dog-lover, and is into gardening, fitness, volunteering, and simplicity.


Please join us in welcoming Michele Greene as the new Market Manager for Island Roots Market Co-op. Michele will be leading us into the summer season at Beban Park.

Island Roots will be running two markets this summer, Wednesdays 4-6:30 and Saturdays 10-2

Join us at the Summer market at Beban Park starting May 13, 2107. 

Follow along on Facebook and stay in the loop by subscribing to the weekly newsletters to learn what fun events Michele has planned for the market. 

Island Roots AGM Held on April 21, 2017

On April 21, 2017 the IRMC held their Annual General Meeting at the Beban Park Social Centre. 

At the 5th annual AGM , members unanimously voted to become a non-profit community services co-operative. “This changes very little in how we operate” noted President Larry Whaley, citing that the change was needed to make the IRMC eligible for numerous grants.

Mr. Whaley’s presidential report informed members that a $25,000 grant from the Regional District of Nanaimo is being used for the initial studies required before proceeding with the build at Beban Park. The preliminary architectural drawings were presented and Larry noted that construction cannot proceed until the full cost of the project is accounted for, a figure that the costing studies are intended to provide. IRMC is still waiting on the details of the land lease with the city, but terms are expected to be favorable.

Guest speaker Janet Thoney, President of the 103 year old Coombs Farmers’ Institute, concluded the evening. She presented on the history and objectives of the Institute as enshrined in the 1897 Farmers’ and Womens’ Institute Act. She also emphasized the lobbying power of the Institute through its legislated access to the Ministry of Agriculture.


RDN Supports Permanent Market - Update

At its first meeting in 2017 the Regional District of Nanaimo Board (RDN) voted to approve their staff recommendations, they are at page 40 and 97 of the RDN's Agenda (link below). The RDN will grant Island Roots $25,000 and RDN Staff will assist us with grant applications to other potential funding sources.

RDN Supports Permanent Market

At its last meeting in 2016 the Regional District of Nanaimo Board (RDN) voted to support the Island Roots Market Co-op's Project at Beban Park and asked its staff to prepare a report on the specific ways the RDN can help. Their staff prepared 2 reports, they are at page 40 and 97 of the RDN's Agenda (link below) and will be dealt with by the Board on January 10 at 7 pm.

2016 Year in Review

2016 was an exciting and successful year for the Island Roots Market Co-operative. We are working closely with the VIEx and Indigenous Peoples' Place of Culture. We have developed a plan which was well received when it was presented to the public at the Beban Park Open House in August.

Our plan has since been approved by the city and we are now working with City Park Staff on terms of our lease. This means we will soon be building at Beban Park a permanent space for an indoor year-round Farmers' Market for Nanaimo!


Island Roots has also formed a strategic partnership with the Bowen Road Farmers' Market Society;  together we opened a second market at Beban Park on Saturdays which ran through the summer.


With winter now upon us, we are currently running our third consecutive year of winter markets at Pleasant Valley Hall on Wednesdays from 3-6.


Our business plan has been reworked with input from Dream Big Solutions and Chrysalis Architecture. We are well on our way to our new permanent location. 


Multiple presentations have been made to the Regional District of Nanaimo, and they are collaborating with us on our vision.

We also hired local business woman and entrepreneur, Jessica Dawe, as the IRMC Market Manager, after our previous manager departed with a new baby girl. (Congratulations Leah!)


2017 is looking strong, as we continue to progress towards our vision of a permanent building at Beban Park. Our fundraising committee is working hard to raise the capital we will need for this project.

A Community Co-operative

Island Roots Market Co-operative is a registered community Co-operative in which anyone can purchase a share for a nominal fee. This means that the community, anyone who wants to participate, and no one person or small group of people stand to benefit from the profits the organization might make. Grantors that understand this usually accept it as the equivalent of not for profit. Our Beban Park project meets Revenue Canada's definition of a Charitable Purpose but we do not have charitable status so we can not issue tax receipts.