(Esquimalt Farmers Market/Facebook)

Two Vancouver Island markets were among the winners at the eighth annual BC Farmers’ Market Awards earlier this week.

The awards celebrate the best of B.C.’s market sector and are administrated by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets (BCAFM).

This year’s ceremony was performed virtually for the first time ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the winners were two markets from Vancouver Island: Esquimalt Farmers Market, which took home the award for Farmers’ Market of the Year (Large, 61+ vendors), and the LUSH Valley Food Action Society (part of Comox Valley Farmers’ Market), which was recognized as Partner of the Year.

“To highlight one market, or even one person, in this particular year was a daunting task for the judges,” said awards judge, Jon Bell.

“From hand sanitizers and masks to crowd control and traffic flow, it was a season to remember. Congratulations to all of our market members, managers, vendors and volunteers for rising to the challenge.”

The award panel included Bell, who is a farmer and Sechelt and former BCAFM president; Wylie Bystedt, former BCAFM president and president of McLeese Lake Farmers’ Market; and Georgia Stanley, former BCAFM membership coordinator.

The full award winners’ list was as follows:

Over 145 farmers’ markets are represented by the BCAFM throughout the province.

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