Pictured is the brand new building for the Antigonish Farmer’s Market on James Street in Antigonish. Construction started in October and was scheduled to conclude in May, but due to COVID-19, that was extended to August 1.

ANTIGONISH: A representative with the Antigonish Farmers’ Mutual Agricultural Centre says a $150,000 contribution from the provincial government towards the installation of a solar panel system will reduce operational costs on an ongoing basis.

Mike Ward, the secretary for the Antigonish Farmers’ Market Association indicated a solar photovoltaic (PV) system will be a catalyst to ensure the long-term sustainability of the building in the community.

“The addition of a Solar PV system will help to ensure the long-term financial and environmental sustainability of the new Antigonish Farmers’ Mutual Agricultural Centre,” Ward said. “This proposed Solar PV system will help to cover most of the electrical and heating operational costs and mitigate the risk of rising energy costs.”

Earlier this month, Antigonish MLA, Randy Delorey announced the funding for the Antigonish Farmers’ Market Association towards a PV system to help reduce the association’s energy consumption on their brand new facility.

“For the past 25-yesrs, the Antigonish Farmers’ Market has been a gathering place for Nova Scotia producers and artisans to showcase their talent,” Delorey said. “With this investment, this cornerstone of our community will be able to operate sustainably for many years to come.”

The new space for the Antigonish Farmers’ Market opened to the public on Aug. 1 and allows for 80 indoor and 10 outdoor vendors, operating at the Antigonish Exhibition Grounds it is the third-largest farmers’ market in Nova Scotia.

The Antigonish Farmers’ Market is the community’s hub for healthy eating, home-grown food, and locally produced arts and crafts.

Since their beginning in 1995, the market has grown in popularity every year and can now attract more than 1,000 visitors any given Saturday during the peak of their season. They also offer a mini-market on Wednesday evenings, and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, they now offer on-line shopping with easy pick-up.