Stephanie Bachmann, Vancouver Christmas Market
The Vancouver Christmas Market brings a traditional German Christkindlmarkt to B.C. with a unique west-coast flavour. Now in its fifth year, the Market has grown to become a major seasonal tourist attraction and expects a record 200,000 visitors from Nov. 22 – Dec. 24 in 2014.
“The first year we had 100,000, now we’re aiming for 200,000. We have doubled in size since 2011,” says Stephanie Bachmann who oversees operations and works alongside Market founder Malte Kluetz. It appears Christmas carousels, crafts, hot apple cider and mulled wine are all growing in popularity.
There is significant spinoff for the Vancouver economy. It takes at least 60 staff to keep the market humming while it’s in full swing and creates at least 300 indirect job opportunities through the 50+ vendors and the people they hire. Not to mention the upswing in tourism dollars, through local hotel bookings and transportation needs.
“It gives so much back,” she says. “I love seeing all the positive people and how they enjoy the festival and the market itself. Being able to offer so many jobs to such an enormous number of people and seeing them happy to make this event work, it’s just wonderful.”
It’s a unique opportunity for B.C. businesses to showcase their speciality products, like aromatic salts from Thyme of Your Life, jewellery from Stoneheart Designs and hand-knit hats from Alma Headwear. Even the wine for the Gluehwein is sourced in B.C. The Vancouver Market is an example of people working hard to create opportunities for themselves, for their families and their community.