The street market, organized by the Oak Bay Business Improvement Association, returns to The Avenue this summer. (Black Press Media file photo)

The street market, organized by the Oak Bay Business Improvement Association, returns to The Avenue this summer. (Black Press Media file photo)

Oak Bay businesses abuzz with excitement over returning events

Summer night market, Spring Nosh return in June

Basking in warm sun the day after a blustery spring storm, Martin Cownden can’t help but feel the vibe of positivity in the air on The Avenue.

It’s sunny and bright and indicative of what the Oak Bay business owner sees around town – optimism and smiling faces.

That fresh feeling is how the local Business Improvement Association (that operates as Oak Bay Village) is approaching 2022, president Cownden said.

“You can sense it as you walk up and down The Avenue and go in and out of the shops. There’s a renewed sense of excitement, optimism is almost an understatement.”

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Part of the joy is the return of community events such as the Spring Nosh, Oak Bay Night Market and all the holidays. Oak Bay Village can request up to $500,000 from the district through local service area taxes each year. It generally utilizes $100,000 to host myriad events and sought the same for 2022 – approved by council April 11.

“We have this opportunity to continue to engage in our community, to build our community, to build business through our community,” Cownden said.

That means the Oak Bay Village Spring Nosh is set to return June 18.

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The night market is slated to fill The Avenue from Wilmot Place to Monterey Avenue the second Wednesday of each month June through September. The events showcase vendors selling fresh and local produce, baked and canned goods, sauces and sweets, as well as a variety of wares. Wine, beer, cider and spirits are featured, as is live music and entertainment.

While still in its early stages, Halloween – usually featuring a huge fundraising pumpkin display behind municipal hall – looks to be a go starting mid-October and running to the spooky eve itself.

Christmas rounds out holiday events for the year.

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Part of the positive is the effort everyone puts into the celebrations. The BIA is proud to develop business and community in the village with the support of the businesses, patrons, council and municipal staff, Cownden said.

“We really have a very positive working arrangement where all these branches come together and we have similar goals, just different roles.”

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