We have had an amazing season thus far and with only one Market remaining, taking time to reflect on our success heavily involves highlighting the contributions of our wonderful volunteer team! We would like to thank our dedicated volunteers who are critical to the operation of Withrow Park Farmers’ Market. Sharing their time, skills and talents with us every weekend at the Market and for special events. They bring our many initiatives to life and further enrich our community. We are truly grateful to all of our volunteers!

Our Volunteer Spotlights is a way to honour and share the stories of some of our outstanding volunteers!

Meet Aki! A wonderful volunteer who at first, tried her hand at a few different volunteer roles but eventually fell in love with leading the Market’s Kids’ Craft station. So much so, that she made volunteering part of her Saturday morning routine for the remainder of her time in Toronto. Aki’s passion for the Market and Craft station was displayed in her initiative to exercise her problem-solving skills to better operate the space.

We truly enjoyed hearing stories about her travels, her amazing photography skills, and overall kind presence. Aki was a blessing to us and we look forward to meeting again as Aki moved backed to Japan in September. The Withrow Park Farmers’ Market team will cherish her contribution to our Market and the Kids’ Craft station.

Tell me more about yourself including your interests and hobbies – What do you like to do? I love cooking and eating, also exploring new things, so the Farmers’ Market is my favorite place to do so and able to engage with all my interests! There is a great chance to find and meet local producers, also talk and learn from them about their products. Sometimes I ride my bicycle to the beaches and the park as I live in Leslieville.  Just chilling out on the grass or reading some books under the sun gives me a fresh mind and energy to carry for the rest of the day. Also, having pints at the patio with my friends is definitely a great time.

What attracted you to your Volunteer role with Withrow Park Farmers Market? Interaction with the community, locals, and producers! I have experienced a few roles; market setup, coffee server, and kids’ craft assistant.  Any role that can bring me out to meet and have a chat with people who come over to the market.  I have been participating in the volunteer job with Withrow Park Farmers Market for a month now, but I already do remember some people who often come, and we are getting to know each other!  Moreover, there are not only the vendors at the market but also more features that people can enjoy such as activities for kids, live music, zero-waste initiatives, eco-friendly tips, etc.

What makes volunteering meaningful or fulfilling to you? Again, talking to people, helping the vendors and interacting with kids is something I enjoy. This is my first time to do a volunteer job, so I was nervous on the first day, but now I have been pretty much enjoying it and have always been encouraged by the team and people.

Meet Jared! This young man is a master of many trades whose presence at the market always comes with dynamic and eventful stories accompanied by many laughs. An authentic and generous young man, Jared, has become one of our loved volunteers. We thank him tremendously for dedicating his Saturdays to us as our Parking Guide. Arriving at the break of dawn to assist our vendors load-in, Jared is well known and appreciated for his support. In addition, he remains at the market for the duration of the market day and is usually the last volunteer to leave. During the market, you can find him doing small repairs, serving coffee, or assisting vendors in any way he can. Thank you, Jared!

Tell me more about yourself including your interests and hobbies – What do you like to do? I really love driving and cars! I also enjoy helping, working, video games, relaxing on my family farm, reading on a rare occasion, and hanging out with my friends and family.

What attracted you to your Volunteer role with Withrow Park Farmers Market? My friends and I are competing in a contest we started – the first one of us to get to 50 hours wins an all-inclusive trip to Texas! Withrow Park Farmers’ Market was the only Organization that responded back to me so here we are a few months later and I love it! I really enjoy the people here which are cool, volunteering gets me up early, plus I get to utilize my skills and work with cars.

What is your favorite treat from the Market? Cream filled croissant called Xuxo from Motherdough.

Meet Neeka! One of our veteran volunteers who has been with us since 2018. As a dedicated volunteer, he wears many hats at the Market! Neeka is involved in the majority of roles such as mug patrol, vendor breaks, market clean up, outreach, and much more! However, regardless of his role, he is always willing to lend a helping hand! With an energetic personality and amazing smile we look forward to working with him every weekend! Thank you Neeka!

Tell me more about yourselves including your interests and hobbies – What do you like to do outside of the Market?  Family time where I just get to hang out with my loved ones is always great! I really like going to different events around the city, especially in the Summer and watching sports. My favorite basketball team is the Raptors!

What do you love about volunteering with Withrow Park Farmers’ Market? The best part about coming here every weekend is meeting new people! It’s really great to see the Market in full swing and all the people shopping or enjoying the music and food. Catching up with the vendors, staff, and other volunteers make my day too!

What is your favorite treat from the Market? Chicken and Waffles from D’vourr.

 Meet Ivy & Nikki! I’m sure you’ve noticed the new engaging and capturing signage throughout Withrow Park Farmers’ Market! Well, these lovely pieces were generously created by these artistic ladies! In addition to dedicating their time and resources to the market as our artistic volunteers, Nikki & Ivy also ensure that they lend a helping hand to vendors during Market setup and teardown.

This inspiring duo also displayed their amazing creative works at our Annual Makers’ Marker! Founders of Create 4 Impact, Nikki & Ivy are dedicated to facilitating positive change through campaigns, art, and many other avenues. We are thankful for their involvement at Withrow Park Farmers’ Market!

Tell me more about yourselves including your interests and hobbies – What do you like to do outside of the Market? Outside of the market, we enjoy learning about new topics and concepts through reading books and experimentation. Another area of interest for us is technology and innovation. We enjoy learning different programming languages, participating in our school’s robotics team, and working on web development. And of course, we like drawing and painting. Both of us are aspiring engineers wanting to make a difference through our scope of interests.

What attracted you both to your Volunteer role with Withrow Park Farmers Market? What made us interested in volunteering as artists for the market is that it combines our interests in visual arts, community involvement, and promoting an eco-friendly lifestyle. Growing up, we’ve been to a few farmers’ markets around the GTA, so it is interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes and meet the vendors themselves.

What makes volunteering meaningful or fulfilling to you both? Volunteering for organizations and initiatives we care about is what makes it meaningful. Seeing the impact the farmers’ market has on the community is amazing and we love promoting the markets’ messages in a visual and engaging manner. There is a great atmosphere at the market every week, with amazing local vendors and music.

What are your favorite treats from the Market?

Nikki: My favourite treat from the market would have to be the delicious cinnamon croissants from Motherdough Mill & Bakery!

Ivy: My favourite treat is definitely the popsicles from Happy Pops and Sweet Sammies.

What an incredible group of volunteers we have had this season! We are so appreciative of each and every one of our volunteers! If you get a chance please thank our wonderful volunteers in blue this weekend! It wouldn’t be possible to operate the Market without such a fantastic team!