Storm Riders: Summer by the Sea Festival

The Storm Riders series aims to celebrate the strength of our industry while highlighting some of the many ways businesses have overcome the challenges resulting from COVID-19. We are proud to showcase how the following businesses have adapted while celebrating the people who are at the heart of what we do. In this post, we hear from the Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce, organizers of the Summer by the Sea Festival.

Why do you do what you do?

The Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce manages the Summer by the Sea Street Market that in normal times virtually takes over Craig Street every Tuesday night in the summer with more than 250 vendors. We had to adapt this year and we moved the market to our parking lot, followed all safety protocols and went to two nights with 20 vendors selling each night. We had to think fast, how can we help our small vendors get out there and make a few sales. We couldn’t have the usual crowds but we tried to do something and I think the community appreciated our efforts and our vendors did too. We work to support the business community and COVID has, if anything, reminded us that we can adapt and that we are passionate and committed to our community.

What is your hope for the future of our region?

The road to recovery for our businesses will be long and challenging but I feel as a community we are strong and committed and we will get through these challenging times. We will adapt with grace and be even better than we were, that is my wish for our beautiful region.

What do you want people to know of your business?

We wish everyone knew what a Chambers role is. A Chamber is a member-based, not-for-profit advocacy organization. We represent the voice of the business’ and are part of the largest business network in the country.

The spark to own/work in this business must motivate you each day. – what are some of your past experiences that have contributed to this spark.

I have been a resident of the Parksville – Qualicum Beach Region for over 30 years. I have been involved with the Chamber for almost 20 years. I truly enjoy sharing the best parts of Oceanside with our visitors and local residents. The Chamber is one of those connection points in a community, we provide information and we create and sustain relationships.