Posted on March 19, 2018

Bringing Talent Home: Executive Director with St. John’s Roots Hired.

The St. John’s Farmers’ Market Cooperative (SJFM) has taken its next big step towards expansion with the hiring of a new Executive Director, Ann Connors, who will take the reins on April 9th.

Born and raised in St. John’s, Ms. Connors has decades of leadership experience in community-based arts organizations across Canada, including as General Manager of the Resource Centre for the Arts (LSPU Hall) in St. John’s, Managing Producer of Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland, and Executive Director of the Canada-wide Magnetic North Theatre Festival. Her new position with the SJFM Cooperative brings her home from Calgary, where she has, since 2014, served as Artistic and Managing Producer of the High-Performance Rodeo, a multifaceted, 25-day annual arts festival.

“It’s an incredible accomplishment that our Federal, Provincial, Municipal, and community partners, together with all the vendors and a fabulous volunteer Board of Directors have realized the shared vision of this new Community Market in St. John’s.” says Ms. Connors. “This space will shine a bright light on all the parts that make our culture the envy of the country. I am thrilled to come back home and be a part of its development; to work together with those who keep our culture alive and to help build a home where the community comes together”.

Joining Ms. Connors as the SJFM’s other senior staff member will be Danilo Gonzalez Diaz, who will continue in an expanded Market Manager role. An agronomist by training, Mr. Diaz has served as Market Manager with the SJFM since 2014. Over that time, he has overseen the steady growth and diversification of the vendor community at the Market and worked closely with vendors to help them innovate in their production. He will be joined by John Warren, returning in his familiar role as part-time Assistant Manager.

“We are excited to see the market growing every year, expanding now not only in size but also in its role as a vibrant place for all the members of the community,” says Market Manager Danilo Gonzalez Diaz. “The new Community Market will be a place for local businesses to grow, for people to get involved in community activities, and for people to spend time with friends and family. It will be the kind of place that this city both needs and deserves”.

This summer, the St. John’s Farmers’ Market will take a huge step, moving into the new St. John’s Community Market facility under construction in the former Metrobus Garage on Freshwater Road. A City of St. John’s facility, this 14,000 square foot space is equipped with a commercial kitchen, coffee shop, workshop space, dining area, public square, and both long-term and short-term vendor spaces. As managers of the building, the SJFM Cooperative will be hosting weekly Farmers’ Markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays and a variety of community uses at other times.

“The St. John’s Farmers’ Market Board is so happy to have lured another Newfoundlander home,” says Joshua Smee, Chair of the Cooperative’s Board of Directors, “Ann’s long experience in the cultural sector will be a huge asset in making the new Community Market a vibrant public space – and we already know that Danilo will do a great job making the markets themselves incredible places to experience and buy local.”

Before making the move to its new home, the St. John’s Farmers’ Market will continue operating out of the Lions Club Chalet on Bonaventure Avenue. Winter Markets are scheduled for March 24th, April 7th, April 21st, May 5th and May 19th, with weekly Saturday markets beginning June 2nd.

For more information, or to schedule interviews, contact:

Joshua Smee
Chair, Board of Directors
St. John’s Farmers’ Market Cooperative

Ann Connors
Executive Director
St. John’s Farmers’ Market Cooperative

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Photo Credit: Alexis Templeton

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