This market happens every year on the first Sunday in September and it’s one of my favorite events. This year (2021) was no different, it was a great event like every year before. So, here is my review from the vendor point of view.
The Dunrea market is well organized and easy to find and contact through Facebook all year long. In my experience they react within a few hours, sometimes even within minutes.
They have about 50 (by my estimate) outdoor spaces and twice that much indoors utilizing the rink and arena of the fairgrounds in Boissevain. The fees are more then just reasonable with $20 for a 10″ x 10″ space. If you need you can rent a table for a small fee and add electricity.
Signing up is easy, just contact them by Facebook messenger and soon you’ll be part of the event if they have space left. Apply early to ensure your place and I mean early, like as soon as a day after the last one closes. Once you’re signed up you’re all set.
One of the things I like the most about this event, is that you can bring your things and start set up on Saturday, the day before the event. I suggest you take advantage of that offer, since car access is limited and it can take some time for you to get your turn. And Sundays it’s even harder or almost impossible to get into the rink or the arena if the outdoor vendors have already set up.
When you arrive for set up you need to go to registration and let them know you are there. You will get an envelope with your lot number, two vendor passes, a order menu and a sign up form for the next market. The order menu is another thing I love about this event. You pick your food and they will deliver it to your booth around noon, no matter how busy everyone is. Some years they have burger and hot dogs, and at times they have chili and a bun. With the food you can also order a pop or coffee and most of the time a muffin as desert. No matter what they offer that year, it always is at an fair price.
I always use Saturday to bring my tables and merchandise, so I don’t have to fight for space or come hours early the next day. Most of the time once it’s my turn someone, sometimes several someones is right there helping to unload my truck and get it to my spot in the rink. Which has been HC36 for some years now, benefit of signing up the same day as the event.
So far, and it’s five years now, they have been very busy. Somewhere between 1500 and 2000 people, I think, in average. Many come for the antiques or flea market items, but there are still enough people who are interested in art and other handmade items.
The market starts at 11am and goes until 4pm, I usually arrive at 9am since I only do a partial set up on Saturday and store most of my merchandise under the tables. At that time it’s already so busy with vendors that it would be very hard to get to the rink with my truck. By 10:30am I’m usually all set and ready to go, which means I’m also ready for coffee. Which is offered along with other drinks and foods until the end of the event.
If you can, I recommend to go with a helper or partner, that way you can use the washroom, get something to drink or walk around and check out other vendors without a problem. And it’s interesting to see what others have to offer, I really enjoy just walking around every year.
About half an hour before the event ends some of the volunteers will come around to collect your vendor batches, this way you don’t have to go to the registration office to hand them back. Depending on how many customers are still walking around I start packing up close to four, but I take my time since it will take some time before the outside vendors have packed up and getting the truck around to the rink will be possible.
Most years volunteers are around to help loading the truck, but since it usually is busy it’s not something to count on.
All in all if I had to give a rating, the Dunrea Antique and Flea market gets a 10 our of 10, it’s well organized, well established and affordable. The people working there are friendly, know you by name and go above and beyond to help out.