Local vendors support Elmvale Market following recent barn fire

The sun was shining as the Elmvale Sales Barn and Event Centre celebrated its first flea market on Sunday after a fire tore through the century building last week.

On Wednesday, a fire that began in the bathroom spread to the apartment and office area, causing smoke and water damage.

Ashley Bates, manager and owner of Elmvale Sales Barn and Event Centre, said there was concern that the Barn would have to close for the season.

"It was rather devastating, so it's nice knowing that we can open for the season and at least have the outside area going and get things going," Bates said.

After a challenging two years, some of the vendors were back for the first time since the pandemic began.

"It's been a rough go the last two years with COVID and everything else, so everybody's happy and anxious to get out," Bates said. "Some of these vendors haven't been here in two years, some of these guys are new today, and some have been here for 30 to 40 years."

The Barn hosted 40 to 50 vendors, showcasing fresh local fruits and vegetables and artisan items.

One of the vendors in attendance was 'All That Matters-By Amy,' owned by Mark and Amy Aiken.

The business donates all of its proceeds in support of Wounded Warriors, specifically the PTSD dog program. The program provides support dogs to veterans and first responders that are experiencing PTSD.

"So through these PTSD dog programs, it's truly transformative for the people that are suffering," says Mark Aiken. "Their lives are changed completely by having a service dog."

All of the items sold by 'All That Matters-By Amy' are from overseas and include Remembrance items.

"We have met so many parents. We have met spouses, we have met the soldiers themselves who just embrace us for being out here and getting the awareness," says Amy Aiken.

To find out more about the Elmvale Sales Barn and Event Centre, visit the organization's Facebook page.