The Treasure Sale Market, held on Saturdays at the Wild Wild West Event Centre next to Calaway Park, is based on the concept of a British ‘car boot sale,’ where individuals back their cars into a field and sell personal goods out of the trunk of the car.
Organiser Jonathan Musgrave – from Rickmansworth, U.K. – saw the potential for something similar in Calgary, and started the market at Northland Mall, encouraging anyone to come out and sell their items.
“I see there’s a great demand here for people to sell whatever they’ve got,” he said. “Because as I drive around town during the summer months, I see signs for yard sales and garage sales everywhere – they’re happening all the time.”
His market operates similar to a communal garage sale – where homeowners can offer their trinkets – but includes craftsmen selling art and farmers selling fruits and veggies, like at a typical farmers’ market. According to Musgrave, while official Alberta farmers’ market have restrictions for what products can be sold, the Treasure Sale Market allows vendors to sell anything they like.
“That means (official farmers’ markets) have to turn a lot of people away, so the variety of stuff they have tends to be rather limited,” he said. “I have the luxury to allow or invite almost anybody.”
The result is a wide variety of different items for browsers to explore, from fresh produce, eggs and bread, to crochet cuddly animals, bird boxes and Tupperware. Musgrave said sometimes the best finds come from the random objects in homeowners’ basements – for browsers, that means whatever caught their eye may not still be there the next week.
Musgrave encourages people to come sell their unwanted goods and join in what he said remains a fun day, no matter how many items are sold.
“The interaction with the public – you’ll be telling them what you have, telling them how you found it, or where it came from, or how to use it, or how long it took to make,” he said. “And, perhaps, you’ll get a commission.”
The market moved this year to the Wild Wild West Centre, along Highway 1 next to Calaway Park. Musgrave said the new location offers great views of the mountains, protection from the wind and a prime location next to the amusement park.
People either heading out for a day at the park or on their way to the mountains can make a fun pit stop at the market, he added.
Advice for vendors and browsers, as well as information on booking a space, can be found at mytreasuresale.com
“What I really want to achieve is be the place where people can come and buy or sell whatever they have, whatever they need to do, and create an efficiency in the market, if you will,” Musgrave said.