Tourism Prince Rupert is proud to announce that with the delivery and installation of our final two containers, our new outdoor marketplace in Cow Bay is complete and open for business! With the official opening of the site comes an opportunity to give it a name that pays homage to the long history of the land upon which it is situated. We are thrilled to reveal that the market site will now officially be named the "Lax Süülda Container Market."
The name was selected with support, direction, and permission from the Ts’msyen Sm’algyax Language Authority. In Sm’algyax, the language of the Ts’msyen People, “Lax Süülda” means “on the ocean.” The name choice highlights the importance and significance of Ts’msyen language and culture in Prince Rupert, as well as the community's deep-rooted connection to the ocean and surrounding environment.
The Lax Süülda Container Market features refurbished shipping containers transformed into vibrant and weather-protected mini shops, providing an exceptional opportunity for regional small businesses, artists, and vendors to showcase their products to visitors and cruise ship passengers. The containers are fully accessible with wheelchair ramps available for each and intentional spacing to allow for mobility around the site. The marketplace's unique aesthetic and location aims to create a memorable experience for all who visit. With the summer season already well underway, we look forward to greeting visitors and locals alike at our new marketplace throughout the 2023 season. Prince Rupert is expecting 52 cruise calls this season, bringing over 80,000 passengers in total to BC’s North Coast.
Seed Funding for the Development of the Lax Süülda Container Market was provided by Northern BC Tourism Association (NBCTA) through the Province of BC’s Targeted Regional Tourism Development Initiative Fund (TRTDI). As part of StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan, the province’s six tourism regions received a total of $13.6 million to create employment opportunities, attract new businesses and increase economic diversification within communities.
Support for land-use and the installation of electrical at the site is provided by the Prince Rupert Port Authority.
“Our government is proud to support the tourism sector in northern B.C., the people who work in it, and its sustained recovery,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “By supporting the Prince Rupert Lax Süülda Container Market, we are investing in tourism infrastructure that is sustainable and innovative, shining a light on Indigenous stories and strengthening community vibrancy for residents and visitors alike.
“Tourism Prince Rupert is thrilled to open this site and provide new opportunities for local small businesses, vendors, and artisans on the North Coast to access the international market created by the cruise sector. We are grateful to the Ts’msyen Sm’algyax Language Authority for their support of our work and for their guidance in the selection of the name ‘Lax Süülda Container Market.’ The name will serve as a testament to the significance of Ts’msyen culture in Prince Rupert and provide visitors with an immediate glimpse into our community’s vibrant culture,” says Ceilidh Marlow, Executive Director of Tourism Prince Rupert.
“Projects such as the Lax Süülda Container Market strengthen the visitor experience and enhance
resident quality of life in the north. Northern BC Tourism Association is committed to the sustainable development of the tourism sector in northern B.C. and it’s fantastic to be supporting tangible infrastructure and experiences such as this,” says Clint Fraser, Chief Executive Officer of Northern BC Tourism Association.
“The Lax Süülda Container Market aligns with the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s efforts to improve Prince Rupert’s waterfront for the benefit of the community and generate new opportunities for local small businesses, community groups and artisans by showcasing what makes our community unique from other destinations in the northwest and Alaska cruise ports of call,” said Shaun Stevenson, President and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “Adding renewed energy and vibrance to Cow Bay, the market helps enhance the experience for visitors and residents exploring the area.”
This project aligns with the Northwestern BC Destination Development Strategy, which notes the importance of support the continued development of infrastructure and shore excursions to encourage sustainable growth in the cruise ship sector, which benefits the entire Northern BC region.