Salamanca Market is a street market, held on Saturdays in Salamanca Place, Hobart, Tasmania.
Salamanca Market is a major tourist attraction in Tasmania.
The original idea of a Community Market in Hobart’s Salamanca Place was suggested to Alderman Clemente in 1971 by the National Council of Women Tasmania. Alderman Clemente promoted the concept to the Hobart City Council and a resolution to trial a market was passed on 28 June 1971. The first Salamanca Market was held near the Silos’ end of Salamanca Place on 22 January 1972. It consisted of about 12 stalls.
For the first few years, Salamanca Market only operated in the warmer months – from 4 weeks before Christmas until Easter. In 1975, a Winter Market was established by the Tasmanian Puppet Theatre and in 1977 the Salamanca Arts Centre joined them in operating the Winter Salamanca Market.
With many stallholders attending regularly, an informal Stallholders’ Association was established and the concept of ‘Permanent Stallholders’ was negotiated with the Council. This resulted in regular stallholders being identified, assigned fixed sites and paying stall fees in advance. Previously all stallholders were casuals who queued early every Saturday morning to rent a Salamanca market site. Many spent the night sleeping nearby in their cars to be sure of obtaining a site on the day.
Shortly afterwards, the Council accepted that Permanent Stallholders could pass on their Salamanca market business, with the attached market site, to a person of their choice. At this time stalls generally changed hands freely (without charge).
By this time Salamanca Market had grown to about 150 stalls and encompassed most of the lower part of Salamanca Place stretching from its origins near the Silos up to Montpellier Retreat. It was still relatively easy to get a casual site, with the exception of the busy Christmas period.
Permanent Sites were put up for rent in advance of the season and it was necessary to queue and sleep outside the Town Hall (summer) or the Salamanca Arts Centre (winter), in order to obtain one of the few available stalls.
The Salamanca Stallholders Association was officially established on 19/2/87. Later that year the Council took over the running of the Winter Market from the Arts Centre. In return, the Council paid off a large part of the Centre’s debt and undertook to pay an annual grant from Salamanca Market rental income. Some stallholders still change positions for the Summer and Winter market, reflecting the prior market management arrangements.
In April 1992 the Southern Star reported that Salamanca Market was one of Tasmania’s premier tourist attractions, attended by between 10,000 and 12,000 people every week. The same article noted that after negotiations with the Stallholders’ Association the Council had confirmed their existing policy that entitled Permanent Stallholders to, ‘annual site renewal and the transfer of a market site when a permanent business was sold’. Later in the year the Market was extended up to Gladstone St in order to increase the number of sites available to Casual Stallholders.
In 1995, more stalls were created in the car park area by the side of Salamanca Market near Montpellier Retreat and the sites were allocated to members of the Hmong Community.
Following lobbying by Casual Stallholders, many of the Casual sites between Montpellier Retreat and Gladstone St were assigned as Permanent sites in 1996. Subsequent to this action, Salamanca Market was further extended from Gladstone St to Davey St, in order to accommodate future Casual Stallholders.
Stallholders can now sell Salamanca Market Businesses with their attached Licences.
Salamanca Market has grown from 12 stalls in 1972 to over 300 in 2016, making it one of Tasmania’s most popular tourist venues and attracting up to 25,000 visitors every Saturday.