Children’s marketplace returns for second year

By Manor Park Chronicle

Sophie (left) and Vivienne were co-owners of the “Felted Friends business at last year’s Ottawa Children’s Market. Photo: Megan Lelli
Sophie (left) and Vivienne were co-owners of the “Felted Friends business at last year’s Ottawa Children’s Market. Photo: Megan Lelli

The second annual Ottawa Children’s Market returns to Manor Park in November to showcase the burgeoning entrepreneurial skills and business ideas of children ages six to 14.

The event debuted in 2022. Chuildren developed, planned and executed about 20 junior businesses.

This year’s market takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 18 at St. Columba Anglican Church. The event is free to attend, while the business products and services are available by cash only.

Children create a product or service, develop a brand and build a marketing strategy. They test their service for customers at the one-day marketplace. The children are responsible for the setup, the sales, and all customer interactions.

Participants gain real business experience. They also learn how to take an idea from concept to viable product. It also helps them develop an assurance in their own skills and abilities.

‘Hands-on learning’

The Children’s Market is sponsored by ARC Studio School, Acton Academy, Acton Children’s Business Fair, Acton School of Business, and Next Great Adventure. The Acton Children’s Business Fair, sponsored by the non-profit Acton Academy, debuted in 2007 in Austin, Texas. Since then, the concept has spread. A similar market, the Ottawa Children’s Business Fair, modelled on and supported by Acton, has been held yearly at Lansdowne Park.

Megan Lelli, director of the market and co-founder of ARC Studio School, says the act of planning out a business means children are learning at every step.

“Seeing young people show up and give it a go, whether they make one sale or sell out. They walk away having learned not only about owning a business but, most importantly, about themselves. Real-world, hands-on learning is truly powerful.”.

ARC Studio School, an Acton Academy, is an independent “micro-school” for students in pre-kindergarten to grade 6. Located in Manor Park, the school is dedicated to fueling children’s curiosity, creativity, and confidence while they grow the skills needed to drive their own

learning and pursue their calling.

Check the website for more information about the Ottawa Children’s Market, or contact Megan Lelli at 613-255-7238 or