Community Feed

  • The return of the Urban Grind

    Feb 18, 2018



    Looking to kick-start your fitness, connect with friends and colleagues, or get ready for the upcoming hiking season? You’re in luck, because this March will mark the return of Harbour Centre’s Urban Grind! Vancouverites are invited to get their heart rates up by climbing the stairs to the iconic Vancouver Lookout.

    The Urban Grind comes with some great perks. Participants will be rewarded at the top with a stunning 360º aerial view of Vancouver, a refreshing beer, and DJ entertainment. Climbers have the ability to customize their workout by completing the route as many times as they like during the allotted time. Additionally, every participant will receive a $5 Harbour Centre Food Court voucher to redeem at any of the Food Court vendors on site.

    Where:
    The Vancouver Lookout, 555 West Hastings street

    When:
    Every Tuesday in March (March 6, 13, 20, and 27), 4:30-6:30pm

    For more info, please visit vancouverlookout.com/events/urban-grind/

  • LANEWAY LEARNING GUIDE NOW AVAILABLE

    Feb 12, 2018



    More Awesome Now is a pilot group and program that takes existing, underutilized laneways and reshapes them into engaging public spaces that are accessible by everyone and contribute to the livelihood of the city. It is an experimental approach to urban design that reshapes these existing laneways in areas such as the financial, entertainment, and fashion districts into animated pedestrian zones that complement the already-thriving micro-cultures of these areas.

    Reimagining and reconfiguring these utilitarian corridors as vibrant recreational, commercial, and performance spaces injects a new type of fine grain activity into the urban commons, increasing the public pedestrian area of the city by as much as 30 per cent. Over time, this could develop into a robust network of interconnected lanes, each with its own sense of place and continually-evolving identity.

    We recently created a Laneways Learning Guide so that anyone can take action and make Vancouver more awesome! To get your hands on a copy, please email Tara Gloster, DVBIA’s Placemaking Lead, at tara@downtownvancouver.net.

  • WE’RE TURNING 28!

    Feb 12, 2018


    On February 19th, the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association turns 28! Who knew that the DVBIA was a millennial?

    There have been so many amazing memories throughout these 28 years; from seasonal favourites like our summer perches and the Christmas Market to epic events like the Winter Olympics in 2010 and TED’s 2014 conference at the Convention Centre, we’ve had a lot of fun. We hope you will celebrate with us by sharing your favourite downtown Vancouver memories. Tweet them to @DowntownVan, mention us on Instagram @DowntownVan, or tag us on Facebook!

  • HERE COMES CHERRY BLOSSOM FEST

    Feb 08, 2018



    Whether a native to Vancouver or merely here for a brief visit, we all rush. To work, to the bus, to shop, to appointments, hardly pausing to catch our breath. Once a year Vancouver’s cherry blossoms call out to us to slow down, stop to notice and appreciate their fleeting beauty, reminding us all of the fragility of our own lives. 

    “And when spring hits downtown Vancouver, we really have something to sing about” Linda Poole, Executive Director Vancouver Cherry Blossom Fest (VCBF). When Poole discovered the perfect haiku by Oz Hershfield of Vancouver, she was inspired to create another new free event for the Festival: Vancouver Sings One Song.

    blossoms bursting
    each tree is a choir
    singing to the sun


    Music’s in the air with Vancouver hosting the 2018 JUNO Awards, and there’s an opportunity for YOU to sing in Vancouver’s landmark church, Christ Church Cathedral on Tuesday April 3, 6:30pm to 9:30pm. Register online by February 23rd to join hundreds of voices and be part of VCBF’s massed choir civic event. The wonderfully inspiring conductor, Kathryn Nicholson (with host choir Sound Eclectic) will teach you the Festival Songbook including the Festival’s original new song “Cherry Blossoms For You & Me.” composed by JUNO award winning artist Tom Landa and Robin Layne. Sign up by February 23 to receive an event t-shirt compliments of Haiku Invitational program sponsor, Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel Ltd. at eventbrite.ca/e/vancouver-sings-one-song-vsos-tickets-39940687672. Once you learn “Cherry Blossoms for You and Me” you’re sure to be inspired to join Pop-Up Choirs to sing to our cherry blossoms at other Festival events.

    Along with presenting Festival sponsors Coromandel Properties and the Vancouver Board of Trade, the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association is proud to also present the Festival’s free concert, Cherry Jam Downtown under Burrard Skytrain Station’s spectacular akebono cherry trees, Thursday April 5 from noon to 1:30pm featuring great local talent.

    The Festival’s Sakura Night Gala, presented by McMillan LLP, will feature two talented chefs from downtown Vancouver: Chef de Cuisine, Will Lew from Hotel Vancouver’s Notch8 and Executive Chef, Ken Nakano from Shangri-La Hotel’s Market by Jean-Georges. Both chefs will showcase their Japanese culinary creations on April 22 at Stanley Park Pavilion.  You can reserve tickets now at the Early Bird Price by visiting vcbf.ca/community-event/sakura-night for this glamorous exclusive evening.

    For Mandarin speakers wanting to learn all about the heritage of our city’s cherry tree heritage, meet Joseph Lin for Tree Talks & Walks Downtown Coal Harbour in the Hyatt Regency Hotel lobby 655 Burrard Street for 10am Saturday March 31. This date is to be confirmed when the downtown cherries come into bloom. Sunday April 1, Wendy Cutler leads a festive Easter Tree Talks & Walks with song accompanied by ukuleles, starting off at Burrard SkyTrain Station at 1:30pm.

    The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival gratefully acknowledges the sustaining support of founding sponsor, the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association. We look forward to celebrating spring with you downtown. Check out Neighborhood Maps to see exactly where the cherry trees bloom downtown and for full Festival information visit vcbf.ca/









  • CHANGING LIVES, BUILDING FUTURES

    Feb 07, 2018



    Since its inception in 2008, Streetohome has contributed more than $31M from the private sector to leverage a variety of projects and programs including 1335 units of supportive housing, the Vancouver Rent Bank, WorkWithUs and Supporting Tenants, Enabling Pathways. 

    Since employment provides marginalized individuals a broadened social network, a sense of belonging, and an opportunity to participate more fully in society, the foundation is facilitating entry into the workforce by matching individuals with employment opportunities that align with their capabilities and preferences. If you’re a business owner, you can get involved with this very important cause by visiting http://wwufoundation.org/.

    We caught up with Rob Turnbull, President & CEO of Streetohome Foundation, and asked him some questions about the great work that the Foundation is involved in right now.

    Q: How did you come up with your employment programs?

    Streetohome’s initial focus of its 10-year plan was on building supportive housing for those who were homeless or at risk of homeless. Since 2008, we have raised more than $31 million from the private sector and leveraged additional resources to build 1,335 homes for single adults, couples, youth and families. Living in stable housing with adequate supports provides a solid foundation for becoming a contributing member of society, but people also need help to address their healthcare and employment needs. Recently, Streetohome has turned its attention to brokering and leveraging employment and addiction recovery opportunities to prevent homelessness in the first place.

    Q: Why did you choose downtown Vancouver for your headquarters?

    Streetohome is located in the old Seymour Building. Aquilini Properties continues to donate the office lease as part of their contribution to solving homelessness in Vancouver. The generosity of Aquilini Properties is one of the reasons we are able to direct 100 percent of capital donations to housing and homelessness prevention programs.  We are very lean, with three staff, and fund our modest operations through separate donations.

    Being downtown was important early on as many of our supportive housing projects were located in the Downtown Eastside. It continues to be ideal to be able to walk a prospective donor from the office to a building and show them how they are able to change lives and build futures. Over the years we have contributed to supportive housing buildings outside the Downtown Eastside and across the City of Vancouver as homelessness has no borders.  

    Q: How do you see downtown Vancouver business owners interacting with your programs?

    Streetohome has partnered with TPD, an international Workforce and HR Solutions company, to launch WorkWithUs – a new non-profit staffing agency which will match individuals seeking employment with employers. WorkWithUs is currently collaborating with businesses that are looking for a unique way to contribute to their community and, at the same time, meet their workforce needs. We have employees who are ready and highly-motivated to re-enter the workplace. For more information on how Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA) members can become involved, please visit the WorkWithUs website at
    http://wwufoundation.org/ or call 604.409.4090.






    For more information about Streetohome Foundation, please visit streetohome.org

  • DVBIA IN THE NEWS

    Feb 06, 2018

    The Downtown Vancouver BIA is regularly featured in the news, advocating on behalf of our member businesses and showcasing initiatives that help bring our forward-thinking vision for downtown Vancouver to life.

    • Exclusive bike lane in cards for Cambie Bridge if council OKs it | Vancouver Sun
    • CTV viewers demand Vancouver close Robson Square illegal drug market | CTV News
    • How to make delicious Italian arancini | Global BC
    • Vancouver police shut down illegal pot market in Robson Square | CKNW with Simi Sara
    • Vancouver Police Reportedly Cracking Down On Pop-Up Pot Shops | Huffington Post
    • Robson Square not working as friendly public space: BIA | Vancouver Courier
    • Robson Square | CBC Radio
    • Local businesses rethink Robson Square plans after police raid marijuana market | CBC
    • With the 420 Farmers Market Shut Down, what are the plans for Robson Square | CKNW, Steele Talk
    • Vancouver’s NPA won’t win support by opposing cycling infrastructure | Globe and Mail
    • The plan for northeast False Creek after the viaducts come down is going before council | Global BC

  • GET THE SCOOP ABOUT HUNGRY GUYS KITCHEN

    Feb 06, 2018



    We sat down with Aldo Velaj from Hungry Guys Kitchen and asked all about what makes HGK special. He tells us what brought him to downtown Vancouver and what’s he’s planning next (hint, it involves Granville Street!).

    First off, tell us a bit about yourself – how long have you been a business owner and how did you first get started? 

    I am originally from Albania but have lived around the world and began a career in the food industry at the age of 16.  My mother was the inspiration behind my start in the industry because she is a phenomenal cook. Having lived and worked across Europe, I finally settled in Boston in 2002 where I owned and operated a restaurant featuring Mediterranean specialties.  I moved to Vancouver in 2015 because of the burgeoning food scene here and started Hungry Guys Kitchen.


    Now tell us about your business – what is Hungry Guys Kitchen, and what is the key to its success? 

    Hungry Guys Kitchen is a fast casual restaurant that serves custom-made salads, burritos, and bowls.  The keys to its success are: fresh ingredients, consistency, and of course, great customer service.



    Why did you choose to locate on Granville Street?
     
    Granville street is where it's happening in Vancouver.  It's sandwiched between the business and residential districts. It is also a street that the City has continuously tried to improve on. 

    What’s next for your business – any plans for changes or expansion? 

    I am in the midst of starting a sister location for Hungry Guys Kitchen.  It will be called "Chit Chat Burger Bar" and located directly across from HGK. The concept will be different but expected to be more exciting.  It will also be one of the first CASHLESS restaurant in the Vancouver.

    For more information on Hungry Guys Kitchen, check out their Facebook page.

  • COOK CULTURE SCHOOL OPENS

    Jan 24, 2018



    The downtown core just got more awesome—Cook Culture cooking classes have come to Howe Street! It doesn’t matter if you’re still learning how to boil water or if you’ve mastered every page of Julia Child’s French cookbook; Cook Culture cooking school has something you’ll love. Offering classes with cuisines from around the world, Cook Culture's downtown location has cooking classes for any skill level.

    Choose from Mexican, Italian, Thai, and more— book a class to learn about your favourite style of cuisine now. The cooking school opened for business on January 23rd. Classes are $95 + tax, and each class is 3 hours long.

    To see Cook Culture Howe Street’s full range of offerings, you can visit their website.



  • JFL NORTHWEST IS BACK

    Jan 23, 2018

    JFL NorthWest, Vancouver’s comedy festival, returns for a third year of hilarity from March 1 to 10, 2018 at multiple venues across Vancouver. A 10-day winter highlight, the Festival is a blend of the best in stand-up, sketch, and improv.

    This year’s Festival features headliners Bill Burr, Trevor Noah, Jo Koy, Maria Bamford, Brian Regan, Jay Pharoah, Anthony Jeselnik, Mike Birbiglia, Nikki Glaser, Jim Norton, The Fighter and The Kid Live, Sasheer Zamata, Todd Barry, Ari Shaffir, Jake & Amir, Rachel Feinstein, This Is That, Ryan Hamilton, Beth Stelling, Kyle Kinane, Tom Papa, Cameron Esposito & Rhea Butcher, Ronny Chieng, Vir Das, Ali Siddiq, Brent Morin, Debra DiGiovanni, Brendan Schaub, The Alternative Show with Andy Kindler, and more.

    JFL NorthWest is also debuting a new comedy film festival - the first edition of the Vancouver Just For Laughs Film Festival - which includes exciting short and feature film screening, premieres, riveting industry speakers, panels, and more.

    More info and tickets at JFLNorthWest.com.

  • WANTED: BIG PICTURE THINKERS

    Jan 08, 2018


    WANTED: Mission-focused and big picture thinkers
    Love the downtown? Love business? Love strengthening communities? Want to make a difference? We’re looking for people who are passionate about downtown and are interested in joining the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association’s (DVBIA) Board of Directors.

    A little more about us, before we request a little bit about you.

    As the largest business improvement association in British Columbia, the DVBIA is proud to represent a 90–block downtown area comprising over 8,000 businesses and property owners. Recognized as the voice of downtown business, the DVBIA provides member-driven programs and services in the areas of advocacy, cleanliness, beautification and marketing downtown Vancouver.

    As a Director, you would have overarching responsibility to set strategic goals that reflect the best interests of our membership. You’d ensure we’re effectively carrying out our new and ambitious five-year strategy plan. (Read it here.) You would also have financial and legal oversight responsibilities; set polices that govern how we function; and act as a key source of insight and critical thought for the President/CEO. In other words, you’ll be stimulating engaging discussions about the organization’s most important issues.

    Who are we looking for?
    Our Nominating Committee is responsible for assessing from time to time of the Board’s required and relevant skills, knowledge and experiences. Our needs dictate the types of candidates we solicit for consideration. At this time, we’re seeking nominees from the following sectors/backgrounds:

    ·         Millennials
    ·         Technology and innovation sectors
    ·         Independent retailers
    ·         Restaurant owner/operators
    ·         Arts and culture
    ·         Government relations/public relations
    ·         Sustainability
     
    What else? You should be a decision-maker at your company/organization, and you should also make sure that you’re an eligible and activated member of the DVBIA (see map of area).

    So you’re interested?
    To start the process, we need the following:
    ·         Your CV
    ·         This Board Skills Matrix completed
    ·         An email to dvbia@downtownvancouver.net with the aforementioned attached documents
     
    The deadline for expressions of interest is January 18th.
    We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

  • Coming Soon: Street Food City

    Jan 08, 2018



    Presented by Tourism Vancouver, StreetFood Vancouver Society and the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA), the cheerful pop-up showcase for local food trucks will commandeer the north plaza outside the Vancouver Art Gallery from January 22rd to 28th.

    Celebrating its seventh anniversary, Street Food City is your opportunity to sample from a collection of Vancouver's Street Food carts all in one convenient location.

    Last year over 20,000 people feasted on fare from over 20 of Vancouver's best street food vendors. We've moved locations this year, and will occupy the brand new developed plaza on the North side of the Vancouver Art Gallery for eight delicious days.

    For food truck details, visit dineoutvancouver.com.

  • RFP: Urban Design Consultant

    Jan 08, 2018



    The DVBIA is seeking proposals from design consultants for the Alberni Street Public Realm Plan. The DVBIA is engaging a design consultant so that they can complete work surrounding design principals that can be presented to the City of Vancouver to assist and guide an overall design plan. The DVBIA’s design consultant needs to understand the wants and needs of key stakeholders and reflect this in their work.

    If you are interested in submitting a proposal please contact Tara Gloster via phone 604.685.7811 or via email tara@downtownvancouver.net to obtain a copy of the request for proposals document.

    The proposal submission deadline is Friday January 12th.

  • 2018 PuSh Festival

    Jan 08, 2018



    The PuSh International Performing Arts Festival (PuSh Festival) 
    announces its 14th annual edition, taking place January 16 to February 4, 2018 at various Vancouver venues. Acclaimed artists from 11 countries will descend on the city for the three-week celebration of cutting-edge expression. From the intimate and immersive, to the monumental and spectacular, a myriad of transformative experiences are in store.

    The Downtown Vancouver BIA is a proud partner of the annual festival.

    The 2018 PuSh Festival features 28 works, including 20 Main Stage shows. Plus, the 2018 PuSh Festival offers industry networking events at the PuSh Assembly, visionary films in the PuSh Film Series, professional workshops, artist talks, and many more ancillary events.

    For tickets, visit pushfestival.ca

  • DVBIA in the News: December 2017

    Jan 08, 2018

    The Downtown Vancouver BIA is regularly featured in the news, advocating on behalf of our member businesses and showcasing initiatives that help bring our forward-thinking vision for downtown Vancouver to life.

    Here’s where we featured in the month of December, 2017.

    •    Conversations That Matter: Revitalizing our city's alleys | Vancouver Sun
    •    Canada looks to Amsterdam for a little night magic | Globe and Mail
    •    Video Vancouver: Alleyway Revitalization | Spacing Vancouver
    •    TransLink to study extending SkyTrain hours on weekends | Global News BC


  • Thank You, Granville Shoppers!

    Jan 08, 2018



    This holiday season, the Downtown Ambassadors showed off their gift-wrapping skills by wrapping presents for downtown shoppers at the Orpheum. The service was free of charge for gifts purchased on Granville street, and by-donation for all other purchases.

    Thanks to everyone who stopped by and donated money. All proceeds have been donated to the Positive Living Society.

  • Best Businesses for Granville

    Dec 04, 2017


    When Peter Meiszner, editor of UrbanYVR.com, asked Charles Gauthier about Granville Street’s potential for new retail and restaurants, the DVBIA’s president and CEO didn’t hesitate. “Granville Street is one of the busiest pedestrian streets in the city and well served by transit,” said Gauthier. “With new residential towers being built in close proximity—Vancouver House by Westbank and Burrard Gateway by Reliance Properties—there will be thousands of new residents nearby, within easy walking distance.”

    In other words, Granville Street is where you want to be doing business. But what kind of business? The Downtown Vancouver BIA recently set out to find out just what types of establishments Vancouverites want to see on downtown Granville St. Here’s a snapshot of what they told us through a 500-person online survey and a two-day in-person activation.

    What people want to see on Granville Street?


    The top three responses from 500 Vancouver consumers:
    • Rooftop and patio bars (16.40%)
    • Restaurants (13.64%)
    • Live music and performance venues (12.23%)

    What types of stores?


    People want to local business owners to open up shop:
    • Local / independent (90%)
    • Chains / franchise (10%)

    What else did Vancouver consumers tell us?


    Other ideas pitched during a two-day storefront activation included a daycare centre, cheap taco stand, local art store and hip coffee shop.

    For the full results or for resources to help you do business on Granville, please contact Gavin Duffus, Economic Development Manager at the Downtown Vancouver BIA, at gavin@downtownvancouver.net.

  • Wanted: Big Picture Thinkers

    Dec 01, 2017


    WANTED: Mission-focused and big picture thinkers


    Love the downtown? Love business? Love strengthening communities? Want to make a difference? We’re looking for people who are passionate about downtown and are interested in joining the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association’s (DVBIA) Board of Directors.

    A little more about us, before we request a little bit about you.

    As the largest business improvement association in British Columbia, the DVBIA is proud to represent a 90–block downtown area comprising over 8,000 businesses and property owners. Recognized as the voice of downtown business, the DVBIA provides member-driven programs and services in the areas of advocacy, cleanliness, beautification and marketing downtown Vancouver.

    As a Director, you would have overarching responsibility to set strategic goals that reflect the best interests of our membership. You’d ensure we’re effectively carrying out our new and ambitious five-year strategy plan. (Read it here.) You would also have financial and legal oversight responsibilities; set polices that govern how we function; and act as a key source of insight and critical thought for the President/CEO. In other words, you’ll be stimulating engaging discussions about the organization’s most important issues.

    Who are we looking for?

    Our Nominating Committee is responsible for assessing from time to time of the Board’s required and relevant skills, knowledge and experiences. Our needs dictate the types of candidates we solicit for consideration. At this time, we’re seeking nominees from the following sectors/backgrounds:

    • Building owner/manager
    • Millennials
    • Technology and innovation sectors
    • Independent retailers
    • Arts and culture
    • Government relations
    • Sustainability

    What else? You should be a decision-maker at your company/organization, and you should also make sure that you’re an eligible and activated member of the DVBIA (see map of area).

    So you’re interested?

    To start the process, we need the following:

    The deadline for expressions of interest is January 18, 2018.
    We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

  • DVBIA in the News: November 2017

    Nov 30, 2017


    The Downtown Vancouver BIA is regularly featured in the news, advocating on behalf of our member businesses and showcasing initiatives that help bring our forward-thinking vision for downtown Vancouver to life.

    Here’s where we featured in the month of November, 2017.

    • DVBIA’s Perch Program fetches positive feedback | Spacing Vancouver
    • Opinion: Homeless shelter residents are 'neighbours, not strangers' | Vancouver Sun
    • Are People Just Reacting With Fear About Modular Housing? | Steele & Drex
    • TransLink could offer 24-hour SkyTrain service, but there’s a catch: official | Global News BC
    • Former police sergeant alleges TransLink doesn't want weekend bar crowd on SkyTrain | Georgia Straight
    • Downtown businesses renewing calls for extended SkyTrain service | CTV News
    • Modular housing would benefit downtown Vancouver, says Business Improvement Association | CBC News
    • Building Halifax through innovation and heritage preservation | Chronicle Herald

  • Christmas Waterfront Style

    Nov 30, 2017


    Join us downtown at the waterfront for the year’s biggest cluster of Christmas festivities.

    • Vancouver Christmas Market: A beloved holiday tradition for locals and visitors alike featuring more than 75 huts of authentic, German sweets, treats, and treasures.
    • Christmas at Canada Place: The nostalgic tradition of the Woodward’s Windows, a magical holiday lighting display, the Sails of Light, and the festive Avenue of Christmas Trees.
    • Flyover Canada: Ho Ho Hold On Tight: Fly with Santa and his elves on a magical flight across Canada and on to the North Pole!
  • Gift Wrapping at Orpheum

    Nov 29, 2017



    This holiday seasons, get your gifts—and then get them wrapped—on Downtown Granville Street!


    FREE for gifts purchased from any store with a direct entrance off of Downtown Granville Street.

    BY DONATION for gifts purchased at stores that are not on Granville St. All proceeds will be donated to Positive Living Society.

    Hours:
    Tuesday, December 5 – Friday, December 22
    10:30am – 6:00pm daily (closed Sundays and Mondays)

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