Community Feed


    Sep 16, 2016

    We did it!

    Check out the new Awesome public lane behind the Birks building that has a new ‘Play’ theme. It’s a BYOB space – meaning bring your own balls – basketball or soccer to play with.

    This idea of Awesome takes existing, underutilized downtown laneways and reshapes them into engaging public spaces accessible by everyone.

    The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, HCMA Architecture & Design and the City of Vancouver are creating a new, robust network of interconnected laneways, each with its own sense of place and evolving identity – starting with the Hastings West lane.

    The lane opened in September as part of the Placemaking Week conference. Thousands showed up. Watch the party video.

    The transformation is almost complete with more lighting to be added. Watch the transformation video.

    So, what difference has it made to how people use the lane? Watch the simultaneous before and after time lapse footage. Our counts tell us more than 3x as many pedestrians are now using the laneway. The majority are taking photos of themselves against the coloured walls. Who knew?

    Where’d this idea come from?

    Last year, 11,000 Vancouverites weighed in on the Downtown Vancouver BIA’s Re-Imagine process. They helped create a vision for downtown for the next 25 years. Refresh your memory.

    One of the ideas that come up again and again – activate, decorate, commercialize, clean up/brighten up our laneways please! So, we are.

    Show us your pics: #moreawesomenow


    Sep 04, 2016

    The idea of Awesome takes existing, underutilized downtown laneways and reshapes them into engaging public spaces accessible by everyone.  

    As a city with a distinctive urban form, Vancouver’s street grid includes over 200+ downtown blocks that are bisected by a lane. Reimagining and reconfiguring these utilitarian corridors as vibrant recreational, commercial and performance spaces could increase the pedestrian area of downtown by as much as 30%. Awesome!

    The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, HCMA Architecture + Design and the City of Vancouver are creating a new, robust network of interconnected laneways, each with its own sense of place and evolving identity – starting with the Hastings West lane between Seymour and Granville Streets behind the Birks Building. Read the media release.

    Weather willing (!), it will be ready for an official unveiling on Thursday, September 15 from 5-10pm as part as part of a ‘Power of Placemaking’ downtown public spaces crawl for attendees of the Placemaking Week conference and all lovers of laneways. Please join us.

    Where’d this idea come from?

    Last year, 11,000 Vancouverites weighed in on the Downtown Vancouver BIA’s Re-Imagine process. They helped create a vision for downtown for the next 25 years. Refresh your memory.

    One of the ideas that come up again and again – activate, decorate, commercialize, clean up/brighten up our laneways please! So, we are.



    Sep 04, 2016

    Join us in Downtown Vancouver for Vancouver's first #POPCrawl! 

    #POPCrawl is a choose your own adventure exploration of Vancouver public space. The free event will kick off at the 800 Block of Robson Street (south plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery) with food trucks, music and some surprise activities. Stop by our Launch Party to grab something to eat and a #POPCrawl Passport. Then set out to see how many sites you can explore in one evening! 

    We've curated the sites, and planned surprise activations at each of them, animated especially this evening. An online map of sites is also available here. Can't make it to the Launch Party? No problem, swing by any of our sites to pick up your #POPCrawl Passport and start your journey there. 

    The POP Crawl will wrap up at the Pendulum Gallery with a special celebration for the Vancouver Public Space Network's 10-year "Time and Place" Anniversary Party.

    #POPCrawl is a celebration of public space, inspired by Vancouver Placemaking Week. Placemaking Week will run fromSeptember 12 – 17th. As more than 1,000 delegates from around the world gather in Vancouver, we want to showcase our city's downtown public spaces and give our residents a chance to engage with them and each other! Increasingly we are understanding how important urban design is in creating healthy communities. Be sure to join us for #POPCrawl to have fun and learn more.

    Teaser: a highlight will be the new ‘re-imagined’ laneway on Hastings West behind the Birks Building.


  • 7th Annual Culture Days

    Sep 01, 2016

    Founded in 2009, Culture Days is a non-profit organization dedicated to building a national network of cultural connections devoted to providing Canadians with opportunities to participate in, and appreciate, all forms of arts and culture. Through an annual three-day national celebration that always begins on the last Friday of September, hundreds of thousands of artists and cultural organizations in hundreds of cities and towns come together and invite Canadians to participate in free, interactive and “behind the scenes” activities to discover their cultural spirit and passion. Since its inception, 10 million Canadians have participated in 40,000 Culture Days activities and events in 900 cities and towns during the annual event.

    The seventh annual Culture Days weekend will take place September 30, October 1 and 2, 2016, and will feature thousands of free, hands-on, interactive activities that invite the public to participate “behind-the-scenes,” to discover the world of artists, creators, heritage experts, architects, curators, designers and other creative people in their communities.

    With thousands of activities registered at, Culture Days drives a multi-level national communications and public relations campaign designed to inspire and catalyze greater public participation in the arts and cultural life of our communities

    Register your Culture Days Activity by July 31 Midnight EDT.

  • Word Vancouver Festival

    Sep 01, 2016

    Word Vancouver, A free festival of reading and writing: A multitude of reading and writing activities will take place at free events between September 21 and 25, all part of Word Vancouver; the big festival day happens on the 25th in and around the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library.

    Take in free readings, panel discussions, writing workshops, site performers, family activities, and more. Canadian authors and book, magazine, comics, education, and literacy exhibitors are all gathered to share a passion for the written word. Fun for literature and literacy lovers of any age! From Wednesday to Friday, experience author readings and events at these venues: Banyen Books & Sound, CBC Studio 700, Christianne’s Lyceum, The Cottage Bistro, The Emerald, and Historic Joy Kogawa House. On Saturday, take part in free professional development workshops. On Sunday, activities are in and around the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library (350 W Georgia St, between Robson and Georgia and Hamilton and Homer).

    This year’s programming includes readings, panel discussions, professional development workshops, entertainment, site performers, the exhibitor marketplace, colouring and typewriter stations, and more. Word Vancouver is thrilled to have authors of all genres joining us: Lynn Johnston, Joy Kogawa, Anosh Irani, Ujjal Dosanjh, Paul Yee, Ronald Wright, Yasuko Thanh, Jen Sookfong Lee, Bif Naked, Carmen Aguirre, bill bisset, Daphne Marlatt, Wayde Compton, Caroline Adderson, Lorelei Bachman, Renée Sarojini Saklikar, Faith Erin Hicks, and many more!

    Facebook: @WORDvancouver #wordvan16

  • Enjoy the Cultures of Central Europe

    Sep 01, 2016

    The HeArt of Europe Festival is a family-friendly festival in Vancouver, where everyone can experience and enjoy the rich and diverse cultures of Central European countries, through arts, music, folk dance, film and more.

    This year the festival will be held on Saturday, Sept. 10 & Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016 at our new location, Robson Square.

  • 35th VIFF Returns

    Aug 29, 2016

    In its 35th year, the Vancouver International Film Festival welcomes the world to Vancouver from September 29-October 14, 2016 as it showcases the top BC, Canadian and international films and plays host to industry professionals from around the globe. Over the course of the 16 day festival, over 930+ hours of film will be screened by over 140,000 admissions.

    Passes and Ticket Packs are on sale (online only) from September 1st. Single tickets go on sale September 8th at the Vancity Theatre from September 15th.

    DVBIA is a proud sponsor of VIFF. Twitter: @viffest Facebook: VIFFest


    Aug 24, 2016

    Were you one of the 11,000 Vancouverites who weighed in on the Downtown Vancouver BIA’s Re-Imagine process last year that helped create a vision for downtown for the next 25 years? Watch our video of the results.

    We’re using all those great ideas to help the association develop its next five-year strategic plan.

    But, this isn’t your usual, dry strat planning process!

    Did you know that by 2025, 75% of the Canadian workforce will be Millennials? That’s where our downtown is headed – and the DVBIA plans to be at the forefront of that wave of change.

    Based on Re-Imagine, major trends impacting various sectors, and the Millennial generation’s influence, we’ve created a draft strategic plan for 2017-2022. Are we on the right track?

    Please take about 10 minutes to share thoughts on this Membership Survey. You can be eligible to win a $100 gift certificate for your efforts.

    Deadline to complete the survey is Friday, September 9, 2016.

  • Mobi on Downtown

    Aug 23, 2016

    A week after its launch, Mobi, Vancouver’s public bike share program, is both a roaring success while still working out a few kinks. Open to just Founding Members so far, about 1,500 early adopters have been the first to ride like the wind between 23 bike stations. Another 1,000 Founding Members can expect to be hitting the road shortly. Early bird rates for Founding Members extended till August 15.

    Registrations for both 30- and 60-minute memberships can be purchased for the regular rates of $180 and $240 respectively. A small price to pay for quick, safe, healthy transport in the city centre.

    Note: as more docking stations and bikes are added to the system, the online map will be updated. Private bike rental shops are also noted on the map. Watch for a mobile App shortly to make commuting even simpler.

    FB: @mobibikeshare
    Twitter: #mobi_bikes @mobi_bikes

  • Piano in the Park

    Aug 23, 2016

    A beautiful refurbished piano has just arrived at Cathedral Square! It was painted by local artist Jake Johnston, and is cared for by the Holy Rosary Cathedral right across the street.

    Keys to the Streets is all about adding flair to the busy city, and creating spontaneous connections through a shared love of music. These public pianos are open to people of all skill levels and invite the rogue concert pianist to show off her talent during a lunch break or stroll through the park.

    The Cathedral Square refurbished piano is a great part of the DVBIA’s efforts to breathe new life and vibrancy to the 1980’s era park, and complements the pink, red, and orange bistro tables and chairs now out in Cathedral Square as part of the Perch program.

    Stay tuned for more exciting changes to this lunch hotspot – we’re just getting started!


  • DOXA's Outdoor Free Screening

    Aug 23, 2016

    DOXA Documentary Film Festival’s Motion Pictures Film Series, with support from the DVBIA , is very happy to offer our second annual FREE outdoor summer screening at Robson Square (800 Robson Street, north steps) with an encore screening of Brent Hodge’s Pistol Shrimps!

    The show is on Wednesday August 24th, 8:30pm at Robson Square.

    A moribund women’s intramural basketball league in Los Angeles is the unlikely setting for a Hoosiers-style sports story, but stranger things have happened in the City of Angels. As actress and Shrimps team member Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) explains in an interview with Jimmy Fallon: “We’re a really serious basketball team. We love to ball and we ball hard. No Haters allowed!” The rest of her team members aren’t quite so certain. For some, it’s a chance to do something they never got to do in high school, meaning play team sports. This is not your mama’s Hoop Dreams, or maybe it actually is.


  • Downtown SkyTrain go wireless

    Aug 19, 2016

    Transit passengers traveling on SkyTrain’s Dunsmuir tunnel in downtown Vancouver, the underground span for the Expo and Millennium lines, can now use their smartphone’s wireless connection.

    As of yesterday, wireless infrastructure installed inside the tunnel allows customers with Rogers to go online, make and receive calls, send and receive emails and text messages, and stay connected during emergencies.

    The infrastructure covers the 1.4-kilometre-long tunnel span of four stations – Stadium-Chinatown, Granville, Burrard, and Waterfront – and the tracks between them, accounting for approximately six minutes of travel time in each direction.  Read more on Daily Hive.

    credit: Image: GoToVan / Flickr
  • Hiring Administrative and Events Assistant

    Aug 11, 2016

    The DVBIA currently has an opening for a positive-thinking and self-motivated Administrative and Events Assistant.

    As the ideal candidate, you thrive in an environment that challenges you to balance multiple demands. You possess strong planning and organization skills. You are a highly effective communicator, both written and oral.  You have a keen eye for detail.  You are professional, and demonstrate a high level of discretion with confidential information. You are a team player and you are pro-active with a positive outlook.  You are able to quickly adapt to new systems and processes. You have a passion for learning and have a desire to learn and grow.

    Read the full job posting and apply online before September 5.

  • Keys to the Streets

    Aug 08, 2016

    Five Keys to the Street pianos have been installed in the downtown. All Keys to the Streets pianos are painted by local artists and placed in an outdoor public space where community stewards look them after for the summer months. DVBIA sponsored pianos are at the Orpheum, Lot 19, Nelson Square, Vancouver Public Library, Canada Place, Oceanic Plaza and Cathedral Square.

    See the map here to find the closest piano to you.

    Support for Keys to the Streets comes from a wide range of organizations and individuals. The pianos are donated, and many are diverted from landfill by the program. Financial support helps refurbishing, tuning, maintenance, and transportation of the pianos. Local artists lend their talents to decorate the pianos with their unique designs.

    See the pianos in action here:

  • Experience Façade Festival 2016

    Aug 03, 2016

    FAÇADE FESTIVAL 2016 is the 2nd year of the annual festival. The event aims to provide the City of Vancouver with a dynamic and interactive approach to place-making and visual art in the public realm. FAÇADE FESTIVAL 2016 takes cues from renowned visual arts festivals such as VIVID in Sydney, Australia, Luminato and Nuit Blanche in Toronto, which draw millions of attendees each year.

    Organized by the Burrard Arts Foundation in collaboration with the Vancouver Art Gallery, this public art project will feature newly commissioned works by artists Barry Doupé, Renée Van Halm, Eric Metcalfe, Rebecca Chaperon and Chris Shier. Projections will take place in the evenings between 8pm and midnight beginning August 30 until September 5, with an encore presentation featuring all five artists on September 4th and 5.

    August 30th-September 5th; 8pm-midnight each evening

    To stay updated on Facade Fest, please follow;

    FB: Burrard Arts Foundation
    Twitter: @burrardarts #facadefest

  • Re-Imagined Plaza Re-do

    Aug 02, 2016

    Built in 1911, the former courthouse turned art gallery, has been at the centre of Arthur Erikson’s Robson Square or Block 51 design. The north or front plaza was originally used for ceremonies. Over the years, it’s become the hub for festivals, protests, impromptu vigils and more.

    Since 2013, the DVBIA has been advocating for a major upgrade to the site. Replacement of the leaking membrane was completed last year. Now, after public and stakeholder consultation, construction on a re-designed plaza has begun.

    The new design will have a flat, hard surface making it easy for festivals to activate. It will have new trees, a washroom, attractive lighting and a design that wraps around the VAG on the Howe side.

    Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

    FB: VivaVancouver 
    Twitter: @Viva_Van

  • More Public Spaces

    Jul 29, 2016

    Cathedral Square is becoming a true Perch. As with all of the other Perches of the DVBIA, this one will be full of colourful, movable tables and chairs. We’ve worked with the Vancouver Park Board to clean up the park and plant flowers. Let a new age of glorious pink, red, and orange furniture begin!

    Invite everyone you know to meet you at the park… then again… it could also be our little secret.

    The tables and chairs will be out for your enjoyment between 10:30-3:30pm on weekdays. Let us know what you think!

  • Bike to Shop Day on August 13

    Jul 29, 2016

    Join us for HUB’s first annual Bike to Shop Day! This one-day event will celebrate cycling for transportation in a new way, by showing how making shopping trips by bike can be fun, easy and convenient.

    On August 13th, ride and shop at local businesses to join in the fun! HUB will be hosting celebration stations near popular shopping destinations in Vancouver with free snacks, drinks, prizes, bike mechanics, and tips on how to carry items by bike.

    Get involved by visiting our stations, stopping at participating stores on the HUB Bike to Shop Passport, joining in one of our themed rides to visit stores that support biking, or simply consider biking to do your daily shopping and show your support!  

    Register in advance to win a BC getaway for two to Kelowna with flights and accommodation (value $1500). Register Here

    Picnic Paradise Ride
    Starting with an empty basket, explore Vancouver's specialty food shops and build your perfect picnic! End the ride to share snacks and stories with new friends at Lot 19, the final stop for all Bike to Shop Day participants.  Sign-up here!

    Pet Parent Ride
    Gain the confidence you need to bike with your pet! This ride will begin and end in Vancouver's dog parks. Learn about pet cycle safety, exchange travel tips with pet parents, and shop at pet stores.  Sign-up here!

    This event is sponsored by the DVBIA in partnership with HUB.

    Twitter: @wearehub

  • Taiwanfest

    Jul 29, 2016

    Rediscover what defines Asia at this year's TAIWANfest! This year's celebration features Hong Kong in a Cultural Tango showcasing stories and icons through music, arts, games and activities, and even a Pan-Asian culinary competition all designed to spice up your summer!

    Learn to play Mahjong by Waterfront Station?

    Watch Chinese Chess integrated with Flag Football taking over Granville street?

    Rope jump like the old days in Taiwan with the Rubber Band Rope!

    More activities like Monkey Theatre, One-Minute Movies and Hong Kong’s “Beat the Petty Person!” will immerse you in two of the most storied cultures in Asia.

    Challenge your knowledge of the Chinese speaking world and redefine your understanding of Asian cultures with exhibits, films, and so much more September 3 - 5 in downtown Vancouver.!

    Buy tickets to a Cultural Tango with Hong Kong, a Taiwanfest Symphony. The show is at the Centre for Performing Arts on Saturday Sept 3.

    Twitter: @taiwanfest

  • Downtown Farmers Market

    Jul 27, 2016

    Located on the plaza of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, the new Downtown Farmers Market showcases great farms and producers from the Lower Mainland with the finest fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, poultry, baked goods and artisan food and craft, and fresh fish.

    You can also sample - and buy - local craft beer, wine and spirits.

    It's open through October every Thursday from 2-6pm. Check out the website first to see what's fresh that week, then walk over for your afternoon break and indulge!}

    Twitter: vanmarkets
    Facebook: vanmarkets

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