Community Feed

  • Downtown Halloween Hotsheet

    Oct 15, 2015

    Looking for something to do this Halloween? Here’s our Hotsheet of things to for Halloween fresh from the Downtown Ambassadors.

    Download the Hotsheet (PDF)


    Oct 14, 2015

    In a unanimous decision by its Board of Directors, the Downtown Vancouver BIA supports the City of Vancouver’s staff recommendation to City Council to remove the Dunsmuir and Georgia Street viaducts.

    More specifically, it supports the replacement of the Dunsmuir and Georgia viaducts with a new bi-directional, four-lane Georgia Street that would connect the eastern edge of the downtown to Pacific Boulevard. And, it supports the construction of a new active transportation bridge to facilitate the movement of pedestrians and cyclists from and to downtown along Dunsmuir Street.

    “Based on input from our membership and results of the City’s planning, analysis and consultation, we believe replacement of the viaducts is the next evolution in making downtown more easily accessible by all modes of transportation,” says Charles Gauthier, DVBIA President & CEO.

    Read the full media release.

  • Downtown Libations at the Vancouver Club

    Oct 07, 2015


    Join us inside the Vancouver Club for a special edition of our always popular Downtown Libations event. We are thrilled to announce the release of our Reimagine Downtown Vancouver findings. We have talked to thousands of folks about what they want their downtown to look, taste and feel like in 25 years. Please join us for cocktails and to hear what they had to say.

    Thursday, November 5th 2015 | 4:00 - 6:00pm
    Presentation at 4:00pm. Networking to follow. 

    The Vancouver Club, 915 West Hastings Street
    Please note a dress code of business casual is required for this event


    Free for DVBIA Members, $20 for guests. Tickets sold in advance only.

    Free for DVBIA Members, $20 for guests. Tickets sold in advance only.

    RSVP is required by November 3rd 2015. Visit to register.



    Oct 07, 2015

    Businesses: Participate for free in this national program and celebrate shopping local – in your business.

    Now underway, Yellow Pages, 120+ BIAs and thousands of businesses across Canada are celebrating our local, small businesses through a national advertising campaign. It all culminates in a big celebration – and shopping – day onSaturday, November 28, 2015. (Yes , this is the day after Black Friday.)

    In a nutshell, here’s how it works:

    1. BIAs register to participate – the DVBIA has done this.

    2. Businesses then decide how they’d like to participate by offering a ‘deal.’

    No, a deal doesn’t have to be a discount. It can be anything to enhance the shoppers’ experience, such as cupcakes or wine while you shop, a donation to your businesses’ favourite charity with a select purchase, buy one item, get a second free or at a reduced rate, purchase over a certain amount of product and receive a gift certificate to return or receive a certificate from a neighbouring business and vice versa. The possibilities are endless. Need more ideas? Simply get in touch with Yellow Pages through the 1-800 help number. It’s free. 

    3. Register your business and your deal. This puts you and your offer on a national registry that is searchable locally. The sooner you post, the longer potential shoppers have to see your name out there

    4. Celebrate on November 28. There are even lots of free, in-store decorating ideas supplied by Yellow Pages. You don’t have to use them, but hey, why not!

    What this campaign ISN’T:

    1. A fee for listing. It really is free to you and your business. Take advantage.
    2. An anti-Black Friday campaign. It’s messaging focuses on the economic and community value of shopping where we all work, live and play.
    3. A lot of work. If you need assistance deciding on a ‘deal’ or want to reach out to your neighbours to partner, but don’t have the staff to assist, local Yellow Pages staff can do it for you. Just ask.
    4. Complicated. This national campaign is happening. It’s simply about encouraging residents of the Lower Mainland to spend their money in our community. Simply post a deal and welcome customers on November 28th.

    If you have questions, contact Ivy Haisell, Manager Member Services, DVBIA, at 604-685-7811 ext. 202 or

  • BMO Vancouver Marathon

    Oct 07, 2015

    The BMO Vancouver Marathon has offered DVBIA members up to 50 registrations at 25% off. The 25% off includes the Relay which is a great option for all fitness levels as it has a 13k, 12k and 5k distance option. Register now. Subject to availability and first come first served.

  • The Plan

    Sep 28, 2015

    As an engaged and vocal stakeholder, the DVBIA advocated for and helped guide the development of the Metropolitan Core Jobs and Economy Land Use Plan. A mouthful of a title – but an essential document to the long term development of the city core. Learn more with our infographic below. The DVBIA’s success with “The Plan” is the 10th story in our 12-part celebration of the DVBIA’s 25th Anniversary.

    View our other 25th Anniversary stories here.

  • Vancouver Art/Book Fair

    Sep 25, 2015

    Free and open to the public, the Vancouver Art/Book Fair (VA/BF) is the only international art book fair in Canada and one of only two on the West Coast. The 2015 Fair is expected to attract 3,000 visitors from across the Greater Vancouver Area and beyond into the heart of city.

    Presented by Project Space, VA/BF is a two-day festival of artists’ publishing, featuring over one hundred local, national and international publishers, as well as a diverse line-up of programs, performances and installations. Featured artists travel to Vancouver from across Canada and the globe, and produce everything from books, magazines, zines and printed ephemera to digital, performative or other experimental forms of publication

    VA/BF takes place Saturday and Sunday, October 17 to 18, 2015 from 12:00pm to 6:00pm at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Visit for details.

  • Bike to Work Week

    Sep 16, 2015

    With Bike to Work Week just around the corner, are you still looking for a reason to get into gear? Here are 5!

    1. You'll Feel Great - Get healthier without even noticing it!
    2. The Prizes. With over $20,000 in prizes, including 5 new bikes & a bike trip for 2 to Vietnam, why wouldn't you sign up?
    3. Get Places Faster. Don't believe it? Try it out.
    4. Save Cash. Don't you want extra money to spend on things other than transportation?
    5. It's More Fun. Try it and you'll agree! Plus there'll be free food, snacks, coffee and bike repairs at over 40 Celebration Stations throughout the week.

    Register FREE Today at

  • Halloween Parade and Expo

    Sep 16, 2015

    Vancouver Halloween Parade and Expo is an annual gathering of arts, cosplay, films, comics, anime, games, toys, costumes and makeup. This year the festival will run from October 15 – 18, 2015.

    Be sure to check out performing arts at Tom Lee Music Hall on October 15 - 16; the Arts and Comic-Con Exhibition, as well as a Rock Music Festival and Fantastic Food Festival at the PNE on October 17 - 18, as well as the Halloween Parade in Downtown Vancouver, starting at 11:00am on Sunday, October 18.

    The Parade (route pictured here) is your chance to see superheroes and super naturals from film, comics and games all come to life! The event is FREE for the public, attracting nearly 100,000 spectators its first year. The Vancouver Halloween Parade is currently welcoming artists, exhibitors and vendors to join the event. Please see the festival website for more details:

    Star Wars by 501st Legion, Photo credit: GoToVan


    Sep 09, 2015

    The Vancouver International Film Festival – one of the largest festivals in North America – begins September 24 through October 9.

    Proudly sponsored by the DVBIA, the festival will feature 22 award-winning films among its offerings, including 600 Miles: A thriller that delves into cross-border crime between Arizona and Mexico and Body: A Polish drama that shifts between a prosecutor for whom death is mundane, his bulimic daughter who is fading away and the girl’s therapist who fancies herself as a spiritual medium.

    Single tickets are now on sale; in-person pre-festival sales start September 12. Festival guides are available at the Vancity Theatre or various retail locations.


    Sep 09, 2015

    Santa’s coming sooner than you think. This is your last chance to secure your ad space in this glossy consumer magazine promoting all things Christmas in downtown Vancouver.

    This month is the deadline to secure your advertisement space for Christmas Downtown, a joint DVBIA/Business in Vancouver publication. This targeted, widely distributed, high-quality, glossy, consumer magazine promotes downtown as THE destination for holiday shopping, dining and entertainment for locals.

    It hits the streets just after Remembrance Day and is current through January 1.

    The magazine includes listings of all the downtown happenings, unique holiday gifts, recipes and restaurants and highlights the various shopping districts.

    Secure your advertising spot now. Space is limited (really!) And, the deadline is firm (really, really!).

    Contact Katharine Wilson at 604-240-1678 or to learn more about this opportunity.

  • Festivals Enliven Downtown

    Sep 08, 2015

    Did you know the DVBIA has a sponsorship portfolio? How about the fact that it supports festivals and events bringing over 1.5 million residents to Downtown Vancouver annually?

    For the last decade, DVBIA sponsorship has supported non-profit arts and cultural organizations activating downtown by encouraging festivals to bring free public programming to the heart of the city. Starting with a few partnerships, the portfolio has grown to include over 30 non-profit organizations, including the VIVA Vancouver program where new or emerging organizations can pilot their activations.

    The success of the DVBIA Sponsorship Portfolio is the 9th story of the 12 we have prepared this year. Please watch and share our video if you too care about arts and culture downtown!


    Aug 31, 2015

    If you were given $1M to spend on improving, changing or enhancing our downtown, how would you spend it? The first 500 respondents to our Re-Imagine Downtown Vancouver initiative looking ahead to how we want our downtown to be in 2040 say:

    1.  support a variety of ways to get around
    2.  create open spaces to encourage opportunities for public interaction
    3.  support arts and cultural events

    This is just one of the questions we’re asking as part of Re-Imagine. We’re reaching out to engage folks near and far – and not just our business members – to get input into this new vision.

    Our survey is open through September. There is still time for you to participate and tell us what kind of downtown experience you want in 2040. The online survey is at


    Aug 31, 2015

    Gas leak, storm, downed trees, power outage, fire….interruptions to businesses come in all shapes and forms. Is your business ready? Want to get ready?

    Being prepared for an interruption to your business – and not just the ‘big one’ – is one of those things all owners/operators know they should do, but struggle to find the time to actually do it. Sometimes it takes a local disaster to kick us in the pants. Was the windstorm on Saturday, August 29th enough of a kick for ya?

    Too overwhelmed to get started? The City of Vancouver has some helpful links. 

    But the best template we’ve found with an easy checklist – and pretty pictures – is this one from the City of Surrey.

    And, simply copy the list of items in the Province’s Emergency Kit and create your own for the office.

    Start anywhere – focus on the safety of your staff or keeping power running to your store or how you’ll ring through sales – but just start!


  • WORD September 23-27th

    Aug 31, 2015

    WORD Vancouver 2015 will run from September 25 to 27th with free events taking place across the city (see list below). Be sure to check out the WORD Vancouver take-over of the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library on September 27th. Come down to hear musical performances, readings and panel discussions, or take part in free writing workshops.

    This year’s programmed authors include: John Vaillant, Aislinn Hunter, Arthur Black, Amber Dawn, William Deverell, Evelyn Lau, George Bowering; for children: Julie Flett, Robin Stevenson, Deborah Hodge, Robert Heidbreder; as well as comic creators: David Boswell, Julian Lawrence, Michael Kluckner. Plus many many more! Check out the entire festival at!

    WORD Vancouver Festival Guide:

    • September 23: Launch of The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them, at SFU Harbour Centre
    • September 24: Pandora's Collective Presents Twisted Poets Literary Salon, Kate Braid and Elizabeth Bachinsky, at the Cottage Bistro
    • September 25: Kemila Zsange, Past Life Regression: A Manual for Hypnotherapists to Conduct Effective Past Life Regression Sessions, at Banyen Books
    • Adventure Awaits! – readings by Tiffany Stone, Elisa Gutierrez, Kathy Beliveau, and Lee Edward Födi, at Christianne’s Lyceum of Art and Literature
    • Adventures in Songwriting - Grant Lawrence, at Historic Joy Kogawa House
    • Pandora's Collective Literary Awards Gala, at CBC Studio 700
    • September 26: A day of workshops for writers and publishers, at VPL Central Branch
    • September 27: Downtown Festival Day, at Library Square

    Aug 31, 2015

    As the City celebrates the second anniversary of its Parklet program that turns parking spaces into cool seating spaces, downtown says ‘we want some!’

    There currently are no parklets in the DVBIA’s 90-block area, but there could be! The City run program requires a champion business or property owner willing to apply and pay for the installation. Read the details on the City’s website. But, before you apply, call the DVBIA as we can help you think through the idea, location, cost and benefits. We’ve already got a few ideas ourselves.

    We want parklets, we want parkets!


    Aug 12, 2015


    SFU Public Square hosts bi-weekly City Conversations on a variety of urban topics where the audience plays an active role in the discussion.
    The next Conversation takes place on Thursday, August 20th at Lot 19 (the parkette on West Hastings between Terminal City and the Vancouver Clubs). The topic: Re-Imagining Downtown Vancouver from the planning, health and social inclusion perspectives.
    Bring your lunch; drop by and join in the conversation.
    Read more.


    Aug 04, 2015

    Tractor foods-16

    Downtown Vancouver is open for business. With a property tax shift intended to make Vancouver a competitive spot for new businesses, there are even more incentives to set up shop downtown. Tractor Foods, purveyor of fresh, healthy meals with a loyal following in Kitsilano, recently opened a second location at Burrard and Cordova. We chatted with owners Steve and Meghan Clarke to gain insight on the rewards and challenges of opening up a business in the downtown core.

    Once you decided to open a new location, why did you choose downtown?

    For Tractor, downtown is about office workers needing access to healthy, quick, top-quality food. There is no better density in this city for mid-day customers than downtown.

    Downtown also has a great overall vibe, including hotel traffic, convention visitors, and residents. We simply love the energy of downtown Vancouver. Not only is it a beautiful spot that showcases Vancouver as a whole, it is a very interesting mix of businesses.

    Tractor foods-15

    Are you changing anything about your store to accommodate downtown customers?

    Our downtown store is set up to be faster, because we know folks are in a hurry and speed is important. We have two payment terminals, and we’re looking to get an online and mobile ordering system up and running as soon as possible. 

    Our store design is also more refined. Compared to Kits, we knew the downtown location would serve a lot more customers in suits (and a lot less in yoga pants). We want our restaurants to reflect the neighbourhood.

    Tractor foods-21

    What were the economic benefits to opening a downtown location as opposed to somewhere else in Vancouver?

    For us it is primarily about density of customers who want to eat high-quality, healthy food. The Marine Building was such a great and unique location – we saw the potential in the space even though it wasn't very pretty when we took it over! Marine is a very special historical building and we loved the idea of being a part of that.

    Tractor foods-39

    What challenges do you anticipate about the downtown market?

    It will take some time to develop an evening and weekend business because we are on the edge of the downtown business core, which gets quieter during those periods. 

    We are open from 11 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. every day of the week because we want to be consistently available to our customers, whether it’s for a quick bite and back to the office, or for someone who is heading home and simply doesn’t feel like cooking.

    Tractor foods-31

    Why is downtown a good choice for new businesses?

    For us it’s about where our customers live. We believe our business has a lot to do with convenience, so if we try to be within walking distance of our core customer base, we’ll succeed.

    But beyond traffic, there are also ancillary benefits. Finance is important as we open new stores, and our downtown location makes it much easier to host banks or new investors and show them what we’re all about. Also, by being part of the downtown community, we hope to grow our brand awareness while offering a unique and fresh food experience.

    Tractor foods-13

    This interview has been edited and condensed.

  • Libations @ The Rooftop Cantina

    Jul 31, 2015

    Join us on Granville Street's only rooftop patio. Located in the heart of the downtown entertainment district, this pop-up venue is the perfect place to say goodbye to summer. 

    The Rooftop Cantina is proud to host our always popular Summer Libations. Whether you're joining us for an after work cocktail or having a beer at sunset, this relaxed patio is a welcome reprieve from the busy streets below.


    Thursday, August 27th 2015 - 4:00 - 6:00pm


    The Rooftop Cantina, 670 Smithe Street (@ Granville)


    Free for DVBIA Members, $20 for guests. Tickets sold in advance only.


    Registration for this event is now closed.

  • Vancouver Queer Film Festival

    Jul 31, 2015

    The 27th Annual Vancouver Queer Film Festival runs August 13 – 23! Check out the spotlights on home-brewed Canadian craft in Maple Smoked Cinema, deeply moving Latin American films in Sol y Cine, gender-debunking heroes in DIY Gender, and a whole whack of Youth Rated films in Out in Schools presents… Summer of Cinema!
    This year we’re taking the Opening Gala Party outside- join us for our first open-air party at Robson Square on Thursday August 13th at 9pm in Downtown Vancouver. Entry is free with an adult VQFF membership ($5), 19+.
    Scotiabank Super Passes, Tickets, Six Packs (including the new Youth Six Pack) are now on sale! For the full line-up of films, and to get your tickets, check out 

Doing Business Downtown
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