Community Feed


    Dec 22, 2014

    DVBIA staff will be drinking eggnog over the holidays, but Ambassadors are still a phone call away.

    The DVBIA offices are closed as of noon on December 24, re-opening on Monday, January 5. Enjoy the holidays!

    The Downtown Ambassadors continue to be available during this time (except Christmas Day) from 8:30am to 8:30pm, in particular, for Safewalks for staff or customers. Call them directly at: 604-689-4357 (HELP).

    Or, look for them at the Robson Square free, family friendly New Year’s Eve celebration that runs till 11pm (yes, it’s an early countdown to 2015 for the young ones!


    Dec 22, 2014

    The Rogers Santa Claus Parade starts at 1pm on December 7.

    Now in its 11th year, Santa Claus and all his elves hit downtown streets to put on a show for more than 300,000 spectators young and old. Traditions are alive and well with marching bands, dance troupes, festive floats and community groups.

    A special part of the event is celebrating the “Spirit of Giving.”  Volunteers will be collecting non-perishable food items and monetary donations on behalf of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. For every $1 donated, the Food Bank can purchase $3 worth of food – so remember those loonies on Parade Day!

    Parade spectators can arrive early for new pre-parade traditions in the making. The free festivities begin at 10:30 a.m. at the all-new Coast Capital Savings Christmas Square (in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery). The Christmas Square includes a Food Bank drop off, gingerbread decorating station, face painting, letters to Santa station, and an entertainment stage featuring exciting music and dancing performances.

    Remember: leave the car at home and take transit. Arrive early to secure your curb-side viewing spot.

    Tip: seek out parade viewing areas away from Granville/Georgia – it’s a lot less busy at West Georgia @ Thurlow, for example. More tips.


    Nov 05, 2014

    Food scraps ban starts January 1 – are you ready?

    The time has come: starting in 2015 everyone – yes, everyone – across Metro Vancouver will be banned from including food scraps in our regular garbage. This includes commercial buildings (grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, retail stores and shopping malls); institutional and industrial buildings (health care facilities and schools); and single family houses, residential and commercial buildings (apartments and offices).

    Food scraps include raw food, plate scrapings, leftovers, de-packaged food, meat etc. Some food soiled paper such as pizza boxes or used table napkins can also be collected.

    Options to help with the transition:

    1. Start a food scraps collection service at your office/business/building
    2. Install on-site organics management for your building

    Why bother?

    • Because 40% of the garbage we send to the landfill is compostable
    • Once food is buried, it releases methane gas that contributes to global warming
    • Throwing away food is expense; businesses can save money by reducing waste

    There are lots of tools, promo material and tips to help you.

    Restaurants and food service operators; use this great guide.


    Nov 05, 2014

    It’s Europe without the jetlag starting November 21.

    Now in its 17th year, The Cinematheque’s annual European Union Film Festival spotlights acclaimed new and recent films from across greater Europe. Presented in partnership with the embassies and consulates of the European Union’s member states – and the DVBIA – the 2014 festival includes entries from 27 of the 28 EU countries (Malta is the exception).

    Each member has carte blanche to select the film that will represent it, making for a dynamic showcase of contemporary European cinema that impresses as much with its diversity as with its accomplishment. International festival favourites abound, but so too do major hometown hits not yet widely seen abroad.

    Expect an entertaining and enlightening state-of-the-Union celebration!

    It runs till December 4.


    Nov 04, 2014

    Photo by Robson Square 

    The ice rink opens for free skating starting December 1.

    The Government of British Columbia’s ice rink, located at Robson Square in the centre of downtown, opens on December 1. A sure sign winter and the holiday season has arrived!

    The rink will be open all through the Christmas Holidays, including Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. It thaws and closes at the end of February 2015.

    Skating is free with your own skates, otherwise rentals are available. The rink also features a concession stand with snacks and warm drinks.

    Sunday to Thursday: 9am-9pm
    Friday and Saturday:9am-11pm

    Skates: $4.00
    *Helmet included with skate rental
    Ice Cleats: $2.00

    Information about holiday hours and special events.


    Nov 04, 2014

    It’s back! The Grey Cup – with or without the BC Lions – kicks off Nov. 30.

    Once again downtown Vancouver will play host to the week-long celebration of all things Grey Cup. From a three-day concert series, the TELUS Street Festival, CFL Awards, Nissan Family Zone, pancake breakfasts, the Athletes in Action breakfast, the Save-On-Foods Grey Cup Festival Parade, team parties, to the official Tailgate party.

    Oh yeah, there’s also the game itself on Sunday, Nov. 30 at BC Place.

    Look for our own Downtown Ambassadors set up at the TELUS Street Festival providing visitor info, a rest location and treats Friday-Sunday. 


    Oct 20, 2014

    Photo by The Vancouver Sun

    Power down the screen, leave the work behind (for a while) and get outside for Take Me Outside Day on October 29. And, you don’t have to go far afield to experience the great outdoors. Unlike other downtowns, you can do it easily in downtown Vancouver.

    1. Stanley Park, recently named the best park in the world by Trip Advisor, is at your door step. Cycle, walk or rollerblade around the famous Seawall.
    2. Pocket parks like Lot 19 on Hastings West @ Hornby offer bistro tables and chairs daily and a respite from the hustle and bustle – and a great place to eat your lunch.
    3. Emery Barnes park offers a water feature, playground and green space in the heart of the city. 

    Oct 20, 2014

    Photo by Friends Of The VPL

    Stock up on reading material for the long, wet, dark winter ahead.

    The Vancouver Public Library’s Central Branch on West Georgia @ Homer is holding its annual Fall Book Sale from Thursday, October 23 through Saturday, October 25 from 10am to 9pm daily.

    Thousands of books of all genres will be on sale each day. Proceeds go to the VPL collections. 


    Oct 08, 2014

    Photo by Helene Toresdotter

    CAG hosts first solo exhibition by Swedish artist.

    The Contemporary Art Gallery (CAG) presents the first Canadian solo exhibition of work by Swedish artist Gunilla Klingberg comprising of two new interrelated large-scale commissions called Brand New View (Vancouver) presented on the gallery façade at 555 Nelson Street and at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station on Davie at Pacific Streets.

    It runs October 10, 2014 through January 11, 2015.

    Klingberg’s practice is characterized by the intersection of received knowledge, folk beliefs and popular culture. The two murals of seemingly quasi-oriental pattern appear to evoke cosmic mandalas, transforming the individual spaces and enveloping the viewer in light and colour, shifting patterns and reflections. Klingberg’s work surrounds us. We are seduced, immersed within the work rather than just looking at it. Her interest in using patterns and movement to manipulate our seeing, to influence our state of consciousness and our sensory impressions, has links with Op Art and the psychedelic movement of the late sixties, appropriate touchstones in the recent history of the counter culture on the west coast.


    Oct 06, 2014

    Tourism is the bigger winner at these annual awards.

    Join special guest Jon Montgomery, winner of the gold medal in men’s skeleton at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and host of The Amazing Race Canada, as tourism's top performers - including our Downtown Ambassadors - are recognized at the 24th Annual Vancouver Tourism Awards Gala Breakfast held on Friday, October 24 starting at 6:45am at the Vancouver Convention Centre East.

    Tickets are $50 each or $475 for a table of ten. Register online.


    Oct 06, 2014

    Photo by The Will Box

    Everyone loves a parade – especially a spooky one!

    On Saturday, October 18 through Sunday, October 19, from 10am to 9pm the Vancouver Halloween Parade & Expo at the Sheraton Wall Centre will bring a new family friendly celebration to downtown with thousands of cosplayers in costumes from film, comics, anime and games. They’ll also be celebrity guest, exhibitors, artists, performances and more.

    From 12 pm to 3 pm on October 19, it’s a free Halloween parade.With marching bands, horses, floats and performances, the supernaturals, heroes and villains from comics, anime, games, sci-fi, myths and movies all coming alive. You won't believe they actually exist!

    More than 30 groups and over 2,000 participants will be in the parade that starts at Granville and Davie, goes north along Granville, turns west on Smithe, continues south on Howe and finishes at Howe and Davie.

    The early bird special on tickets ends October 17.

    The DVBIA is a proud sponsor of this new downtown festival. 


    Oct 06, 2014

    Want to get fit, save time and have fun?

    Then join thousands of people across Metro Vancouver and sign up for HUB’s Fall Bike to Work Week October 27 through November 2. Log your commutes to track your kilometres cycled and help your organization win a workplace award. And don’t forget to visit a HUB celebration station for free coffee, free bicycle tune-ups and more daily giveaways!  

    Did we mention there are over $15,000 in prizes to be won?

    Register today.

    Bike to Work Week is proudly sponsored by the DVBIA. 


    Oct 06, 2014

    As Vancouver gets colder, we invite you to head down south.

    Chewies Steam & Oyster Bar is the best spot downtown for Creole and Cajun cuisine.  Featuring an open kitchen, steam bar, and top-notch oyster selection (with the shuckers to match!) this restaurant is a gem in Coal Harbour.

    Join us for our next Libations event to meet and mingle with our downtown businesses and enjoy a cocktail from the French Quarter.

    As it is the night before Halloween, don’t be afraid to dress in costume for the occasion.  We may have a treat to go with your trick!

    Thursday, October 30th 2014, 4-6pm

    Chewies Steam & Oyster Bar
    1055 West Hastings Street

    Free for DVBIA members, $20 for guests (Tickets sold in advance only, limited quantity)

    RSVP is required by October 21st 2014.  As space is limited, priority will be given to DVBIA members.  Click here to register.


    Oct 06, 2014

    In 2006, the  DVBIA Board of Directors agreed to support the Vancouver Aquarium's proposal on the basis that it contributes significantly to the regional economy. Read our letter of support from 2006.

    In light of the renewed public discourse about the aquarium the Board of Directors revisited it's position of almost eight years ago with the result of a unanimous reaffirmation of our support. Read our 2014 letter of support for our reasons.


    Oct 06, 2014

    Attention businesses: Participate for free in this national program.

    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 on Saturday, November 29, 2014. (Yes , this is the day after Black Friday and the day before Grey Cup Sunday in Vancouver.)

    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 29. 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 29th.

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


    Oct 06, 2014

    Photo by Project Space

    A two-day celebration of publication as an artistic medium.

    Presented by Project Space, the Vancouver Art/Book Fair or VA/BF, is a festival of artists’ publishing featuring nearly one hundred local, national and international publishers. There’s also 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.

    Held at the Vancouver Art Gallery October 4 & 5, the event is free. Proudly sponsored by the DVBIA.

    This event takes place in conjunction with the Vancouver Book Fair – the only antiquarian, collectible and rare book fair in Western Canada – being held the same days at UBC Robson Square.  Serendipitously, both events are being held simultaneously with the Artists’ Books Week.

    One-stop-browsing, buying and reading for book and art lovers of all kinds!


    Oct 06, 2014

    Photo by Flavor Town Adventures

    With the new Happy Hour comes it’s yummy buddy: Appy Hour. Cheap eats at great downtown restaurants. A perfect way to start a meal or, if you have a few, they’re a meal unto themselves.

    Check out the Ten Best Bargain Bites in Vancouver by Alexandra Gill in the Globe and Mail.

    Her list includes:

    Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar at 900 Seymour with ½ dozen oysters and a tequila-and-sherry shaken Twitch for $14 (reg. $27)

    Black & Blue at 1032 Alberni St. with hot rock beef brochettes and sparkling wine lychee bubble for $13 (reg. $28)

    Hapa Izakaya at 909 West Cordova with ebi mayo tempura prawns with a sleeve of Red Truck lager for $8.49 (reg. $14.99)


    Oct 06, 2014

    Need to contact the City of Vancouver to ask a question or report an issue? It couldn’t be easier: 

    1. Simply telephone 3-1-1 most hours of the day, every day
    2. Fill out the online form 
    3. Email
    4. Tweet @CityofVancouver 

    When should you contact the City? When you see a downed tree branch, overflowing trash can, burnt out streetlight, bylaw violations – you get the idea. The more citizens report issues, the more necessary resources can be tracked and allocated where they’re needed most. If you don’t call, who will?

    But you can also contact 3-1-1 if you have questions about permits, licences, road closures or parking…or whatever. 


    Aug 26, 2014

    Photo by Yahoo Canada

    Boo hoo! It’s the last official weekend of Summer. So, make the most of it – downtown, of course. 

    1. Do brunch with friends.
    Brunch has always been trendy, but now there are new downtown options: Café Medina just re-located to Richards @ Robson Streets from Gastown. Best known for their waffles and long waits (worth it!) to get in. Not new but super yum is the Twisted Fork Bistro on Granville – open every day for brunch. How civilized.

    2. Explore TaiwanFest.
    A cultural infusion on Granville Street, the north plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery and other locations. Music, a rice vs. noodles cook-off, karaoke, and dance. New this year: a movie theme. Runs Saturday through Monday.

    3. Gallery hop.
    Three great exhibits; three great galleries – all with exhibits ending soon. ‘Douglas Coupland everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything’ exhibit ends Sept. 1, including his gum head on Howe St. The Bill Reid Gallery’s AKOS: Corey Bulpitt ends Sept. 14 and the Contemporary Art Gallery’s Kelly Richardson-Legion closes August 31.


    Aug 20, 2014

    Running on the seawall. SeaWheeze Photos 2013

    Lululemon knows how to get its sweat on. The second annual half-marathon called SeaWheeze starts at 7am this Saturday, August 23 at the Vancouver Convention Centre and ends with a Sunset Festival in Stanley Park. As their website says “Some would call it a half marathon, but we prefer to call it yoga. run. party.” 

    The route includes downtown, Stanley Park, Coal Harbour, Chinatown, False Creek, West End and Kits – no doubt the best views and neighbourhoods in the city. There will be rolling road closures for the run, so a heads up. Lots of details on the website.

    For those not registered, you can still get a bit sweaty starting with fighting your way into the the SeaWheeze Showcase Store in the Vancouver Convention Centre on Friday, August 22. It’s open 7am to 8pm and the lines were long last year, so be prepared to wait. Then, everyone’s welcome to attend – what else – a free Friday nooner yoga then a sunset yoga at Jack Poole Plaza. 

Doing Business Downtown
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