Community Feed

  • Free PIPA Workshop

    Mar 24, 2015

    Come and learn about the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) and how it affects your business or organization.

    The Privacy and Legislation Branch (PLB) of the Office of the Chief Information Officer will be holding a free half-day PIPA training session in the morning of Thursday, April 16 on the 12th floor of 1125 Howe Street (downtown, on the corner of Howe and Helmcken).

    Please join us from 9am – 12pm for a high-level introduction and overview of PIPA that will include the following:

    • An overview of PIPA’s key features;
    • Coverage (what is and is not covered by PIPA);
    • What is personal information? (definitions and examples);
    • Consent: how it works in practice;
    • Tips for securing and disposing of personal information;
    • Oversight (what the role is of the Information and Privacy Commissioner); and,
    • An introduction to PLB’s tools and resources.

    Space is limited to a first-come first-serve basis with limited seating available, so please RSVP to with your name and organization. Please note this training session will not be offered online.

    Note:    Lunch, snacks, tea/coffee are not provided, and the doors do not open until 8:30am

    Mar 20, 2015

    The Downtown Vancouver BIA, a strong supporter of the Yes vote in the upcoming transportation plebiscite, encourages all its members to vote Yes to a more accessible downtown in the future, which is good for business.  

    Our transportation choices have a profound impact on how we and future generations will live in this region. We need a well-planned and appropriately capitalized transit system that will keep pace with the growth of our region. More rapid transit in particular will reduce road congestion and sprawl, and improve our quality of life. Plus it’s good for business because employment choices are often made based on access to transit. In fact, proximity to rapid transit is becoming a chief consideration in choosing where you live. I’m voting Yes for a better future.

    Tony Astles, Executive V.P. of Real Estate Services for Western Canada, Bentall Kennedy

    Why students are voting yes – with a fun singing video.


    Mar 16, 2015

    The Downtown Vancouver BIA is a strong supporter of the Yes vote in the upcoming transportation plebiscite. There are many individual downtown Vancouver business owners/operators who are also saying ‘yes’ to better transit and transportation:

    My staff members rely on transit to get to work, and the West Coast Express is particularly important for employees who commute from the Fraser Valley. More trains would give them flexibility in their work schedule – particularly on evenings and weekends. Also, more trains would encourage visitors from the Valley to come Downtown and enjoy the entertainment we have to offer. I’m voting Yes because staying with the status quo is not a viable option; our population is growing, and transit is already over-crowded. Half a percent on the sales tax is a worthwhile expense, given the return on investment.

    Stacey Klyne, General Manager, Vancouver Lookout

    Want more reasons why you should vote yes?


    Mar 12, 2015

    The Downtown Vancouver BIA is celebrating its 25th Anniversary with our favourite event - Downtown Libations on Thursday, February 19th 2015, 4-6pm! 

    Take little trip down memory lane to commemorate the work we have done together and look ahead to what the next 25 years have in store.

    The The Belmont Bar on Granville Street is the perfect location for this occasion. This newly renovated establishment offers a hint of Granville’s historic past with its own modern twist.  Sip one of their specialty cocktails or craft beers and wines on tap, sample the local fare, and network with your fellow DVBIA members.

    This event is free for Members. RSVP is required by February 13th 2015.  Click here to register.


    Mar 05, 2015

    UPDATE: Come check out the signature Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival event featuring a Blossom Bollywood dance performance, choreographed cherry petal kite show, and contests at the NEW location, Queen Elizabeth Plaza (650 Hamilton Street). The fun starts at Saturday April 18th gathering at 12:30pm for1pm start until 2pm

    The warm weather has made the famous Vancouver cherry blossom anxious to bloom.

    That’s led to lots of excitement in the city right now about the blossoms, with forecasters predicting an early spring. Most of the blossoms you’re seeing right now are plum trees – it’s easy to be fooled! Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Cherry Scouts report that they’ve arrived three weeks early - so enjoy the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival pre-show!

    As we watch to see how spring unfolds, check the website to see our best bloom predictions; so you can catch the wave of cherry blossoms downtown. Whenever the cherries bloom at Burrard SkyTrain Station, the Festival invites you to come out to celebrate the free Cherry Jam Downtown concert Thursday, April 2 - 12 noon to 1:30 p.m, sponsored by the DVBIA.

    See all the program details.


    Mar 05, 2015

    Photo: Cathie Borrie, author of The Long Hello, by Kimberly Mara Eclipse Photography

    The Vancouver Writers Fest, in partnership with VPL and the DVBIA presents Incite, a free series of interviews, discussions and readings with Canadian and international writers who will change how you see the world.

    Every second Wednesday at 7:30pm
    Alice MacKay Room, VPL Central Branch (Robson @ Homer)

    March 11:
    Two Scotiabank Giller Prize-nominees read from their new novels: Fred Stenson reads from his long-awaited oilsands novel, Who By Fire, and Kim Echlin reads from Under the Visible Life. They’re joined by debut novelist Chelsea Rooney, whose debut novel Pedal challenges the beliefs we hold dear about the essence of innocence.

    March 25:
    Cathie Borrie reads from The Long Hello, which chronicles her experience caring for her mother, who was living with Alzheimer’s disease. Lynette Loeppky reads from Cease, about her time as the sole care-giver to the woman she had been planning to leave. And Kara Stanley reads from Fallen, the compelling story of her husband’s life-changing brain and spinal cord injury.


    Mar 05, 2015

    In the next 30 years, Metro Vancouver will welcome 1 million new residents. We need a transit and transportation system that will keep our region moving.

    If the referendum or plebiscite is successful – yes please! – the money will go into a lock box or secure fund overseen by the region’s Mayors who will work with the Government of BC to ensure we build the system today and tomorrow. And, it will cost us all just 35 cents a day per household. A small price for all of us to pay to all benefit.

    The DVBIA is behind the Yes campaign 100%.

    We need all our members to also actively support the campaign. Why? Because we’ll all benefit – walkers, drivers, transit users and cyclists.

    What you can do:

    1. Talk about the campaign with your staff and customers
    2. Wear the ‘yes’ button; distribute posters and pledge cards
    3. Pledge your/your organization’s support at
    4. Make sure you, your family members and staff are registered to vote; register online here
    5. Add your company to the 100+ organizations who are backing the campaign
    6. Educate yourself on the benefits of the plan:
    7. Mail in your ballot as soon as it arrives mid-March
    8. Respond to media stories, blogs and talk show with your support
    9. Invite a rep form the Yes Coalition to an speaking opportunity 

    More info.


    Mar 05, 2015

    CelticFest Vancouver is here: 12 days of celebrating Celtic culture.

    There are dozens of free and ticketed performances and events running March 6-17.

    Highlights include: Alan Doyle, leader of Newfoundland’s beloved Great Big Sea (Vogue Theatre, March 6), Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir with special guests De Danaan Irish Dancers (March 13, Christ Church Cathedral), April Verch with special guests Elsay (March 16, Annex), and The Belmont Whisky Tastings (March 11, The Belmont).

    Free events include the Celtic Village & Street Market, downtown on Granville Street March 14 & 15. And, the big event: the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday, March 15 starting at 11am.

    Full info & tix:


    Mar 02, 2015

    You can’t attend TED2015 – sold out months ago – but you can watch.

    For the second straight year, you can watch the entire TED conference for free at various live web streaming locations throughout the city from March 16 to 20.

     Based on the success of last year’s conference, TED (the non-profit dedicated to “ideas worth spreading”) has expanded its offer of free web streaming to even more locations throughout the city and region.

    “TED2015 in Vancouver will once again welcome global thought leaders in science, business, the arts, and international issues to our city for the world’s most inspiring and impactful conference of its kind. Expanding the live-streaming around Vancouver will make the event more open and accessible than ever before, and will ensure that TED’s ‘Ideas worth spreading’ contribute even further to Vancouver’s emergence as a leading-edge city of innovation,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson.

    This is only the second time the event will be live streamed for free in TED's host city.

    Downtown viewing locations include: 

    • Vancouver Public Library
    • Vancouver International Film Centre
    • YWCA Metro Vancouver

    Your organization can also apply to stream to event.

    Read more.


    Mar 02, 2015

    The streets of downtown Vancouver are filled with diverse and moving artwork if you know where to look. Seek out these wonderful public art pieces to discover the cultural voices that help shape our city.


    Mosaic Art Tiles

    The location: Sidewalks throughout downtown Vancouver
    The artist: Various
    Est. 2005

    Look to your feet while you’re walking downtown and you might see one of these 18 mosaic tiles created in partnership with the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association. Each mosaic reflects a different theme that captures the spirit of downtown Vancouver.



    The location: West Georgia between Thurlow and Bute
    The artist: Varies, currently Robert Youds
    Est. 2009

    This dynamic installation is the Vancouver Art Gallery’s outdoor exhibition space that changes every six months. Come see how each artist uses the space in different ways to change the feel of our city streets.


    Working Landscape

    The location: 901 West Hastings St.
    The artist: Daniel Laskarin
    Est. 1998

    Visit the park throughway bedside the Vancouver Club and you’ll find four circular platforms, each with a park bench and tree in a steel planter. Each platform rotates at a different speed to represent a 40-hour work week, 8-hour work day, 1-hour lunch break and 20 minute coffee break.


    WRAP -

    The location: Along Granville St. from West Cordova to Drake
    The artist: Emily Carr illustration program students
    Est. 2011

    The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association worked with the Emily Carr School of Art & Design to turn each electrical box on Granville St. into a work of art. Twelve students from the Emily Carr illustration program created unique designs to celebrate the fluid and funky nature of Granville St.


    F Grass

    The location: Harbour Green Park
    The artist: Ai Weiwei
    Est. 2014

    Ai Weiwei, celebrated Chinese artist and social activist, created this remarkable sculpture with 1328 tufts of iron grass. You can interpret the elaborate calligraphic “F” in many different ways, but at its core it represents people’s resilience and strength in the face of oppression and censorship.


    Nike Statue

    The location: Intersection of West Cordova St. and Thurlow St.
    The artist: Pavlos Angelos Kougiomtzis
    Est. 2014

    This majestic sculpture was a gift from Georgios Aidonis, mayor of the ancient city of Olympia, in honour of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, stands tall out of the busy intersection just a few steps away from the Olympic cauldron.


    Public Service/Private Step

    The location: 401 Burrard St.
    The artist: Alan Storey
    Est. 2003

    A series of steel columns mirror the inner workings of the nearby Environment Canada and Oceans & Fisheries Building. The five boxes travel up and down in coordination with the five elevator cars inside the building, while an LED matrix reveals the movement of people inside the elevators.


    The Drop

    The location: Vancouver Convention Centre
    The artist: inges idee (Hans Hemmert, Axel Lieber, Thomas Schmidt, and Georg Zey)
    Est. 2009 

    This enormous raindrop is frozen at the exact moment it contacts the earth. Parallel to the Burrard Inlet, this piece reflects on the importance of our waterfront and speaks to the natural forces of weather and water that we encounter so often in our city.


    The Words Don’t Fit the Picture

    The location: 350 West Georgia St.
    The artist: Ron Terada
    Est. 2010

    This large, three-dimensional sign decorates the front of the Vancouver Public Library’s main branch, where 1,280 LED lights spell out text and change colour. Grand and iconic, it reminds us of Vancouver’s legacy of neon signage and teaches us that words have unlimited imaginative power.


    The Fathomless Richness of the Seabed

    The location: Front lobby of the Guiness Tower at 1055 West Hastings St.
    The artist: Jordi Bonet
    Est. 1969

    This abstract blue and gold ceramic wall is inspired by the bottom of the ocean. Each textural, colourful component was crafted to reflect the relationship between the building and the space around it.


    Fountain of the Pioneers

    The location: 500 Burrard St.
    The artist: George Tsutakawa
    Est. 1969

    Walk by the front entrance of the Bentall Building to see an abstract bronze fountain rising out of a long rectangular pool. This sculpture seeks to join the elusive, cyclical nature of water and the static, forceful nature of metal.


    Feb 12, 2015

    It’s hard to believe, but five years ago TODAY downtown Vancouver was ‘centre ice’ for the Olympics.

    Ahhh, the sunshine, red mittens, gold medals, electric atmosphere and endless celebrations.

    The success of the 2010 Winter Games and its ongoing legacy were just a couple highlights of the DVBIA’s first 25 years as an association – something we’re celebrating all of 2015. This is story 2 of the 12 we have prepared this year.

    The DVBIA’s role during the Olympics was to ensure its members were ‘business ready’ for the Games. That they understood the traffic and roadway restrictions, what kind of visitors they could expect to welcome and how their businesses should adapt to the 17-day event.

    In the end, more than 1 million people or 50% of the residents of the Lower Mainland came downtown during the Games, and the 25+ sponsor and country houses set up downtown were a huge hit. Remember the 7-hour waits for the zipline over Robson Square?!

    Take a trip down memory lane with our new video.

    DVBIA - We Remember from pushr on Vimeo.


    Feb 02, 2015

    Bahhh! A flock of a thousand LED sheep will blink, not bleat, on the Vancouver Art Gallery Front Lawn in celebration of the Lunar New Year.

    LunarFest returns to the downtown with an interactive light display from February 20 through 22 with a ton of free events. 

    Ewe won't want to miss this!

    Now, for DVBIA members only, before the sheep make their grand debut to the public, you can invite a sheep to your business and create your own unique Lunarfest Sheep photos to share with your friends and customers on Instagram or Facebook. Contact for more details.

    Did you know the characteristics of sheep include being: calm, dependable, creative, intelligent, artistic, and sincere?

    Are you a sheep? You are if you were – or will be – born in these years: 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027


    Feb 02, 2015

    Experiment, learn and play while exploring the ideas of space and place.

    Join artists, musicians, dancers, performers and educators as they explore concepts around space and place through a range of interactive activities, performances and hands-on workshops at the Family FUSE Weekend at the Vancouver Art Gallery. 

    It runs Saturday, February 28 and Sunday, March 1, 2015 from 10am to 5pm.

    This all-ages event features a dance performance by MACHiNENOiSY, a rocket making workshop with creative, storytelling about two very different BC communities by Stories on Wheels, and other fun activities for families to experience together.

    FREE for Gallery members and for children aged 12 & under when accompanied by an adult.

    Sponsored by the DVBIA.


    Jan 30, 2015

    Photo of April Verch

    CelticFest Vancouver is 11 action-packed days of entertainment with 80+ free and ticketed events from March 6-17.

    Families are invited to the free Celtic Village & Street Market on Granville Street on March 14 & 15, and the big one: the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday, March 15 starting at 11am. Wear green!

    Highlights of the 11th annual festival include:

    • Alan Doyle (Vogue Theatre, March 6) presented by Live Nation and CelticFest Vancouver;
    • A Tribute to The Pogues with some of Vancouver’s best musicians (The Imperial, March 7);
    • Delhi 2 Dublin (March 15, The Imperial)
    • Vancouver  Welsh Men’s Choir (March 13, Christ Church Cathedral);
    • Award-winning Irish play "The Weir" (various dates and locations)
    • The popular CelticFest Ceilidh with The Paperboys, Mark Sullivan & Andy Hillhouse, and Fásta (The Imperial, March 14);
    • April Verch (March 16, The Annex); and
    • The Belmont Whisky Tastings (March 11, The Belmont).

    Jan 30, 2015

    Be our neighbour.  Commercial Real Estate that is available for rent with the DVBIA area can be viewed here.


    Jan 29, 2015

    Metro Vancouver will grow by one million people in the next 30 years. Our region is already congested now, and this will get worse if we fail to act. 

    We need to get ready for growth.

    Fortunately, there is a plan. Metro Vancouver mayors came together to agree on a plan that meets the needs of the region today and into the future. The Mayors’ plan will cut congestion by providing improved transportation and transit choices to people everywhere in Metro Vancouver. 

    From March 16 to May 29, Metro Vancouverites will vote on a mechanism for funding transportation improvements through a 0.5 percent sales tax called the Metro Vancouver Congestion Improvement Tax, which will be added to the existing Provincial sales tax of 7 percent.

    DVBIA members should say ‘no’ to congestion and ‘yes’ to the transportation referendum.

    The DVBIA, along with other groups, including the Better Transit & Transportation Coalition, Moving in a Livable Region, and the Mayors’ Council, are promoting the upcoming referendum/plebiscite that asks for a public decision on transportation funding measures that will pay for Metro Vancouver transportation improvements.

    Who doesn’t want 70% of the region’s residents to have access to frequent transit service? Or, 25% more bus service in the region? Or light rail transit in the Fraser Valley? Or the Broadway Corridor rapid transit line built? Or the Pattullo Bridge replaced? Or 50% more Seabus service? Or upgrades to the major road network to keep people and goods moving? Or 2,700 more kilometres of bikeways?

    The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association has long been speaking out for the need for a more reliable and stable funding source to make much needed future transportation and transit investments. This means cutting congestion and providing reliable and abundant transportation and transit options for a growing region.

    Vote to cut congestion. 

    Follow the conversation.

    Pledge your ‘yes’ vote today.


    Jan 12, 2015

    It’s the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association’s 25th anniversary, and we’re celebrating with stories that explore downtown Vancouver and the impacts of the DVBIA. Every month we’ll publish a blog post, infographic, or video highlighting an interesting story of ours.

    First up is a revealing infographic showcasing the good work the DVBIA Loss Prevention Team does in the city.

    (Please click on the infographic to enlarge)


    Jan 12, 2015

    Celebration! 2015 is the Downtown Vancouver BIA’s 25th anniversary.

    Stroll with us down memory lane as we celebrate the evolution of downtown Vancouver and the DVBIA’s role in it. Each month we’ll highlight a program, event, building, development or person that helped make Vancouver one of the best cities and its downtown the envy of the world.

    We’d love to hear your memories of our downtown along the way. Where were you when……? What makes our downtown rock? Where’s your favourite place to visit or eat?

    But we’re not just looking back. We’re looking ahead – way ahead. This year we’ll launch a process re-imaging what our downtown could smell, feel, look and taste like 25 years from now in 2040. We’ll do it with help from lots of partners and you – because downtown Vancouver belongs to everyone.

    Read our first story about the power of our Loss Prevention specialists and the difference they make in our downtown. 


    Jan 08, 2015

    It’s here. The ban on food scraps in garbage has begun.

    Everyone – yes, everyone – across Metro Vancouver is now banned from including food scraps in our regular garbage. It’s officially called the Organics Disposal Ban. 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.

    Not quite ready? You’ve got a bit of time during the phasing in.

    Between now and June, loads of waste brought to a transfer station with over 25% food will be identified, and the hauler of that load reminded of the ban and provided with information. All businesses and residential buildings are encouraged to plan and introduce food scraps recycling programs during this time. As of July 1, the hammer of financial enforcement begins.

    Read more about the timing & a bit of background.

    So, 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.


    Jan 06, 2015

    LunarFest once again celebrates Lunar New Year showcasing Asian arts and culture in a three-day festival.

    This year the festival features and an exhibition of the World’s Little Shepherds, an outdoor installation with hundreds of sheep (real or fake? – you’ll have to come down to find out!), to help ring in the Year of the Sheep. They’ll also be a Parade of Dragon Dances from Taiwan.

    Check out the mouth-watering Dumpling Fest, the Great Wall of Lanterns, Meeting of Drums, and Lunar arts and crafts. Needless to say, LunarFest has something for everyone – and it’s free, thanks in part to sponsorship from the DVBIA.

    LunarFest runs from Feb 20 – 22 on the Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza. 

Doing Business Downtown
Which programs do you find the most value?