Excellence Awards

2020 has been a challenging year for BIAs and their members. And it’s not over yet. Individually, we work hard to come up with new and novel ideas to promote our areas and assist our businesses. But we aren’t in this alone. Over the last six months, BIAs in BC, in Canada and around the world have come up with some great ideas that can be adapted to BIAs no matter how big or small or size of levy. Congratulations to all the award winners and honourable mentions.


Burnaby North Road BIA – Crime Prevention

(Partnerships & Advocacy)

We were worried about the potential for a huge crime wave in our area. We were watching on the news, that some cities were boarding up their businesses to prevent looting. We did not want to have to resort to this, so we reached out to Burnaby RCMP to get some help. They have always been major helpers in our business area and again they did not let us down, coming up with a business crime prevention program that we completely benefited from. They increased patrols on foot, bike and car and made up posters for us to place in our windows. The ED went door to door, taping posters on every single business. We did not experience a single break in. Cloverdale BIA took the program to the City of Surrey, and they adopted it right away as well, since the Surrey RCMP had not yet thought of a crime prevention project. A board member took it to the City of Richmond. We partnered with the Heights Merchants Association and the Burnaby Board of Trade to run both of the posters as ads in the Burnaby NOW - thanking the RCMP for their partnership and program ingenuity. Acceptance Video.


Downtown Kamloops BIA – Sustaining & Supporting the Downtown Core

(Marketing, Partnerships and Advocacy)

During the unprecedented times when fear and panic gripped our community, KCBIA knew that COVID-19 would inevitably impact small businesses. Every action and inaction they carried out would determine their survival. Our support became the utmost priority; resiliency, community support and innovation would determine the survival of our treasured downtown core. By steadfastly keeping our downtown safe and vibrant, we have overcome the impossible through several ongoing initiatives and maintaining lines of communication open. Programs include: Downtown to Go; Webinar Series; Open With Care; CAP Team Patrols; #ykastrong; Patio Extensions; Video Messaging. Acceptance Video


Downtown Langley BA – Strengthening Community Through Crisis

(Events, Marketing, Partnerships & Advocacy)

In spite of this dark moment in our history, we as a BIA were looking to step up and support our local businesses, as well as our community as a whole. During this period, we noticed that there were amazing stories of resilience from our local businesses and we wanted to be there to recognize and inspire these businesses during this challenging time period. Programs include: Letter Campaign to Property Owners for Rent Relief; Meal support for Hospital workers; Community Strong campaign; Daily Instagram videos; Phone-tree check-in; On-line app partnerships. Acceptance Video


Downtown New West BIA – Beautification Grant Program – Pivot


Every year for the past 5 years, the Downtown New West BIA has offered members a matching grant for beautification projects. The goal was to encourage improvements made to storefronts including updating signage, power washing, painting, lighting, etc. We would split the cost with a business or property owner up to a maximum of $1,000. However, when we started to learn more about COVID-19, and what business would need to do to operate safely, we decided to make a big change to this program. We quickly rewrote the scope and criteria to support members in making improvements to their businesses in order to ensure physical distancing and to abide by provincial health orders. Acceptance Video


Downtown New West BIA – Fridays #QuestNewWest

(Events, Placemaking)

When the pandemic hit we knew we couldn't produce our beloved Fridays on Front series of street socials, a weekly party full of family fun, food trucks, local vendors, live music and beer. So, like so many others we pivoted and came up with... Fridays #QuestNewWest! A free weekly scavenger hunt style experience where participants complete a series of challenges while exploring Downtown New West. We wanted to use our Fridays on Front brand to introduce an entirely new and safe concept, motivating locals to visit Downtown New West on a weekly basis. Acceptance Video


Downtown New West BIA - #togethernewwest campaign

(Marketing, Placemaking)

The #togethernewwest campaign was developed to emphasize our togetherness, supporting our members through reopening and recovery, and by bringing sparks of joy to our community. Elements of the campaign include: digital and print advertising including video profiles of business owners; vinyl stickers installed in over 200 shop windows and all over the sidewalks of New West with inspiring messages of hope; and we commissioned the “We Are One” mural, thanking front line workers and pushing the message that we are all in this #togethernewwest. Acceptance Video


Downtown Vancouver BIA – FortisBC & DVBIA Heart Hand Sanitizer Stations

(Partnerships & Advocacy, Placemaking, Other)

Two hand sanitizer stations shaped as hearts ("Spread Love, Not Germs") were installed in prominent downtown public spaces as a result of a new partnership between FortisBC and the Downtown Vancouver BIA's placemaking team. The DVBIA saw opportunity to help the community feel safer in downtown public spaces through the installation of hand sanitizer stations. The stations were commissioned as heart-shaped and colourful to communicate sanitization habits in a more positive tone. Acceptance Video


Fleetwood BIA – Open4Business


Drive local customers to the businesses that were open during Phase 1 and Phase 2. n March, the BIA Board of Directors also made the difficult decisions to postpone and/or cancel all spring marketing campaigns and program initiatives and use those funds to support a new “Open4Business in Fleetwood” campaign. This campaign would see our team modify the Fleetwood Deals APP, changing how it would be used and changing how we marketed the App. April’s Phase 1 - Open4Business campaign saw the Fleetwood BIA partner with Surrey’s media friends - PulseFM and the NOW Leader - to provide advertisements and interviews that showcased Fleetwood businesses and created new touch points for our open for business members to access customers. Acceptance Video


Gastown BIA – Murals of Gratitude

(Events, Marketing, Partnerships & Advocacy, Placemaking)

A virtual gallery from #OurGastown community: What started as a grassroots initiative had quickly gained momentum as our local businesses have come together to provide boarded-up storefronts as a canvas to local artists. The acrylic odes are testament to the influence the frontline staff has had on our community and a reminder that we are all in this together. The movement has spread to over 45 murals of gratitude completed by more than 25 local artists throughout Gastown. The movement is a true example of Gastown resiliance; finding beauty and hope in the darkest of times. The murals beautified the neighbourhood and brought life back to the streets of Gastown. What started in Gastown, quickly spread through the entire City of Vancouver. Acceptance Video


Robson Street BA – Public Life & Economic Recovery

(Partnerships & Advocacy, Placemaking)

In partnership with the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Mural Festival, the Robson Street BIA, collaborated to deliver various public space interventions within the three block district to promote pedestrian comfort and safety and support businesses post-COVID. Interventions included the installation of widened sidewalk areas, expanded parklets and seating areas, curbside patios, bus bulges and public art. Acceptance Video


Robson Street BA - COVID Sidewalk Decals

(Marketing, Placemaking)

We worked with local artist, Ciele Beau, to create four colourful, cheeky and memorable sidewalk decal designs to share important COVID related messaging with our visitors in a fun, relatable and effective way, such as hand-washing, physical distancing and wearing a mask. They were installed on the four corners of all of our intersections, which are highly visible areas. Acceptance Video


South Granville BIA, Robson Street BA and Downtown Vancouver BIA – Making Art While Apart

(Partnerships & Advocacy, Placemaking)

In April 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, three Vancouver BIA’s partnered with Vancouver Mural Festival to launch the #makeartwhileapart project in response to the increasing presence of boarded up storefronts, which left their commercial streets and neighbourhoods looking neglected and desolate. As many artists were also economically impacted by the pandemic, it was a perfect opportunity to support local artists and also transform the vandalized boards into beautiful pieces of art with positive images and messages that sparked joy, inspired hope, celebrated resilience and brought light to their communities during a dark time. This project resulted in the creation of more than 40 murals across the city and countless social media posts and traditional media stories, support local artists while bringing hope and positivity to the streets in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. With boarded up windows becoming an increasingly common occurrence in neighbourhoods across the city, the BIA’s worked with VMF to enlist a large group of alumni and professional muralists to donate temporary mural work to these locations for a basic honorarium. This resulted in the creation of more than 40 murals across several areas in only a few days. All artists designed imagery and messages to spark joy and/or celebrate the resilience of our communities. VanCity Credit Union, The City of Vancouver and Goodbye Graffiti stepped up as corporate sponsors to provide paint, anti-graffiti coating, and other funding support. Acceptance Video


Vancouver BIA Partnership Communications and Marketing Committee – Open With Care Campaign

(Partnerships & Advocacy, Marketing, Placemaking)

Open With Care is a collective effort to develop marketing materials to gain consumer confidence and get customers back to their local shops and businesses. With simple messaging and a wide range of materials that can be branded by any BIA, the entire campaign is replicable and generously shared province-wide. BIAs are able to select which materials worked best for their districts and industry specific messaging is valuable to businesses in many sectors. Translation of materials was provided by the City of Vancouver. This project is an excellent example of efforts to work together, in a time of great need, to help everyone.

Honourable Mentions

These projects were recognized for their merit. Descriptions and applications will be added before the middle of October. Check back then.

Downtown Courtenay BIA - Welcome Back Video



Downtown Maple Ridge BIA - Mother's Day & Father's Day Gift Guides


Downtown Maple Ridge BIA - Pick Up Picnic

(Events, Marketing)


Downtown Maple Ridge - Tea & Treat



Downtown Penticton Association - Online Marketplace



Downtown Prince George BIA - Downtown Summerfest - Take It Home



Downtown Surrey BIA - Meals of Thanks



Downtown Surrey BIA - Punny Reminders in Chalk



Downtown Surrey - Summer Students

(Partnerships & Advocacy)


Downtown Vancouver BIA - Bute-Alberni Plaza and Waterways Street Mural



Downtown Victoria BA - Save the Sales


Downtown Williams Lake BIA - Business Portrait Project



South Granville BIA - Communications Toolkit



White Rock BIA - Amplify Our Community


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