Best in the West Awards 2022

At the 2022 Conference the following Best in the West Awards were announce. Where entries exceeded the criteria as examples of strategic excellence in their respective categories, Awards of Excellence were presented. Where entries met the criteria, Awards of Merit were given. Submission information is presented for each award.

Marketing

Excellence Award

Downtown Prince George BIA – Multi-Media Marketing Campaign

This project was aimed at aligning our messaging to both the community and our businesses by building consistent high quality marketing assets, tactics, and content. The campaign was designed to one: meet the needs of our organization and its business members (500+ businesses) and two: ensure our downtown brand was recognizable and credible to the community and visitors.

Programming and Partnerships

Excellence Awards

Downtown Kelowna Association – Meet me on Bernard

Meet me on Bernard is the closure of 4 blocks of Bernard Avenue for the summer tourist months. 2021 was the 2nd year for the event that was initiated by Mayor & City Council initially as a reaction to the Pandemic and accompanying restrictions in 2020. In year 2 the initiative was improved with new, colourful signage, programming, and expanded participation. The first year was put together quickly by the City. In 2021 we had time to plan and improve the initiative through the creation of a collaborative partnership with the city and Tourism Kelowna.

Downtown Langley Business Association – Pick Up Picnic Project

In summer months during the pandemic, we as a BIA were looking for a way to safely invite customers to support our local restaurants. The restrictions around capacity limits had a great impact on our local restaurants, as many have restricted seating even at full capacity. We noticed restaurants encouraging their customers to order takeout as this would help them increase their sales beyond what they could serve safely inside their locations. As an answer to this, we created the Pick Up Picnic Project to enhance the takeout experience for customers by adding value through swag bags, contests and live pop up entertainment, and to drive business to the participating restaurants with a marketing campaign.

 

Merit Award

Uptown Rutland BIA – Uptown Mural Project

The Uptown Mural Project celebrates diversity with murals that portray community values & will complement & enhance other multi-cultural & community-driven projects. Taking a step back, the year prior to the re-brand launch, 2019, was the first year of the Uptown Mural Project. As a BIA, beautification is mandated and URBA was approached by a University of British Columbia Fine Arts professor about launching a mural project in Rutland. In retrospect, 2019 was the beginning of the re-brand process by shifting priorities from producing community events that had little ROI for members to developing the Uptown Mural Project and, secondly, expand URBA’s digital presence & brand recognition for both the UMP & URBA itself. Public art in the post-COVID19 era: during this especially challenging time we are reimagining the power & function of art in public spaces. We are working towards mending holes in the fabric of our communities left by the closures of our businesses & the imposition of social distancing practices. URBA is taking a lead role in the Okanagan Valley by creating long-lasting impacts within our communities through public art & strongly believe that the UMP will offer dynamic energy & inspirational hope, not only in Rutland but throughout the Okanagan.

Safety and Security

Excellence Awards

Downtown Kelowna Association – On-Street Services

Covering a 42-square block radius, DKA’s On-Street Services teams are dedicated to the safety, security, and cleanliness of Downtown Kelowna during and after business hours. The Downtown On Call (DOC) and Clean Team ambassadors are the most visible members of the DKA, working with business members, visitors to Downtown, the RCMP, and social service agencies to help foster and maintain a positive social environment in Downtown Kelowna.

Downtown Prince George BIA – Clean and Safe Program

Downtown Prince George (DPG) has partnered with several social enterprises to address the increase in litter, needles, drug paraphernalia, biohazards, and graffiti in our downtown zone. This program provides a targeted approach to keeping the Downtown C1 Zone (41 Blocks) Clean and Safe for everyone while creating meaningful and stable employment opportunities for those who might be underemployed or unemployed.

Special Events

Excellence Awards

Downtown Langley Business Association – Pick Up Picnic Project

In summer months during the pandemic, we as a BIA were looking for a way to safely invite customers to support our local restaurants. The restrictions around capacity limits had a great impact on our local restaurants, as many have restricted seating even at full capacity. We noticed restaurants encouraging their customers to order takeout as this would help them increase their sales beyond what they could serve safely inside their locations. As an answer to this, we created the Pick Up Picnic Project to enhance the takeout experience for customers by adding value through swag bags, contests and live pop up entertainment, and to drive business to the participating restaurants with a marketing campaign.

South Granville BIA – Market

The main objective of Market was reducing the barriers/hangups/fears for returning to shopping and dining in South Granville. First, we gave people incentive to leave their home by peaking their interest, then encouraged them to discover the experience to be safe and enjoyable. Sales of our businesses were at about 25% and we were hoping to see a measured jump from this event.

South Granville BIA – TGIFood Trucks

TGIFood Trucks was a summer pop-up of rotating food trucks to transform an underutilized park into a community gathering space. Open to the public and free of charge, TGIFood trucks provided a place to safely meet friends, get a delicious bite of food and increased the area's reputation for being fun and a foodie haven.

 

Merit Awards

Kamloops Central BIA – Santa Parade

The Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association provides value to its members through advocacy, beautification, promotion, development, and preservation of Downtown Kamloops. One of our strategic goals is to 'Maintain the current culture and vibe of Downtown Kamloops to sustain a current business'. There has been a lack of many such initiatives and events downtown and a lack of vibrancy due to the pandemic. There is an immediate need to activate spaces through events and create memories downtown. The Santa parade, a long-standing and loved event downtown for the last 40 years, was a great way to reintroduce the public back to events safely that suit everyone's needs and speeds. If people have a good experience downtown, they will share that and return with their friends! We are giving the public a reason to celebrate their love for downtown and revisit the vibrancy and activity they are used to downtown.

Downtown Kelowna Association – Winter Street Market

The Pandemic & ongoing restrictions had left the business community in Downtown Kelowna in need of promotion and an event to boost business and spirits. The Downtown Kelowna Association had lost a significant part of its direct engagement with the community having primarily engaged them through digital means. The need identified was two-fold, to bring the community back to Downtown Kelowna with a loved event and return the DKA's image as an integral part of Downtown, the community and Okanagan as a whole.

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