Join us in Surrey in 2019 for another amazing BIABC + IDA PAcific Northwest Regional Conference.


2019 BIABC + IDA Pacific Northwest Conference

Civic Hotel
Surrey, BC

April 28 - May 1, 2019



2018 Best In The West Award Winners

At the 2018 Conference in Kelowna the following Best In The West Awards were distributed. Where entries exceeded the criteria and shone as examples of strategic excellence in their respective categories, Awards of Excellence were presented, Where entries met the criteria, Awards of Merit were given. The work plans for each winner is available as a resource for all members. Start planning for your entry for the 2019 Best In The West Awards!






Yaletown BIA – Member Engagement Creates Partnerships

In December, the City of Vancouver alerted the Yaletown BIA to its plans to eliminate over 50% of the street parking in the central shopping and dining hub of Yaletown, and that the parking would be stripped within 6 weeks. The decision was made without any consultation with the YBIA. The YBIA realized that the only way to force the City to the negotiating table was to bring public attention and pressure against the City. The YBIA developed an "Issues Management Plan" to layout the strategy and tactics to attract public and member attention to the City's plan.As an outcome of the Issues Management Plan, 60 media stories were published reculting in over 19 million impressions with an advertising value of over $573,000. As a result, the City listened and then launched a series of meetings with Yaletown to re-examine the plan and how its implementation would affect the business district.


Judges Notes: It was a very comprehensive, not boring, well-planned and executed communications strategy that rallied a community around an important issue impacting business viability. Plus it had excellent traditional and social media reach.



Downtown Leadership and Management


Strathcona BIA – MAP Strathcona

With grant support from the Real Estate Foundation of BC, the Strathcona BIA undertook a unique and innovative project to develop a Mobility Advocacy Plan (MAP) for the business district - the first of its kind in Canada. Incorporating the context of changing land-use plans and new developments within and adjeacent to Strathcona, the project explored a range of transportation and mobility issues and solutions, including transit, curb side uses, active transportation, car and bike sharing opportunities and parking. They worked with members, committees and key transportation and mobility partners to determine the priority concerns and desired outcomes and identify actions that SBIA could undertake with partners to address them. Over the 8-month project period, the SBIA engaged with over 260 people, including 70 members. The resulting Mobility Advocacy Plan is a community-based vision and action plan that the SBIA and implementing partners will pursue to achieve shared mobility objectives for the Strathcona area.

Judges Notes: Nice going. It was an incredibly well executed project, highly impressive strategies, tactics and outcomes.


Economic and Business Development




Downtown Prince George BIA – Open for Business (also won in Programming and Partnerships)

Downtown PG worked with the City of Prince George, Tourism Prince George and the Northern Development Initiative Trust on a series of programs aimed at current downtown property and business owners, potential downtwon property and business owners and new development projects for downtown. For several years now these strong partnerships have resulted in many successful and complementary programs.


Judges Notes: Partnerships, teamwork and increased budget and incentives were key to making positive results and renewed vibrancy in the downtown core. It's rare to have everyone rowing in the same direction.






Robson Street BA – #onRobson Digital Campaigns

Robson Street successfully created and executed an annual digital storytelling strategy, which featured a collection of fashion, food and lifestyle campaigns, in collaboration with well-known influencers, as part of its overall marketing program. The content combined a mix of photography, cinemagraphs and video to promote Robson Street in a unique and innovative way and created relevanct for Robson Street as a destination shopping and dining district. The digital campaigns led to growth across all of Robson Street's social media engagement, as well as their relationships with businesses #onRobson.


Judges Notes: A well-rounded roster of amazing programs, very impressive and sweet hashtag..



Mission Downtown BA – Winter Window Wonderland

The Mission Winter Window Wonderland is a tongue twister. It had two objectives: first, to encourage downtown businesses to decorate for the holidays; and second, to encourage residents to shop locally for the holidays in a beautifully decorated downtown core. There were prizes for businesses that particiapated and they got tons of positive feedback from from even some of those grumpy businesses that never participate and always complain about parking. Bah humbug to them!.

Judges Notes: They included creative media partnership and prizing, merchant engagement and strategic project timing, because a winter window wonderland in July doesn't make any sense. Partnering with the Mission Record was a valuable way to raise awareness about the project and merchants, and also facilitate the project/window voting process and prize draw.


Programming and Partnerships


Downtown Kamloops BIA – Back Alley Art Gallery

Public murals fill the alleys of downtown Kamloops. The BIA has achieved success in marketing, business development, safety and public space activiation. This program creates partnerships between local businesses and the creative communities. It gives an opportunity for local artists to display their talents and make old walls look outstanding. And they are continuing to build the program, looking for another win next year.

Judges Notes: The program made the walls look pretty, it strengthened the ties and partnerships between the BIA, the business and creative communities, funding organizations, the general public and tourism operators. The artist selection process also proved to be effective in truly reflecting the diverse artistic styles sought by the Downtown Loops.

Downtown Prince George - Open for Business (also won in Economic and Business Development)

The City of Prince George, Downtown Prince George BIA and other community partners continue to work together to assist business growth and economic development. The main goals of the collaborative partnership initiatives are to: attract new business development and support current downtown business and property; beautify and activate the downtown core making it more inviting and accessible; and increase the number of residents living downtown. They got huge points for implementing 1) Downtown Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaws; 2) Business Facade Improvement Program; 3) Micro Grants for beautification and special event projects; and 4) everyone's favourite Downtown parking strategies.

Judges Notes: A well-rounded roster of amazing programs, very impressive.



Downtown Maple Ridge BIA - Clean Team

The Clean Team is an initiative of Downtown Maple Ridge BIA in partnership with Alouette Addictions and the City of Maple Ridge, to clean up the sidewalks, back and front entrances of member businesses in the downtown core area, to reduce the number of calls regarding garbage and drug paraphernalia found in the morning, before they open for business. This campaign also addresses the province-wide homeless issue in a positive, pro-active way.


Judges Notes: Maple Ridge actually tracked the exact amount of garbage that was collected. They had clearly identified the need and opportunity, set out with three goals and matched results. They also demonstrated creativity and social responsibility in looking to expand the program to the next level of mentorship.


Robson Street BA - Bute Robson Trial Plaza 

The Robson Street Business Association, in partnership with the City of Vancouver, reimagined what a vehicle centris street could look like and function as a people gathering space instead. Enter Bute Street. The Trial plaza was a good opportunity for the businesses and the community as a whole. Consequently, the RSBA and City of Vancouver collaborated to transform the street last summer into a flexible and inviting space, complete with various seating, umbrellas, a public piano, as well as planters and landscaping, They then got the thumbs up from the businesses and public and then the mayor and council as well. They unanimously voted to approve construction of a permanent plaza in the near future.

Judges Notes: Great example of placemaking in such an urban environment, clearly fills a need and they backed it up with the feedback from their stakeholders.


Special Events


Downtown Prince George BIA – Winterfest

The First Downtown Winterfest event hosted two events in February 2018. The winter event draws on the participating businesses, groups, individuals and the community to embrace the winter climate and to creat a positive image for downtown. With a committed board, experienced staff, public and private sector funding, and competent contractors, the BIA created a signature event that not only attracts residents but also visitors to their downtown.


Judges Notes: Fantastic use of local resources and community engagement and participation.



Kamloops Central BIA – 2 New Block Parties for Downtown Kamloops

Party #1: The Back Alley Block Party took place in July in partnership with Brewloops Beer Festival, hosting a licensed event in the back alley. Yourism Kamloops collaborated on ideas and marketing, ensuring success for the event in its first year. The event featured a live graffiti-style mural painting to both entertain guests and promote/engage the arts community. Downtown restaurants set-up on-site catering. Party #2: Welcome Wionter Block Party. When the rest of us are trying to get rid of winter, Kamloops is welcoming it. In partnership with Brewloops and the Kamloops Outdoor Skating Association, the event took place at the start of December. This event marked the first ever Flannel & Frost themed Welcome Winter Clock Party. Lumberjacks were welcomed.


Judges Notes: The entry is very well written and clear. The results effectively indicate how both events achieved the objectives, and the poditive feedback, survey graphs, super exciting and social media stats proved Kamloops knows how to PARTY.




Downtown Maple Ridge BIA – Spring Treasure Hunt

This free, family event gave people another reason to tour around Downtown Maple Ridge as they hunt for eggs, collect prizes and fill a passport with stamps. To take part in the Spring Treasure Hunt, 'hunters' needed to pick up a free passport from a participating merchant, or download it from the website, then stop in at least 25 of 30 participating businesses listed on the passport. Each business then hid plastic eggs around their store. Once an egg was found it was traded for a small prize and stamp on their passport. After getting the 25 stamps hunters entered the completed passport to win one of the grant prizes.


Judges Notes: As you can see the Hunt was beautiful and was an effective entry that includes all the key elements, and thorough details, its all in the detail. The event is a very creative and cost-effective way to drive traffic to merchants, enhance member relations and engage the community.



Safety and Security


Kamloops Central BIA – The Expansion of Downtown Kamloops CAP Team

The Customer Care and Patrol (CAP) Team are a group of downtown ambassadors who provide assistance to businesses, tourists and citizens alike. The CAP Team consists of a Team Supervisor and several patrol members who focus on promoting tourism and safety in the downtown core. The expansion took it from a primarily summer program to a year round one. This program has proven to be an asset to Kamloops and fits with the City's strategic plan, crime prevention and tourism. Exceptional customer service with a smile, making sure guests and citizens are cofortable and having fun is part of the overall formula for success.

Judges Notes: Impressive project, the stats collected truly showed the value of the expanded program.




Kamloops Central BIA – Downtown Kamloops Cigarette Recycling Project

From June to January the Kamloops Central BIA created the Cigarette Recycling Project, a low-cost, sustainable initiative to divert cigarette waste from landfills and waterways to be recycled into new products. Downtown Kamloops fostered partnerships with the City, Terra Cycle and Smart Options. Within six months they recycled 15 pounds of cigarette waste.

Judges Notes: Very well organized and clear outline of the plan with measurable results. They developed an effective and collaborative solution from a very modest budget.


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