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(select ticket type Guest, then checkout, then click on Sessions on the left and then enter the Best in the West Awards)



The 'Best in the West' Awards 2021
DEADLINE EXTENDED to March 29, 2021

A Celebration of Excellence

You’ve worked hard, scored some real victories, and made a measurable difference in your community….now it’s time to take credit for your efforts! Enter your project, initiative, partnership, promotion or campaign in the 2020 Best in the West Awards. Celebrate excellence – yours!

  1. Categories for all projects. 
  2. All entries will be judged against a standard set criteria vs. against each other. This means there can be multiple winners in any category – and this could be you!
  3. BIAs or projects with small budgets are not judged against large BIAs or budgets; every entry has an equal chance to be recognized with a Best in the West Award.
  4. Deadline: March 19 29, 2021
  5. Download the judges evaluation form (below) to better understand how you will graded
  6. Use the Marks of a Winner guide to see what judges will be looking for in an entry – and write yours accordingly.

BIABC members:
$50/per entry for members up to 3 entries.

$100/per entry for non-members up to 3 entries.

**Only online payments will be accepted. Must be made at time of application.


There’s a category for every project – so there’s no excuse for not entering your best work of 2020 - 2021.
1.     Downtown Leadership & Management - Includes strategic planning, governance, financial management, advocacy efforts.

2.     Economic & Business Development - Includes retail recruitment & retention, economic development initiatives.

3.     Special Events - Includes events of any kind targeted at members or the larger community.

4.     Programming & Partnerships - Includes member services initiatives or programs, partnerships with government, private or other collaborators.

5.     Safety & Security - Includes ‘eyes and ears’ or ambassador-type programs, social enterprise partnerships or initiatives, law enforcement collaborations or projects, safety related member services.
6.     Sustainability - Includes initiatives that facilitate a robust and resilient community focused on environmental programs, or social projects, or economic programs, or corporate social responsibility programs that focus on all three areas.

7.     Marketing - Includes brand communication, marketing/promotion communication, external publications, advertising, public service announcements, audiovisual projects or digital communication such as websites, online stores, blogs, podcasts, social networks, democratized content networks, micro-blogging and content-sharing sites or the like.

8.    Communications - Includes government relations, community relations, media relations, issues/crisis communication, member communications, internal publications, community/member consultation, engagement.
Note: Entrants may submit multiple entries in the same category and/or across multiple categories provided that the work plan fits the category description. You may submit as many entries as you wish, but separate entry fees apply for each entry (up to the maximum fees).

Click Here To Go To Entry Page

Please note a new window will pop up

1.  Work plans: Work plans or project descriptions are limited a 4-page 8 /12 x 11 written entry; type no smaller than 10pt.; keep the standard margins (make it easy for the judges to read please!);

2.  Supplemental materials: Supplemental materials must be converted to a PDF. They can include: website or blog screen shots, publications, advertisements, speeches, sample media articles, training materials etc. Any materials that help illustrate your work plan. Include the URLs and/or passwords for websites or other online platforms within your work plan or supplemental materials for judges to view live at judging time if required.
Note: there is no limit on the number of supplemental materials, but less is more. Think 1-6 per entry max.
3.  Eligibility: The bulk of the project/initiative should have been completed between January 2020 and March 2021. Note: for long-term or ongoing programs, something new or different should have taken place within the eligibility period.
4.  Entrant info:
 Include the following information at the top of the typed work plan:

  • Entrant name
  • BIA/organization name
  • Title of the entry
  • Category
  • Timeframe of the project
  • Two-sentence brief summary

5.  Victory follow up:  In the event you are a winner, please provide us in advance with A) a brief introduction of 2-6 sentences describing your project and its highlights in a Word document. B) 2 to 4 high-resolution images for the purposes of a PowerPoint, media release, website postings etc. They can be inserted into the Word document above. Both these elements will also be used at the Best in the West Awards ceremony.
6.  Work plan: Submissions must address the following questions (use the exact headings as provided)
Provide some background on your BIA/organization. Describe when this project took place. Most importantly, describe why this initiative was undertaken – what strategic goal was it addressing for your organization/community? What was the need or opportunity that presented itself that only this project could address?
Note your one visionary, high-level goal for this project. List the measureable objectives (suggestion: 1-3 are ideal). A reminder: objectives should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely) and be outcome vs. output focused. In other words, what behaviour change did you influence vs. what work did you do?
Describe who your main audience was for the project; how you came to decide on this audience; other audiences; and what you knew about them that made this project the right fit for them.
Describe how you developed, created, implemented or rolled out your project. What role did you play? What other partners, staff or volunteers were involved and how? What was the budget? Did you have to ‘sell’ the project to your board or other partners? If yes, how did you do it? What challenges, if any, did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
Measuring against the objectives you set, what were the measurable outcomes of the initiative? How did you measure your success? What were the benefits to your defined audience?

Have you done/included the following:

  • Registered and make payment for your entries
  • Completed the work plan; kept it to four typed pages; submitted via new online form
  • Included relevant supplemental materials; converted them into PDFs
  • Included the relevant URLs or similar for live digital supplemental materials
  • Included the ‘victory’ materials: brief description in Word; 2-4 high-res images
  • Registered for the BIABC annual conference in where the Best in the West Awards will be given out
  • Patted yourself on the back for entering – congrats!

If you have any questions about which category to enter in or submitting your entry, contact Lynn Allin or Collen Van Mook or Carl De Santis and


  1. Think of all the great projects you’ve successfully completed this year – pick the best ones that might be unique or include robust measurement of your success or ongoing programs with a real track record or initiatives other BIAs can learn from or ones you’re most proud of.
  2. Register and pay online for your entries.
  3. Complete the work plan – keep it to four typed pages – and submit it via the online form.
  4. If you’re entering the same project in more than one category, you MUST re-write your work plan to fit each categories’ criteria.
  5. Review the checklist below before you hit ‘send.’
  6. Submit the work plan, supplemental materials, plus the ‘victory’ materials online on or before March 19, 2021.
  7. Register for the BIABC annual conference ONLINE, May 3-4, 2021 where the Best in the West Awards will be given out.
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