Downtown BIZ Unveils 2016 Action Plan


November 24, 2015


Downtown Winnipeg — Over 170 BIZ members and downtown stakeholders attended the Downtown BIZ’s 27th Annual General Meeting, to celebrate the exciting progress occurring in the heart of our city, and to highlight the BIZ’s achievements in 2015. The BIZ unveiled its action plan for the last year of its Strategic Plan (2014-2016) which builds on the growth observed over the last few years, and includes strategies and programs that focus on increased safety and cleanliness in the emerging Sports, Hospitality, and Entertainment District (SHED) during the evenings and weekends, strengthened connection with the Indigenous community, support for young entrepreneurs, and revitalization of key districts like Chinatown and North Main Street.

“While we’ve achieved a lot during the first two years of our Strategic Plan, 2016 is the year we ramp up even further. We’ll continue to grow our safe and clean programs to respond to the tens of thousands of more people living, working, learning, and visiting our downtown. We’ll continue to be the voice of our downtown, inspiring people through conversation, research, and calls-to-action. We want to make a difference,” said Stefano Grande, Executive Director of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ.

2016 Action Plan Highlights:

  • Undertake a market research study to better understand the emerging night time economy emanating from visits to the MTS Centre and the RBC Convention Centre;
  • The first Lights on Broadway installation will be fabricated under the leadership of the Winnipeg Arts Council and support from the BIZ;
  • Grow the Community Homeless Assistance Team (CHAT) program from 2.5 employees to 8. The BIZ’s CHAT program continues to demonstrate that the best approach to creating a safer environment for all Winnipeggers is by helping people affected by substance abuse get off the street in a compassionate and comprehensive manner;
  • Create a BIZ Safety Committee comprised of key downtown corporations to refresh and evolve all of the BIZ’s safety programs;
  • Continue to attract visitors to the downtown with the farmers’ market, and assess the feasibility of weekly markets year-round;
  • Launch the Urban Wallpaper initiative to create unique imagery to display on construction sites;
  • Implement a back lane art piece to make alleyways more welcoming and visually appealing to tourists;
  • Work with restaurant owners to plan and promote winter patios in the city;
  • Continue with the newly launched Host It Downtown event funding program to catalyze new events in the downtown; and
  • As part of its next thee year plan renewal, the BIZ will launch an unconventional and creative approach to community consultation, leverage social media and on-street activations to not only reach local community members, but all stakeholders who have something to say about our downtown;

The BIZ also revealed its annual 11th annual BIZ Achievement Award recipients for 2015:

  • Most Innovative Business Model – Fools & Horses Coffee Co.
  • New Downtown Landmark – Alt Hotel
  • Bring It Back – Burton Cummings Theatre, operated by True North Sports & Entertainment
  • Corporate Community Champion – Eric Wiens, Vice President, Stantec
  • Exceptional Service – Hat Phan Tailoring Service
  • Downtown Institution – Nathan Detroit’s Sandwich Pad
  • Leadership in the Arts – Dr. Stephen Borys of the Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • Placemaking Partner – Linda McGarva-Cohen and James Cohen of Gendis Inc.
  • Best Turn Around – Prairie 360
  • Significant Contribution to the Downtown Community – Portage Place Shopping Centre and General Manager, David Stone

Download the BIZ’s 2015 Annual Report and/or Strategic Plan for 2014-2016 here.

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For more information:

Jason Syvixay, Managing Director

Ph: (204) 958-4635;