Host It Downtown: Downtown BIZ To Give $150,000 To Attract New Events Downtown


May 11, 2015


Downtown Winnipeg – Think it, dream it, plan it … Host It Downtown! Today, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ launched Host It Downtown, a new and innovative program that aims to solidify downtown Winnipeg as the premier destination for high-quality and outdoor events year-round – by providing individuals or organizations with the opportunity for seed funding and event support; creating new events and attracting existing events to the heart of our city. With $150,000 in available funding from 2015 to 2016, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ hopes to support 10-20 events and attract additional visits, bringing the total amount of festival-goers in the downtown to well over a million annually.

“50 festivals already run in the downtown, attracting well over 950,000 people annually, generating economic and social activity, activating our streets, and giving Winnipeggers great reasons to come downtown,” says Stefano Grande, Executive Director of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. “Host It Downtown looks to build on this energy and attract even more visits into the heart of our city, with a greater focus on evening and winter. When people visit the downtown at all hours of the day, we are sure to see a more revitalized core and a local economy supported with a greater economic spend.”

“The Downtown BIZ is already supportive of many festivals and events downtown – they have knowledge and expertise that helps new events get off the ground. This new funding will lessen the financial risk for people who have great ideas and capacity to build even more events downtown,” says Sara Stasiuk, Director of Operations for Six Shooter Records, and a member of the Host It Downtown Advisory Committee.

The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is soliciting applications from event organizers for the first round of Host It Downtown funding. Deadline for submissions is June 11, 2015. For more information, visit:

Application Criteria

  • Event must be located within the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ operating zone
  • Applications and all accompanying materials must be received by June 11, 2015
  • Organizers must show a commitment to minimize the environmental impact of the event
  • Priority given to events that focus on winter, evening, and weekend programming

Successful applicants will be provided support for their event in the form of a grant, as well as provided services, event infrastructure, and guidance from Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. Host It Downtown has a budget of $150,000 to fund new initiatives for 2 years and the experience of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ team including the Downtown Watch and Metro Enviro-Clean Teams that can aid in ensuring your event is safe and clean.

Host It Downtown is guided by an advisory committee comprised of: Kevin Donnelly (True North Sports & Entertainment), Kenny Boyce (City of Winnipeg), Rob Kristjansson (City of Winnipeg), Sara Stasiuk (Six Shooter Records), Melissa Morrow (The Forks North Portage Partnership), and Sachit Mehra and Diana Wiesenthal (Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Management Board)

Downtown is Winnipeg’s premier entertainment destination hosting a mosaic of districts that are home to unique cultures. It is where history meets the present and where hundreds of thousands of people gather to experience what our city has to offer. Whether it is our thriving arts and theatre, a concert or sporting event or an evening submersed in our nightlife, visitors are always spending money at local businesses, enjoying a positive downtown experience that will keep them coming back.

About the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ

Established in 1989 by the City of Winnipeg, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is the oldest of Winnipeg’s 16 business improvement zones. Directed by a management board of 15 business owners/leaders and a representative from city hall, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ markets the city centre on behalf of 1,300 businesses and runs programs and provides services that target downtown image, cleanliness, safety, transportation, and parking. The BIZ hosts events and promote downtown as a great place to work, shop, and live. In addition, the BIZ is the voice of the downtown business community and advocates for continued downtown revitalization and enhanced services on behalf of our members. Each retail, commercial, and professional business in the zone is a BIZ member.

– 30 –

For more information, please contact:
Jason Syvixay, Managing Director
Tel: (204) 958-4635; Cell: 997-3040

Host It Downtown_2 Host It Downtown_1 Host It Downtown_3