February 25, 2015

Happy Birthday: Downtown Vancouver BIA

PT was out of town when the DVBIA blew out the candles on their cake – but its history is worth noting:

The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association is celebrating its 25th ‎Anniversary!

Since its inception in 1990, the DVBIA has helped bring major change to fruition – such as successfully advocating for the 2010 Winter Olympic Gamesand leading the revitalization of Granville Street.‎

As a resource to policy makers, business, media, residents and visitors, the DVBIA has also taken a leadership role in addressing crime prevention, cleanliness, beautification and sustainability – with the singular goal of providing an enriched urban experience that cannot be matched.

Approximately 75,000 people live in the downtown core, and nearly 9 million people visit the city annually. Throughout its 25 years, the DVBIA has tracked public opinion in key areas: overall perception of downtown, safety and transportation. Topline results reveal that people’s attitudes towards downtown are improving, automobile use is on the decline, and people feel safer downtown:

  • 19 per cent increase in the positive overall perception of downtown since 2008
  • 15 per cent increase in those who feel safe downtown since 1997
  • 17 per cent decrease in private automobile use to get downtown since 1991‎

To commemorate a quarter-century of advocacy, the DVBIA has generated 25 years of milestones – such as the Canada Line completion and first annualRogers Santa Claus Parade – that reflect the evolution of Vancouver. Milestone highlights are included below.



Here is just a selection of events and initiatives the DVBIA has spearheaded and supported since its inception in 1990:

  • 1990 – DVBIA is created by Vancouver City Council
  • 1991 – 10,000 people visit Santa’s Magic Forest, a two-week showcase at the VAG
  • 1992 – Inside Vancouver: The Definitive Downtown Sourcebook is published
  • 1993 – Downtown Ambassador Program is founded
  • 1994 – StreetFare performance festival is launched with Street Access Entertainment Society
  • 1995 – Vancouver Economic Development Commission is formed
  • 1996 – Facts on Demand provides information to investors and entrepreneurs around the world
  • 1997 – Downtown Clean Team employs street youth through graffiti and litter removal
  • 1998 – DVBIA expands to include nearly 8,000 businesses in a 90-square-block area
  • 1999 – Vancouver City Council approves a new 10-year mandate
  • 2000 – DVBIA wins International Downtown Association award
  • 2001 – DVBIA helps end an extended transit strike
  • 2002 – DVBIA spearheads the Granville Street Redesign Study
  • 2003 – 2010 Winter Olympic Games awarded to Vancouver and Whistler
  • 2004 – First St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Rogers Santa Claus Parade
  • 2005 – Canada Line Construction begins
  • 2006 – Vancouver Fair Tax Coalition is formed
  • 2007 – City allocates $21 million for Granville Street re-design
  • 2008 – Downtown Ambassador program expands to 24 hours/day
  • 2009 – Canada Line opens ahead of schedule
  • 2010 – Downtown plays ‘centre ice’ to 2010 Winter Olympic Games
  • 2011 – DVBIA launches VanLover campaign following Stanley Cup finals riot
  • 2012 – TD Canada Trust Vancouver International Jazz Festival moves downtown
  • 2013 – Nordstrom’s development begins
  • 2014 – DVBIA backs Mayors’ Council’s 30-year regional transportation plan
  • 2015 – DVBIA celebrates 25th anniversary… the possibilities are endless!

The full list of milestones is available here.


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