#OurDowntown

Downtown Lethbridge

#OurDowntown is an opportunity to highlight and share information on the revitalization efforts in Downtown Lethbridge as well as an opportunity for the public to participate in an ongoing conversation by contributing with comments, questions, ideas, and suggestions on social media with#OurDowntown or by contributing to this Get Involved Lethbridge conversation as opportunities arise.

#OurDowntown is an opportunity to highlight and share information on the revitalization efforts in Downtown Lethbridge as well as an opportunity for the public to participate in an ongoing conversation by contributing with comments, questions, ideas, and suggestions on social media with#OurDowntown or by contributing to this Get Involved Lethbridge conversation as opportunities arise.

  • Downtown Project Celebrates Blackfoot Language

    about 1 month ago
    Oki

    Downtown Lethbridge is proudly located within the territory of the SIKSIKAITSITAPI, the Blackfoot Confederacy.

    The United Nations declared 2019 to be the International Year of Indigenous Languages. Indigenous languages and their speakers are being lost at an alarming rate, which has a direct impact on the transmission of culture and knowledge within all communities, Indigenous and non-Indigenous. Language also plays a significant role in place-making, identity and wellness.

    Promoting Blackfoot and all Indigenous languages spoken in Lethbridge contributes to the well-being of our community and helps us to celebrate the values and culture that make Sikóóhkotok (Lethbridge) unique. The Heart...

    Downtown Lethbridge is proudly located within the territory of the SIKSIKAITSITAPI, the Blackfoot Confederacy.

    The United Nations declared 2019 to be the International Year of Indigenous Languages. Indigenous languages and their speakers are being lost at an alarming rate, which has a direct impact on the transmission of culture and knowledge within all communities, Indigenous and non-Indigenous. Language also plays a significant role in place-making, identity and wellness.

    Promoting Blackfoot and all Indigenous languages spoken in Lethbridge contributes to the well-being of our community and helps us to celebrate the values and culture that make Sikóóhkotok (Lethbridge) unique. The Heart of our City Committee and the Reconciliation Lethbridge Advisory Committee invite you to learn more about the languages and cultures of the Indigenous peoples who call this City home, starting with the original Blackfoot greeting of this territory, OKI.

    A new project has been unveiled and is set to tour the Downtown in celebration of Indigenous language and Reconciliation Week.

    The three-dimensional word "Oki", the traditional Blackfoot greeting, has been created in celebration of the United Nations year of Indigenous Language.

    The unique collaboration between the Reconciliation Lethbridge Advisory Committee (RLAC) and the Heart of Our City Committee (HOCC) can currently be seen on the grounds outside the Galt Museum and Archives. The project, which was designed and manufactured in Lethbridge, is made to be mobile and will be moved around the downtown for different events and celebrations.

    Heart of Our City Committee member and Blackfoot Knowledge Keeper, Jordan Head, says the funding provided by HOCC was a natural step for the committee as it aligns with one of the committee's key values.

    "The Heart of Our City Committee hopes to celebrate and bring greater awareness to the fact that Downtown, like the rest of Lethbridge, is located on traditional Blackfoot territory," says Head. "We want to continue demonstrating that the Downtown is an open and welcoming environment for a diversity of uses, users, and cultures."

    "We know that language plays a huge part in building community, in the transferal of knowledge and in the empowerment of Indigenous people," says RLAC Co-Chair, Amanda Scout. "The Oki project is a creative and visual way to celebrate our Blackfoot culture in the city and we hope it starts more conversation around Indigenous culture and language."


  • Lethbridge Regional Park 'n' Ride Transit Terminal Now Open... includes 293 parking stalls for employees of Downtown

    about 1 month ago
    Park 'n' ride web2

    The Lethbridge Regional Park 'n' Ride Transit Terminal is a multi-purpose facility that provides residents with a comfortable and safe location to access City transit services. The building is also home to regional transit partners Red Arrow and Highway 3 Connector and adds additional parking options to support growth and development in the downtown.

    The facility which opened to the public on August 28, 2019 and is located at 705 - 5 Avenue South (behind the downtown Post Office).

    The new Transit Terminal will provide residents with a comfortable and safe location to access regional and City transit service that...

    The Lethbridge Regional Park 'n' Ride Transit Terminal is a multi-purpose facility that provides residents with a comfortable and safe location to access City transit services. The building is also home to regional transit partners Red Arrow and Highway 3 Connector and adds additional parking options to support growth and development in the downtown.

    The facility which opened to the public on August 28, 2019 and is located at 705 - 5 Avenue South (behind the downtown Post Office).

    The new Transit Terminal will provide residents with a comfortable and safe location to access regional and City transit service that is protected from the weather and offers amenities such as transit pass purchasing and washroom facilities.

    To access real-time transit information visit http://myride.lethbridge.ca or download the Lethbridge Transit app. For more information on the Lethbridge Regional Park 'n' Ride Transit Terminal project visit www.lethbridge.ca/parknride.

    Parking

    This building includes a three level parking structure with 293 stalls.

    • A parking staff member is located inside the facility to assist with any of the monthly parking inquires during business hours.
    • A scrambled reserved monthly parking fob for within the Park 'n' Ride Transit Terminal can be purchased inside the facility at the parking information booth.
    • Motorists with a valid monthly Park 'n' Ride fob can park in any stalls located on the covered decks of levels 4 and 5 or the level 6 roof deck.
    • The cost for access to the scrambled reserved monthly parking area is $105 (GST INCLUDED) plus an initial fee for the creation of the 24 hr access fob.
    • Those with a parking fob will have 24 hr access to the facility and the 4. 5 and 6 level parking decks.
    • This is a secure facility with on-site security during transit hours and 24hr camera surveillance.

    For More Information head to www.lethbridge.ca/downtownparking



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  • Parklet Program Pilot Launches Downtown - Feedback wanted!

    about 2 months ago
    Img 0982

    If you’re looking for a nice place to enjoy some summer shade, look no further than downtown Lethbridge. The City of Lethbridge, in partnership with the Heart of our City committee, is piloting a new project to provide outdoor seating spaces for downtown businesses in the form of a Parklet.

    A Parklet is a temporary seating area that replaces one or two parking spaces by extending from the sidewalk in front of the business into the street. Parklets were first introduced in 2005 in San Francisco and today are a mainstay in communities small and large, from ...

    If you’re looking for a nice place to enjoy some summer shade, look no further than downtown Lethbridge. The City of Lethbridge, in partnership with the Heart of our City committee, is piloting a new project to provide outdoor seating spaces for downtown businesses in the form of a Parklet.

    A Parklet is a temporary seating area that replaces one or two parking spaces by extending from the sidewalk in front of the business into the street. Parklets were first introduced in 2005 in San Francisco and today are a mainstay in communities small and large, from Fernie, BC to New York, New York.

    More people and more activity creates a more vibrant downtown. Parklets help foster a sense of community by creating places for people to sit, relax, visit and enjoy the city. By converting parking space to people space, Parklets make cities more welcoming and people-friendly. They support local businesses by create a sense of place, beautify the streets and make walkable destinations for residents.

    The pilot program offers two forms of support for businesses interested in establishing a Parklet in front of their business. The first option is financial support for the design and construction of a Parklet including a matching grant up to $1,000. The second option is to borrow the City owned Parklet infrastructure at no cost to the business. With either option, the pilot program will also cover the $300 fee for a Parklet permit.

    As a pilot, the Heart of Our City committee will be gathering community feedback from businesses, customers and clients to determine if this is something that could become a more permanent fixture in downtown Lethbridge in years to come.

    For more information on this and other projects to enhance public spaces in the downtown visit www.lethbridge.ca/publicspaces.

    Residents can give feedback on the Parklet pilot project here.

    To inquire about piloting a Parklet at your downtown location contact Andrew Malcolm, Urban Revitalization Manager at 403-320-3926.


  • Recently Approved Adaptive Reuse Incentive Program Ready to Launch

    about 2 months ago
    Canada post vancouver amazon construction june 2019 4

    Recently Approved Adaptive Reuse Incentive Program Ready to Launch

    Applications for the City’s new Adaptive Reuse Incentive Program will be accepted starting August 26. The program provides a matching grant to those wishing to renovate or adapt existing buildings that have historically significance, are deteriorating or that need improvement to meet current fire and building codes.

    The Adaptive Reuse Incentive Program aims to support business and property owners in addressing the financial barriers that come with aging buildings. By giving new life to existing buildings, there is significant economic, social and environmental benefits for...

    Recently Approved Adaptive Reuse Incentive Program Ready to Launch

    Applications for the City’s new Adaptive Reuse Incentive Program will be accepted starting August 26. The program provides a matching grant to those wishing to renovate or adapt existing buildings that have historically significance, are deteriorating or that need improvement to meet current fire and building codes.

    The Adaptive Reuse Incentive Program aims to support business and property owners in addressing the financial barriers that come with aging buildings. By giving new life to existing buildings, there is significant economic, social and environmental benefits for the community. This program will help add function, safety and vibrancy to the spaces that make Lethbridge unique.

    The Adaptive Reuse Incentive Program can provide up to $100,000 in matching funding per property and applies to buildings in the downtown, warehouse district and 13 St. N.

    City Council approved $900,000 in funding for the Adaptive Reuse Incentive Program as part of the 2019-2022 Operating Budget. This will be spread out over the 4-year period.

    Applications will be accepted throughout the year. Should there be inadequate annual funding to meet demand, applications will be held in queue and processed in chronological order as funding becomes available.

    Details on the program including eligibility and funding can be found website at: www.lethbridge.ca/downtownincentives.





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  • Exciting Events and Festivals for 2019

    6 months ago
    Image19

    Temperatures are warming, snow has melted, fresh buds on the street trees bloom, patio chairs have been placed outside cafes, and sidewalk activity is picking up. Spring in our Downtown is here.

    Spring also signals the start of the always exciting event and festival season in our Downtown. The great variety of activities and events attract critical animation, vibrancy, and overall positive awareness of Lethbridge Downtown as people from across the entire city and region make their way downtown on a regular basis to takes in the sights, sounds, and tastes of the amazing festival season.

    Many events receive funding...

    Temperatures are warming, snow has melted, fresh buds on the street trees bloom, patio chairs have been placed outside cafes, and sidewalk activity is picking up. Spring in our Downtown is here.

    Spring also signals the start of the always exciting event and festival season in our Downtown. The great variety of activities and events attract critical animation, vibrancy, and overall positive awareness of Lethbridge Downtown as people from across the entire city and region make their way downtown on a regular basis to takes in the sights, sounds, and tastes of the amazing festival season.

    Many events receive funding through the Heart of Our City Committee’s Activity Grant program which provides City of Lethbridge funds to help local organizations host festivals and cultural or community events within the downtown core. In 2018, 23 events were provided grant funding which resulted in 115 days of additional event based activation of the downtown drawing approximately 65,000 visitors into the Downtown.

    The 2019 Heart of Our City Activity Grant lineup looks to be one of the most exciting years with a variety of music, arts and cultural festivals occuring over 114 days with an anticipated draw of over 60,000 people. This year will see new events funded including: 6th Street Best of the Best Festival, CariBridge Caribbean Carnival, Farmers Market Cartoonist in Residence, Festival of Lights/Dance, Hootenanny Outdoor Children’s Play, and Shelter Me in the Park. This is in addition to some of the reoccurring events that residents have come to love including: Arts Days , Feel the Beat, Jazz at the Park, Pridefest, Lethbridge Electronic Music Festival, Centric Musicfest, Shakespeare in the Park, Word on the Street and Wide Skies Music & Arts Festival.

    In addition to the Heart of Our City Festivals there are many other events and festivals that take place in the Downtown core including Celebrate Downtown (this Thursday!), First Fridays, Street Wheelers Show and Shine, Downtown BRZ Farmers Market, Taste of Downtown, and much much more!

    To stay on top of the 2019 events and festival schedule including dates, times, and additional information make sure to regularly check the downtown event calendar at www.downtownlethbridge.com.

    I challenge every resident to help Our Downtown to be the best it can be. With our partners on the Downtown BRZ and the Heart of Our City Committee, we encourage you to contribute to the content of this column with us on Twitter (@DowntownLeth) using the hashtag #ourdowntownwith yourcomments, questions, ideas, and suggestions .




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  • Celebrating Downtown Champions

    6 months ago
    Cd

    We often use the term revitalization when we talk about the work we are doing in downtown Lethbridge. But what does revitalization really mean? First and foremost, we aimed to create vibrant spaces through positive change. We are challenging the status-quo with investment opportunities and the implementation of programs and services that are helping to create revitalization.

    The process is slow and continuous and although individual aspects or projects can be completed, revitalization as a whole is an ongoing process. Every time a new shop opens, a vacant building gets new tenants, a property slated for demolition is...

    We often use the term revitalization when we talk about the work we are doing in downtown Lethbridge. But what does revitalization really mean? First and foremost, we aimed to create vibrant spaces through positive change. We are challenging the status-quo with investment opportunities and the implementation of programs and services that are helping to create revitalization.

    The process is slow and continuous and although individual aspects or projects can be completed, revitalization as a whole is an ongoing process. Every time a new shop opens, a vacant building gets new tenants, a property slated for demolition is restored, or a festival light up a street, we are seeing the exciting effects of downtown revitalization.

    The challenge with revitalization is that it hinges on the concept of change, which we know is a tough for many, especially when it is in relation to where we live, work or play. Commitment to change is made much easier when you have champions. Champions are those outstanding individuals, businesses, and organizations who embrace change and lead through their actions..

    We are extremely lucky that we have so many champions who work tirelessly day in and day out to enhance and promote our downtown. On April 11 we will celebrate those champions at the Celebrate Downtown awards put on by the Heart of our City (HOC) committee.

    Nominations for the 7 Celebrate Downtown award categories closed on March 1st with 120+ individual nominations. The Celebrate Downtown subcommittee is extremely excited by the number of nominations this year, and has a difficult task at evaluating and making a decision on who will take home the awards.

    The Celebrate Downtown award event will take place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Multicultural Centre (421 6th Avenue South) where downtown friends, neighbors, colleagues and community contributors will have an opportunity to honour our downtown champions while enjoying appetizers, drinks, and live entertainment.

    Information on the nominees can be found at www.lethbridge.ca/downtown and by following the event on Facebook at www.facebook.co/celebratedowntownlethbridge, where there is also information on how you can get your FREE ticket today.

    I also want to remind our downtown business community about the next upcoming safety seminar taking place April 16 at Casa from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The session topic will be on event safety and security including how to protect your business when there are large influxes of people in an area. More information on these monthly sessions can be found at www.lethbridge.ca/safetyeducation.

    I have been encouraged by recent engagement on our Downtown and continue to challenge every resident to help our downtown to be the best it can be. With our partners on the Downtown BRZ and the Heart of Our City Committee, we encourage you to contribute to the content of this column and the BRZ’s #OurDowntown video series with your comments, questions, ideas, and suggestions and engaging with us on Twitter (@DowntownLeth) using the hashtag #ourdowntown and at www.getinvolvedlethbridge.ca/ourdowntown.




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  • Downtown a Focus of City Open House

    7 months ago
    Getinvolved showcase 2019 02 08

    Well-known urban planner Brent Toderian has talked extensively about the importance of public engagement in city development. The cities around the world that are trying new and interesting things, are often the ones having authentic and ongoing conversations with their residents.

    An important piece of this engagement is involving the community in conversations about change. Change can be tough for many reasons. Studies have shown that as humans, we prefer the status quo and we tend to fear loss more than we value gain. Having conversations about change happening in our home can be even more difficult. The nature of...

    Well-known urban planner Brent Toderian has talked extensively about the importance of public engagement in city development. The cities around the world that are trying new and interesting things, are often the ones having authentic and ongoing conversations with their residents.

    An important piece of this engagement is involving the community in conversations about change. Change can be tough for many reasons. Studies have shown that as humans, we prefer the status quo and we tend to fear loss more than we value gain. Having conversations about change happening in our home can be even more difficult. The nature of where we live is very personal – our relationship with our street, neighbourhood and city is one of the most important relationships in our lives.

    We want, and need to have conversations about change for downtown Lethbridge but that means we need your help. Having more discussions with a broader group of people will help us all learning from each other and rethinking what’s possible for our city.

    Arguably, the downtown faces more pressure for change to status quo than anywhere else in Lethbridge. This is why the City of Lethbridge and its many partners and stakeholders are placing so much attention and effort on managing and coordinating this change.

    With this in mind, the City of Lethbridge is hosting an open house on Tuesday, March 12 from 3-7pm, inviting residents to learn about, and engage in the development of our City. The “Get Involved Community Conversation” will feature opportunities to learn about and engage in conversations on a number of projects occurring across the City.

    The downtown will be a major focus of this event featuring many projects that are being planned or are in various stages of completion within the downtown core. This will include the Downtown Clean and Safe Strategy, Cycling Corridors Functional Study, 3rd Avenue Reconstruction, information on grants and incentive programs, and demonstrations on how to use the parking kiosk and the ‘Way to Park’ app. Stop by to see us and you’ll even get a chance to win a preloaded parking card. For more information on this event, visit https://getinvolvedlethbridge.ca.

    Together with the Downtown Business Revitalization Zone (BRZ), Chamber of Commerce, and Lethbridge Police Service, the City will be continuing with monthly Downtown Safety Education Seminars. The next event will be held on March 19at Casa from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. titled, Drug Crisis –What’s Really Happening. This is the second seminar with the first being held in late February giving an introduction and overview of this new initiative. We were very pleased with the excellent turn out and look forward to the on-going sessions to be held the third Tuesday of each month. More information, links to past sessions and upcoming topics can be found at www.lethbridge.ca/ourdowntown.

    By building broader, better conversations in our city and our downtown we can get past the mentality that we could never do that in our city and start thinking about how we can.

    I challenge every resident to help our downtown to be the best it can be. With our partners on the Downtown BRZ and the Heart of Our City committee, we encourage you come to events, have conversations and a part of a positive change. To contribute to the content of this column, join the conversation on Twitter (@DowntownLeth) using the hashtag #ourdowntown with yourcomments, questions, ideas and suggestions.


    *This column was featured in the Lethbridge Herald on March 11, 2019.

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  • Committee Dedicated to Downtown

    8 months ago
    Heart of our city logo color

    The Heart of Our City Committee is a standing committee of City Council established as an outcome of the Heart of Our City Master Plan in 2007. The committee meets once a month and is tasked with championing downtown revitalization. The committee makes recommendations to City Council on issues that affect the downtown, monitor planning and development activities and provide strategic direction on policy. This group also develops incentives and programs that reflect the vision for downtown.

    The committee is comprised of thirteen representatives who bring a diverse set of social, cultural, educational, and environmental perspectives...

    The Heart of Our City Committee is a standing committee of City Council established as an outcome of the Heart of Our City Master Plan in 2007. The committee meets once a month and is tasked with championing downtown revitalization. The committee makes recommendations to City Council on issues that affect the downtown, monitor planning and development activities and provide strategic direction on policy. This group also develops incentives and programs that reflect the vision for downtown.

    The committee is comprised of thirteen representatives who bring a diverse set of social, cultural, educational, and environmental perspectives to the table. Members include representatives from: City Council, Downtown Business Revitalization Zone, Development Industry, Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Lethbridge, Lethbridge Historical Society, Allied Arts Council, Southern Alberta Ethnic Association, Indigenous representative and four citizens at large.

    The committee is funded primarily through the Downtown Redevelopment Fund within the City’s Operating Budget. The fund is responsible for important planning documents such as the Galt Gardens Master Plan (2016) and Civic Common Master Plan (2018) and establishes and maintains successful programs such as the Heart of Our City Activity Grant, Galt Gardens Security, Historic Plaques, Main Street Program Grants - just to name a few.

    The Heart of our City Committee has also been involved in making important funding requests for initiatives that address specific concerns in the Downtown. This has included the Housing Incentive Program (2015), Targeted Redevelopment Incentive (2018), and initiatives targeting cleanliness and safety such as the Diversion Outreach Team (2015) and the recently announced Downtown Clean and Safe Strategy (2019).

    In addition to operating budget requests, the committee has been instrumental in pushing for and supporting significant capital projects in the Downtown including the new Transit Terminal and Park ‘n’ Ride and upcoming 3 Avenue South Streetscaping Reconstruction project between 4 Street and 8 Street.

    To find out more on the Heart of Our City Committee checkout www.lethbridge.ca/downtown.

    I challenge every resident to help Our Downtown to be the best it can be. With our partners on the Downtown BRZ and the Heart of Our City committee, we encourage you to contribute to the content of this column by joining the conversation on Twitter (@DowntownLeth) using the hashtag #ourdowntownwith yourcomments, questions, ideas, and suggestions .


    *This column was published in the Lethbridge Herald on February 11 , 2019

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  • Many Groups Working to Help Downtown

    9 months ago
    Clean and safe front cover image

    In order to effectively revitalize downtown we need to create a positive, unforgettable downtown experience. To achieve this, we know we need to address the real and/or perceived notion that Downtown is messy and feels unsafe.

    Since the adoption of the Heart of Our City Master Plan in 2007, creating a clean and safe downtown has been a fundamental goal of downtown revitalization. These efforts have seen a number of initiatives implemented such as the Clean Sweep Program, Diversion Outreach Team, Downtown Ambassadors, expansion of Lethbridge Police Services’ downtown presence, and private security in Galt Gardens,...

    In order to effectively revitalize downtown we need to create a positive, unforgettable downtown experience. To achieve this, we know we need to address the real and/or perceived notion that Downtown is messy and feels unsafe.

    Since the adoption of the Heart of Our City Master Plan in 2007, creating a clean and safe downtown has been a fundamental goal of downtown revitalization. These efforts have seen a number of initiatives implemented such as the Clean Sweep Program, Diversion Outreach Team, Downtown Ambassadors, expansion of Lethbridge Police Services’ downtown presence, and private security in Galt Gardens, to name a few.

    Between 2007 and 2016, by focusing on decreasing negative cues and increasing positive cues the downtown experienced a noticeable improvement in terms of cleanliness and safety. Unfortunately, over the past two years the downtown has faced escalating instances of drug use, theft, erratic behavior, and petty crime related to increases in unemployment, homelessness, and addiction and substance abuse. Every incident, inappropriate act, or negative cue that one observes or is exposed to, regardless of how serious, is extremely impactful to people’s perception of cleanliness and safety in the downtown.

    To combat these negative perceptions and the City of Lethbridge has been listening and collaborating with various stakeholders in and around the downtown including the Heart of Our City Committee, Downtown Lethbridge Business Revitalization Zone, Chamber of Commerce, Lethbridge Police Service, Fire & Ambulance, Diversion Outreach Team, Social Service Agencies, and businesses and residents to develop a city-led Downtown Clean and Safe Strategy (DCSS).

    The strategy combines components of enforcement, security, outreach, cleaning, promotion, education, and built environment improvements to holistically address the negative perceptions and to make the community feel safe, promote positive downtown activities and events, and inform residents on what the City is doing that builds understanding for the purpose of increasing the vibrancy and revitalization of the downtown. The details of the strategy can be viewed at www.lethbridge.ca/downtown.

    This is not a strategy to attempt to solve the larger underlying issues of the drug crisis such as homelessness, addiction and unemployment. It is a holistic effort to bridge a gap and assist those in the downtown and adjacent areas whose livelihoods are being directly impacted, while the plan to address the larger underlying issues is being developed and implemented through the Community Drug Strategy (www.lethbridge.ca/drugstrategy).

    By investing resources into reestablishing a clean and safe downtown, we will be better positioned to continue with our downtown revitalization efforts to create a positive, unforgettable downtown experience based on welcoming public spaces, program and events, vibrant uses, and marketing and promotions.

    I challenge every resident to help Our Downtown to be the best it can be. With our partners on the Downtown BRZ and the Heart of Our City Committee, we encourage you to contribute to the content of this column and the BRZ’s #OurDowntown video series with your comments, questions, ideas, and suggestions by engaging with us on Twitter (@DowntownLeth) using the hashtag #ourdowntown and at www.getinvolvedlethbridge.ca/ourdowntown.



  • Lots to be excited about for downtown in 2019

    9 months ago
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    Small cracks do not mean you are broken, it means that you were put to the test and didn’t fall apart. I believe this accurately describes the past year for our downtown as the businesses, residents, visitors, and patrons were faced with a number of challenges.

    While 2018 tested the strength and resiliency of our downtown, it certainly is not broken and exciting things are ahead for 2019. In fact, the Community Issues Committee meeting of City Council will hear more about the new strategies to support a clean and safe downtown at their meeting today.

    ...

    Small cracks do not mean you are broken, it means that you were put to the test and didn’t fall apart. I believe this accurately describes the past year for our downtown as the businesses, residents, visitors, and patrons were faced with a number of challenges.

    While 2018 tested the strength and resiliency of our downtown, it certainly is not broken and exciting things are ahead for 2019. In fact, the Community Issues Committee meeting of City Council will hear more about the new strategies to support a clean and safe downtown at their meeting today.

    In taking a moment to look back at the year that was, there is still lots to be excited and proud of. We welcomed a number of new and innovative businesses, attracted thousands of visitors through the hosting of events and festivals, saw buildings (slated from demolition) brought back to life and witnessed countless dedicated organizations and individuals giving up their time to make downtown a better place.

    The Heart of Our City committee is excited to announce details for the fourth annual Celebrate Downtown event. This event recognizes downtown champions for all the work that has been done, and continues to be done by our community to create, maintain and promote Lethbridge’s downtown.

    The Celebrate Downtown awards reception will take place on April 11 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Multicultural Centre (421 6th Avenue South). Participants will enjoy appetizers, drinks, and live entertainment. Downtown friends, neighbors, colleagues and community contributors will have an opportunity to network and join the HOC in honouring downtown champions. This includes the individuals, businesses, organizations and events that have invested in making our downtown more beautiful, livable, exciting, vibrant, accessible and sustainable.

    There are 7 Celebrate Downtown award categories and nominations will remain open until March 1st, 2019. More information can be found on the Celebrate Downtown Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/celebratedowntownlethbridge).

    As we look ahead to 2019, I challenge every resident to help our downtown to be the best it can be. With our partners on the Downtown BRZ and the Heart of Our City Committee, we encourage you to contribute to the content of this column and the BRZ’s #OurDowntown video series with your comments, questions, ideas, and suggestions and engaging with us on Twitter (@DowntownLeth) using the hashtag #ourdowntown and at www.getinvolvedlethbridge.ca/ourdowntown.


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