Downtown Events Add to Exciting and VIbrant Downtown
Attracting people year round to the downtown has been a central goal of the Heart of Our City Committee over the last decade as people are the key to an exciting, vibrant, and animated downtown environment.
In 2011, with the belief that increasing the number events and festivals in the downtown core would help drive animation, vibrancy, and overall positive awareness of Lethbridge Downtown, the Heart of Our City Committee launched a new initiative entitled the Heart of Our City Activity Grant. The initiative would provide City of Lethbridge funds to help local organizations host festivals and cultural or community events within the downtown core.
Over the first eight years, the initiative has proven to be tremendously successful in bringing people from across the entire city downtown on a regular basis, including many who do not live or work near downtown. This serves not only to make downtown more vibrant during the events themselves but also to make a wider portion of the community aware of the unique amenities that exist in the downtown core. Once a citizen has been exposed to all that downtown has to offer, they are more likely to visit downtown for shopping/dining/entertainment on other occasions and are even more likely to consider living downtown or perhaps locating their business downtown.
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. There are several major activity grant-supported events still to come in 2018, and I encourage citizens to get out to these great events and enjoy our downtown. Upcoming events include: Arts Days Sept. 22-30; The Word on The Street Festival Sept. 22; Bright Lights Festival Nov. 16; Queen Scarlet Cinema Sept. 12, Oct. 18, and Nov. 21; and Lunch and Learn Concert Series Oct. 5, Nov. 2, and Dec. 7.
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 #ourdowntown with your comments, questions, ideas, and suggestions.
*This column was published on September 10, 2018 in the Lethbridge Herald.