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  • Second Intake for Re-imagine Downtown Activation Grants Still Open

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    With $90,000 supporting 11 initiatives during the first intake this past summer, including music festivals and business recruitment projects, the Re-Imagine Downtown Activation Grant program got off to a successful start in 2021.

    As the Heart of Our City Committee (HOCC) continues to be proactive with Downtown vibrancy, there is still time for more as autumn has set in. The total remaining funding for the second intake of the Re-Imagine Downtown Activation Grant in 2021 is $60,000, with applications eligible for up to $25,000.

    Announced in late May, the grant money aims to support businesses, entrepreneurs, organizations and community-minded individuals in implementing initiatives, events, and/or programs that seek to activate vacant, underutilized and under programmed private and public spaces and places within Downtown Lethbridge.

    Funding is provided through the Downtown Redevelopment Fund’s unutilized contributions to the previous HOCC Activity Grant, which was temporarily suspended in 2020 with the continual changes to public health restrictions severely impacting the ability to plan for events and festivals in the Downtown – which support vibrancy, safety and economic stimulus for local businesses.

    “The first 11 initiatives collectively provided a great boost to our Downtown through the summer months,” says HOCC Chair, Lorien Johansen. “We look forward to seeing more creative ideas to safely encourage people back into the vacant and underutilized spaces of Downtown.”

    The second intake of new grant applications was set to close on October 1, but has been extended to November 1 at 4 p.m. Applications will be evaluated and awarded by the HOCC and all successful applicants will be required to meet and adapt to applicable COVID-19 restrictions in effect at time of initiative.

    More information and the application form can be found here: lethbridge.ca/downtownincentives.

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  • First TRIP Recipient Six08 Health Changes Landscape

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    The City of Lethbridge is excited to celebrate the official grand opening for the first downtown redevelopment project accessing the Targeted Redevelopment Incentive Program (TRIP).

    With its $4.8 million redevelopment project at 608 5 Avenue South, Six08 Health (formerly East Meets West) is the first business to utilize the new municipal tax relief program. They opened at this location earlier this year.

    The City benefits from this program in that, once the short-term cancellation period is over, a far greater amount of taxes are received due to the increased value of the property. For the Six08 Health project, the City will receive an estimated $88,000 more in annual taxes than what was being received prior to construction. This is income that will be received every year following the seven-year cancellation period.

    “In addition to the additional long-term tax benefit to the City, this impactful capital investment has added 60 skilled jobs to the Downtown, including an addition of 30 for the new location (formerly located at WT Hill). This will bring more people, more activity and more vitality to the Downtown and we are optimistic on the positive impact this type of investment will have on our city’s core,” says Andrew Malcolm, Urban Revitalization Manager.

    Six08 Health will bring together a multitude of health care professionals including massage, acupuncture, chiropractor, physiotherapy, naturopathic medicine, speech pathology, psychology, dental and dental hygiene, medical aesthetics, fitness, family & GI specialty medical, pharmacy, and supervised childcare. This unified team will have the common goal of providing optimal patient-centered care within a new state-of-the-art facility in downtown Lethbridge.

    “Downtown Lethbridge is growing in a positive direction and we are excited to be a part of it,” says Dr. Sean Hantke, Six08 Health’s Clinic Director. “Working with the City to make Six08 Health a big part of the revitalization efforts is line with our business’s positive and proactive approach.”

    TRIP is available for projects with a minimum construction value of $500,000. Encouraging redevelopment in the downtown will lead to greater property values and enhancements that will draw more activity to the downtown core. For more information on this and other downtown incentive programs visit www.lethbridge.ca/downtownincentives.

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  • Heart of Our City Committee Creates New Virtual Activity Grant

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    Given the current restrictions in place to prevent public gatherings and promote physical distancing due to COVID-19, the Heart of Our City Committee (HOC) is opening up its pre-existing activity grant program with a new stream of grant funding to support virtual events. This new program will help support the events, artists and businesses who have found creative ways to continue promoting the vibrancy of Downtown Lethbridge during this unprecedented time.

    Each year, the HOC awards activity grants to provide funding support to organization delivering events that attract people, enhance vibrancy and create excitement in the downtown core. These grants were awarded in January of 2020 but the current public health crisis has impacted many of these planned events.

    “We’ve had grant recipients reach out to us saying they want to modify what they had planned given the situation as well as new inquiries around possibility of supporting new events or activities that will promote the downtown vibe,” says Dawn Leite, Chair of the Heart of Our City Committee. “We want to encourage this ingenuity and creativity and find ways we can still promote the downtown during these times. We also want to be flexible and accommodating with our partners who champion downtown and that’s what this new grant can do.”

    The new program will use activity grant funding available due to the cancelation or postponement of 2020 events. The maximum amount awarded through the new grant funding is $2,000 per event and grants greater than $500 require matching funding. Applications will be reviewed on an on-going basis and as funding is limited, all applications meeting the eligibility may not be supported, or may not receive the full requested amount.

    In January, the Heart of Our City Committee announced grant funding for 21 events to be held in downtown Lethbridge over the next year totaling $126,000. Any recipients of the original activity grants who have questions or concerns about the possible postponement or cancellation of their events or ideas for virtual events should contact Andrew Malcolm, Urban Revitalization Manager for the City of Lethbridge at andrew.malcolm@lethbridge.ca.

    The Heart of Our City Committee is committed to the revitalization of Downtown Lethbridge and will continue to support this important work now and in the future when the downtown reopens to provide the vibrant activities, events, restaurants and shopping we know and love.

    For more information on eligibility and available funding visit: www.lethbridge.ca/HOCActivityGrant

    Media Contact:
    Dawn Leite, Heart of Our City Committee Chair
    Phone: 403-393-6859

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  • Heart of Our City Activity Grants Awarded To Downtown Events for 2020

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    The Heart of Our City Committee announced today that it has awarded $126,000 in Heart of Our City Activity Grants to 21 events to be held in the downtown in 2020.

    These events include a variety of music, arts and cultural festivals that will attract audiences and participants to downtown Lethbridge. Receiving funding are 14 multi-day events and 7 single-day events which will occur over a total of 117 days and are expected to attract more than 60,000 attendees to the downtown core.

    There are a number of popular events returning including: Arts Days, Lethbridge Electronic Music Festival, Downtown Farmers Market, Word on the Street, and Wide Skies, to name a few. There will also be two new events this year including: Lethbridge Living Film Festival and Lethbridge Community Art Hive. Grant amounts range from $1,000 to $10,000.

    “We’re pleased and proud to provide financial assistance on behalf of the City of Lethbridge to a really great array of events that will help achieve City Council’s goal of enhancing the vibrancy of our downtown,” says Dawn Leite, chair of the Heart of Our City Committee.

    The Heart of Our City Activity Grant provides funding support to help Lethbridge organizations host events that foster an exciting, vibrant downtown and attract audiences to the heart of our city.

    Details on the events receiving Activity Grant funding in 2020 are available at: www.lethbridge.ca/hocactivitygrant


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  • Applications Now Being Accepted for 2020 HOC Actvity Grant

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    Applications now being accepted for 2020 Heart of Our City Activity Grant

    The Heart of Our City Committee has completed a review of the Activity Grant to ensure the program is meeting its intended purpose as well as the needs of the organizations who look to utilize the grant to bring exciting events to the Downtown every year. The committee is excited to announce that following consultation with past applicants and an in-depth review, there are few changes to the program proposed for 2020 and that applications are new being accepted.

    The purpose of the Activity Grant is to provide funds to help Lethbridge organizations host festivals and events that create an exciting and vibrant downtown and attract audiences to the city centre.

    Events and festivals located in the Downtown core or in the Civic Common are eligible for up to $10,000 annually provided they are not already receiving funding from other City of Lethbridge sources. Grants greater than $1,000 are conditional on the applicant organization providing 50-per-cent matching funds. Applicants must be a not-for-profit or apply under the auspices of an affiliate or sponsoring organization with not-for-profit status.

    Heart of Our City Activity Grant applications will be accepted until November 29, 2019. Information and application forms are available at: www.lethbridge.ca/HOCactivitygrant.

    Applications will be evaluated by a grant review committee based on how the event or festival contributes to an exciting, animated, and vibrant experience in Downtown. Successful applicants will be notified of a grant decision as soon as possible after December November 11, 2019.

    Media Contacts:

    Andrew Malcolm

    Urban Revitalization Manager

    403-320-3926

    andrew.malcolm@lethbridge.ca


  • BRZ Believes in Downtown Vision

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    A Business Revitalization Zone is a special assessment district established by businesses in an area to jointly raise and administer funds through a designated levy (tax) for various projects and promotional activities within the zone throughout the year that contribute to improving the economic and social vitality of the area.

    The Downtown Lethbridge Business Revitalization Zone (BRZ) was established in 1987. It is a visionary collective of business leaders who believe that the heart of the city beats in its center core. Since inception, the BRZ has succeeded in adding the necessary vibrancy to make that heart beat with a strong and steady pulse.

    The BRZ serves its members through marketing and implementation of unique programs that promote and highlight the positive aspects of our downtown and by providing public advocacy on important issues affecting the downtown core. Through a close partnership with the City of Lethbridge, the BRZ also administers several key programs on behalf of the City of Lethbridge’s Heart of Our City committee including beautification loans and grants, marketing, public relations, and street maintenance initiatives.

    In large part due to the tireless work of the BRZ, our Downtown is an ideal business environment in a premium centralized location with a unique mix of retailers, restaurants, coffee shops, and professional services. This is abundantly evident as over the past few months a handful of new and innovative businesses have opened their doors in our Downtown including: Hive – a creative co-working space, London Road Media – a modern marketing and advertising strategy company, Mortar and Bricks – a premiere gallery and event space, and Pure Spa – a health-oriented spa destination.

    To learn more about these new businesses and others in our Downtown be sure to check out the BRZ website (www.downtownlethbridge.ca) and social media accounts (@DowntownLeth) as a new video series titled #OurDowntown will highlight the stories behind new businesses in our Downtown. The first video is posted today and features Pure Spa owners Rachel and Jayna who share why they decided to bring holistic healing to Downtown Lethbridge.(click here for video)

    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 you oncomments, questions, ideas, and suggestions .

    *This column was published on October , 2018


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  • Downtown Events Add to Exciting and VIbrant Downtown

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    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.

    The 2019 Activity Grant submissions will be open soon with a deadline of Oct. 31, 2018. For more details please stay tuned to www.lethbridge.ca or contact andrew.malcolm@lethbridge.ca.

    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.



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