Our newest laneway project, Ackery’s Alley, was publicly launched last week. It includes an exciting and innovative installation from Tangible Interaction, which taps into some of the very basic levels of human instincts, to play and to explore. We caught up with Alex Beim, Founder and Creative Director of Tangible Interaction on his experience, his work and upcoming projects.

Tell us a bit about your background as an artist, how Tangible Interaction was formed and some of the work you have done up to this point?

After almost twenty years of working in design and advertising, I decided it was time to move. Having had a very successful career in both spaces, there was something very profound missing. I really wanted to make a difference in the world by creating art that would have a real impact in our lives, something that could touch people, make them curious, and have them feel connected with their bodies, spaces, and other people too. So back in 2006, I had an idea to create large, helium-filled inflatable balls that would light up when people touch them.

By 2007 I had a prototype and it was everything I thought it would be and more. By 2008 I was being contracted to bring them to festivals in Europe and licensed them to Blue Man Group and Cirque du Soleil. I started Tangible in 2008 and I have been working with my team for 10 years now. We have worked on so many projects in so many places. About 4 years ago I felt I wanted to do more in my own city and fortunately today I can say that we are. We have done permanent and temporary projects for Science World, the Aquarium, Capilano Suspension Bridge, Yaletown BIA, West End BIA, Vancouver Olympics, VPL, BC Hydro, Westbank, Tractor Foods and now a key permanent project for the Downtown Vancouver BIA.


Your installation FIELD is the highlight of the DVBIA’s newly developed Ackery’s Alley. Why do you think this installation is important to Vancouver and what will it bring to the space, the city and its residents and visitors?

As naturally beautiful as Vancouver is, the city needs more surprises. We need more unexpected places where we are invited to play, to hang out with friends and also potentially make new ones. We need spaces where we can be curious and creative, where we can engage all our senses, where we can move, dance and be silly. I want my city to be known for all the unexpected things that are waiting to be discovered, like a large musical instrument in a back-alley.

FIELD sounds like a very unique and interesting installation, how does it work exactly?

FIELD is comprised of 35 lights that point at the ground and are arranged on a grid pattern of 5 by 7 under an overpass.

From afar and if nobody is present, the piece is silent, the lights slowly animate by changing size but just in white. Each beam gets larger and smaller, resembling a breathing pattern. When a person puts their hand under the beam or when walking under the light all the lights change mode and reduce their size to about a foot in diameter, except the light being played with. The light that is affected will change colour and size according to the person’s height or hand movement. It will also play a unique sound. Each one of the 35 lights plays a different sound that has been created as a composition people can play.

You collaborated with the celebrated Vancouver-based composer Adam Lastiwka on this project, can you tell us more about this?

Working with Adam was incredible. When we brought him in, he got the idea right away. This is not a common piece of music, every sound can be played at any time and in any order, either one at a time or all 35 and the composition has to always sound great. He did that, every time we got a sample it was very exciting to play with the lights and see how it felt. I think people will love the experience, and the composition is a huge part of it.

What’s next for you and Tangible? After FIELD is installed what is the next big project?

Right after FIELD, we are installing a very large piece in Squamish, it is a private commission for a very large community that is being developed. Our project is called SUMMIT and just to give you an idea of the size we will be controlling 56,000 LEDs independently to create a beautiful center piece to a building.

Ackery’s Alley is located at 675 Smithe Street and will be open to the public from August 9, 2018. You can find out more about Tangilbe and the work they do here.


Last year in August, the DVBIA formed a new committee called the Policy Advisory Council (PAC). The role of the PAC was intended to help inform DVBIA policy decisions and make recommendations to the Board of Directors. Within this past year, we have been so pleased with progress that the council has made, as they have had four policies formed and approved by the board.

These policies include:

•             Safe consumption sites

•             Second phase of 10-year vision for the regional transportation network

•             City of Vancouver’s single-use item reduction strategy

•             Living wage

Thank you to our PAC members:

Brent Findley – Senior Manager, Security and Life Safety; Cadillac Fairview

Carlos Ramirez – Owner; Xixo Leather Artistry

Danielle Leroux – Manager of Member Services and Communications: Alliance of Beverage Licensees

Darcy Vermeulen – Senior Consultant; Context Research

Gwen Hardy – Managing Partner; Elettra Communications

Jeff Fisher – VP, Senior Policy Analyst; Urban Development Institute

Kristine St. Laurent – Policy Analyst; Business Council of British Columbia

Melissa Higgs – Principal; HCMA Architecture + Design

Muneesh Sharma – Director of Government Affairs and Communications; BOMA BC

Nerissa Yan – Litigation Associate; Hakemi & Ridgedale LLP

Sarah Kanakos – Associate – Government Relations; Brook Pooni Associates

Stephanie Butler – Communications Coordinator; Real Estate Foundation of BC

Tyler Davis – Manager, Communications and Marketing; Vancouver Foundation

Yianni E. Pappas-Acreman – Lawyer; Watson Goepel LLP

William Johnson – Director, Marketing & Communications; BC Innovation Council

Sophie Perndl – Associate; Brook Pooni Associates

Your contribution to the DVBIA is so appreciated and we can’t wait to see what the year ahead has in store.


Canadian Blood Services is hosting a month-long blood drive throughout the month of August and they want your business to get involved! Below is more information from the Canadian Blood Services team on how you and your business are able to help.

In BC, Canadian Blood Services needs to collect 10,000 blood donations each month to serve hospital patients. 1 in 2 people can donate, however, only 1 in 60 do. Canadian Blood Services needs your help to meet the needs of hospital patients this summer!

Unfortunately, the need for blood does not take a summer vacation and the Downtown Vancouver Clinic needs 800 donations every month. However, your group could have a direct impact on saving lives for BC hospital patients this summer.

Every minute of every day, someone in Canada needs blood and often from more than one generous donor. Some examples include:

  • Up to 8 donors a week to help someone with leukaemia
  • Up to 5 donors to help someone undergoing cancer treatment
  • Up to 50 donors to help someone in a car crash
  • Up to 2 donors to help someone who needs brain surgery
  • Up to 5 donors to save someone who needs heart surgery
  • Up to 2 to 8 donors to help someone with internal bleeding
  • Up to 2 donors a day to help someone undergoing a bone marrow transplant
  • Up to 4 donors a month to help someone with Aplastic Anemia
  • Up to 2 donors for a hip replacement


The Retail Blood Drive is a month-long drive to get as many Retail Store Teams into our clinics in August! Like shopping and filling the bags with merchandise, we need you to fill our clinics to save lives of hospital patients. Whether you are a seasoned donor or new to donating, we need you this month.


Pick a date for your team or group to donate together, or if one date doesn’t work for everyone, donate individually as every donation counts.


TEXT, CALL or EMAIL NOW to get started! Razvan Sichitiu, Territory Manager at
604-787-3247 or razvan.sichitiu@blood.ca

For Individual appointments: www.blood.ca or 1 888 2 DONATE (1 888 236-6283)


In the summer of 2017, the City of Vancouver’s Department of Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability launched Places for People Downtown, an engagement campaign on the future of downtown Vancouver’s public spaces over the next 30 years.

The DVBIA partners with the City of Vancouver on the management and activation of public spaces and we have seen great success with our well-used perches and laneways. We plan to create and activate many more beautiful, safe, and accessible outdoor places throughout downtown in the coming years.

The City has developed a draft vision statement for downtown and a set of five goals to help deliver it. The vision and goals will inform the next phases of Places for People Downtown. We’d love for you to share your thoughts on City’s goals for public spaces by filling out this short 2 minute survey…

Click here to complete the survey.


The Vancouver Foundation is celebrating their 75th year, and as part of the cheer, they want to celebrate with the people who have been a part of their wonderful journey throughout the years. On September 13th, the Vancouver Foundation is inviting everyone across BC to come together and share stories and conversation over food.

You can host an event or simply partake in one. For more information or to register to take part, click here.


The Downtown Vancouver BIA is regularly featured in the news, advocating on behalf of our member businesses and showcasing initiatives that help bring our forward-thinking vision for downtown Vancouver to life.

Here’s where we featured in the month of July 2018.

  • Vancouver Sun – Town Talk: Blood cancer research on verge of making a difference
  • Daily Hive – This week’s outdoor Movie Night on the Square is trading in Murray for Spielberg
  • Global News – Downtown Ambassadors patrol Vancouver parkades amid break-in concerns
  • The Star – Vancouver could lose more public events from rising policing costs


On July 12th, the DVBIA held a Roundtable event with special guest Kaye Krishna. Kaye is the General Manager of Development, Buildings, and Licensing for the City of Vancouver, and was there to share information and updates about her portfolio, including building permits and the recently launched commercial renovation improvement project. She also shared details on cannabis and liquor regulations, which were of interest to many of our members.

To see a copy of Kaye’s slide presentation, please click here.


With six movies down we’re almost at the end of our Summer Movie Nights on the Square event! But fear not, we still have three fabulous movies to screen on these beautiful summer evenings. Below is a schedule of what is yet to come:

August 15 – Mrs. Doubtfire

August 22 – La La Land

August 29 – Avengers: Infinity War

Save the dates in your calendar, buy some snacks, grab your lawn chair, gather your friends and join us at šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square (Van Art Gallery North Square) at sundown.

For our final movie, Avengers: Infinity War we will be hosting a very special
“hero-themed” event – celebrating our Downtown local heroes, including a special appearance from the Vancouver Canine Unit (https://twitter.com/vpdcanin)! Keep checking our social media account – @downtownvan for more info closer of the date.