Downtown is growing. We have plans to do the same.

The DVBIA’s current mandate expires on March 31, 2020 and we’re currently preparing for the next 10-year mandate, if approved, from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2030. For our members who have been unable to attend one of our renewal meetings, we have prepared a video and presentation outlining our plans, which involve significant enhancements to our placemaking efforts and festival sponsorship, as well as to our clean and safe programs. Below is a video from the DVBIA’s President and CEO, Charles Gauthier accompanied with slides from the original presentation. 


Renewal Mandate Presentation

Renewal Mandate Timeline

The above slide shows the mandate renewal timeline.

How we got here

The process leading up to renewal has involved a lot of member consultation. We’ve done large-scale surveys, conducted focus groups, and have had one-on-one meetings with some of the most engaged members – all of which has guided our more recent five-year strategic plan.


In 2015 we consulted over 11,000 people—including members, residents and visitors— to get to the heart of what matters for the future of the downtown core.

Assessing downtown:

Last year, we looked into the factors that make people visit – or not visit – the downtown core. We assessed things like parking, entertainment, homelessness, safety, and traffic.

Member survey:

This year, we sent a survey to our members to find out what’s important to them. We heard loud and clear that the majority of members would support increases in safety, cleanliness, placemaking, and festival sponsorship.

What we’ve achieved

The DVBIA has done so much important work downtown that it’s impossible to list all of it. Before we take a look at where we’re going, let’s take a look at some highlights of what we have already achieved.

In clockwise order from top left

  • Our Second Laneway Project – Ackery’s Alley
  • Perch Program
  • Canada 150 Celebration
  • šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square Redevelopment (formally Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza)
  • Music Festival on Granville Street
  • Summer Movie Nights on the Square
  • Jazz Fest
  • Our First Laneway Project– Alley Oop 
To learn more about what the DVBIA has accomplished, click here. 

Downtown Safety Ambassador Data

Our ambassadors are the eyes and ears of the downtown core. They help keep the streets safe and are a trustworthy presence for businesses and tourists alike. The Downtown Safety Ambassadors have increased activities like parkade patrols and emergency services assists in a direct response to our members telling us that this is what they wanted more of. Additionally, our member interactions involve ambassadors visiting ground-level businesses – a high-touch and personal way for us to check in with our members and check the pulse of how things are going in their area.

On this slide the data collected is from 2014 – 2018.


Evident from the numbers on this slide, our Clean Team makes a very tangible impact on the cleanliness of our downtown. Their priority is on the areas that we work and play in downtown and are also highly responsive to the needs of our members and deal with problems quickly as they arise. The micro-cleaning that they do downtown does not overlap with the garbage removal and cleaning services provided by the city; rather, it’s a complement to these services to ensure that the downtown streets are as clean and welcoming as possible.

On this slide the data collected is from 2017 – 2018.


Currently the median BIA levy is 8 cents per square foot per year. With the new mandate the median will increase by a few more cents per square foot per year.

With the new levy, you as members will receive a significant investment in the programs that members identified as priorities. As of 2020, we plan to grow our clean and safe team by 1.5x. That means more Clean Team members and Ambassadors, therefore quicker responses to non-emergency situations with more eyes and ears on the street.

We will increase our sponsorship support by 3x, enhancing downtown events. This increase in our sponsorship budget will provide more support to those impactful festivals we already support and will help to attract other festivals downtown. 

We also plan to make a significant investment in placemaking by 6x. We aim to:

  • Transform up to 10 alleyways during the new mandate
  • Increase the number of public art and lighting projects
  • Add more parklets to create more seating and places for a growing downtown workforce

Average Occupancy Costs

In this slide we’re showing average occupancy costs for tenants in two different, but typical office buildings within our district. The DVBIA levy, represented by the orange circle , is an extremely small portion of a tenant’s total occupancy costs.


Historically, the BIA levy goes down as new office and other commercial buildings come on stream within our district. This will continue to be the case in 2020 and beyond based on the new and unprecedented office inventory coming on stream.

What this means is that the DVBIA is able to expand and add more programs and services to meet members’ expectations and at the same time keep the cents per $1,000 of assessed value or cents per sq. ft. in and around these historically low levels.

Renewal feedback from our members…


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