DVBIA’s Sustainability Initiatives

The DVBIA identified sustainability as a top priority for the association as part of our visioning process for our current five-year strategic plan.

The plan became a central element of our 2017-2022 vision, which is reviewed regularly to ensure that all priorities have meaningful and realistic goals to accompany them.

As part of a regular check-in of our strategic goals, we noted that there has been a tremendous amount of growth in the area of sustainability. Sustainability is now something that is considered for all of our program areas, and we would like to share our current initiatives with you, our members, in the hopes that there may be best practices that apply to your own industries and businesses. If you have any questions about our programs, please contact our Manager of Economic Development, Gavin Duffus, at gavin@dtvan.ca.

Internal processes:

  • Using Bullfrog Energy to offset emissions
  • Participating in our building’s recycling and compost program
  • Compostable utensils and packaging at all lunch meetings
  • Purchasing carbon offsets for airline travel
  • Mobi bike share membership
  • Eco-friendly soaps and cleaning supplies
  • DVBIA Achievement Awards made from reclaimed wood
  • Event sponsorship guidelines require a high degree of sustainable initiatives
  • DVBIA’s Clean Team collects and sorts waste/recycling (stats below)
  • Digital reporting (instead of paper-based) for Safety Ambassador Team
  • DVBIA branded reusable mugs and water bottles
  • Street banners recycled into banner tote bags
  • Free Little Libraries book borrowing program in perch spaces
  • Production of a map that illustrates which coffee shops offer discounts with reusable mugs
  • Cigarette butt campaign demonstrating impact of micro-waste in the downtown core


Clean Team recycling stats (October 2019):

  • 146 bags of garbage
  • 130 bags of recycling
  • 338 sharps picked up
  • 17 hours – cleaning
  • 267 areas of graffiti
  • 11 hours – pressure washing sidewalks



  • Single-use item reduction strategy
  • Transit expansion
  • Energy efficient buildings (ie, passive house projects)


Initiatives that we sponsor financially:

  • My Green Space
  • The Binner’s Project
  • Hives for Humanity
  • HUB Cycling
  • Bike Valet

first table launches in vancouver!


Local food lovers can get the first crack at exclusive dining experiences across the city with the international online dining site, First Table, which landed in Vancouver on November 14, 2019.

A restaurant discovery platform that first launched in New Zealand in 2014, First Table connects diners around the world with local restaurants that offer its members 50% off the food bill at specified times. Every week, participating Vancouver restaurants will list their ‘first tables’ for the upcoming seven days on the First Table website, allowing diners who pay a $10 booking fee to secure a table at the restaurant of their choice and 50% off the food bill for two to four people.

To celebrate its North American debut, First Table is offering new members a $5 credit towards their first booking fee when registering at firsttable.com/ca/vancouver/ by November 30 using the promo code FIRSTTABLECA.

For the latest news about First Table or to see the full list of participating restaurants as it is updated, go to firsttable.com/ca/vancouver/, become a fan of /FirstTableCA on Facebook or follow @firsttableca on Instagram. Restaurants interested in becoming a member of the growing First Table family in Vancouver can find out how to join the growing restaurant roster at firsttable.com/ca/restaurant-registration/.


First launched in New Zealand in 2014, First Table is an international online dining platform that connects its members with participating restaurants offering 50% off the food bill at specific times that makes its debut in the North American market with a Vancouver launch in November of 2019. More than 1,000 restaurants around the world are now a part of a First Table family that is passionate about creating a world where dining out becomes more of a routine than a luxury while also helping restaurant owners fill empty tables at the beginning of the evening, creating an atmosphere that sets the tone from start of service to end of shift. | firsttable.com/ca/vancouver/

Now and Then: An Analysis of Downtown Retail – Part 1

last week the dvbia released its latest report, Then and Now: An Analysis of downtown retail

Last week, the DVBIA released its latest report “Now and Then: An Analysis of Downtown Retail Part 1”, focusing on the evolution of downtown’s non-edible retail goods and services since 2012. 

The report was launched at a DVBIA roundtable at the Terminal City Club. A panel discussion followed a presentation of the report. Panelists included Craig Patterson, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Retail Insider and Sherman Scott, Associate Vice President of Colliers International. They shared their expert insights into how e-commerce and changes in consumer spending habits have altered the retail landscape within Vancouver.

The report received media attention from the Daily Hive, the Vancouver Sun, Business in Vancouver, the Lynda Steele Show on CKNW.

The release is part one of a two-part series and contributes to a larger data-driven narrative that will be summarized in the 2020 State of Downtown. Part 2 will focus on food and beverage retail and will be released in early 2020.

To download a free copy on the report, click the link below.

Member Spotlight: Juuga Marketing

Juuga Marketing Has Insights for You and offers for our members

“When new businesses get started, they are naturally very sales oriented because without sales they can’t sustain their business,” says Humphrey Ng of Juuga Marketing.

Only when they have enough sales do they begin to think about how to systematically organize sales, which leads them to consider marketing.  For most, this might mean social media such as Instagram or Facebook. It might be direct mail or buying advertisements in traditional media.  

“Clients have said to me that nothing they do works. We look to market insights to examine their activity and actual results. For example, a direct mail postcard with a coupon code got zero takers for one of our clients. Yet, a close look at traffic to his website on distribution day showed significant interest and ultimately increased sales.”

“Insight exists in two parts. There is data collection and then the expert interpretation of the data to implement effective strategies.”

Juuga’s mission is clear in their tagline: ‘Where Marketing Meets Technology’. They use insights to help increase sales and market reach and then to put smart automation in place so that business owners’ gain the freedom to devote time and energy into what they do best.

Ng has noticed that marketing staff working for law or medical offices, retailers or service providers are often focused on setting up new advertising campaigns, but not very good at tracking. His service offers organizations the ability to pinpoint what in the sales funnel is working and what needs attention to leverage the customer’s journey.

“We can track which web pages they visit on a client’s site, the time they spend and their behaviour as they consume the content – and move to feel confident enough to buy online or to step into the physical location.”

The magic of marketing is in the interpretation and the planning to take next step. The strategy to grow effectively starts with a good assessment of what is in place now.

Enjoy $100 off a Juuga Jam Session

Until the end of December all DVBIA members can enjoy $100 off the Juuga JAM session.

To get your $100 off code, email the DVBIA’s Membership Lead at nikola@dtvan.ca. 

Redeem now up to Dec 31/19 and book when convenient for your team. This offer is only available to DVBIA members. 

Buy Local Week December 2-8

December 2 - 8, 2019 is Buy local week

The DVBIA is a proud supporter of LOCO BC’s Buy Local Week”, says Charles Gauthier, President and CEO of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association. “Our locally-owned downtown businesses are an important part of the cultural fabric of the city, and help to shape and define a unique identity that sets us apart from other cities. We hope that Buy Local Week raises awareness about the importance of local businesses and encourages Vancouverites to support them by shopping and dining locally.”

According to LOCO BC, the organization behind Buy Local week, the average person spends $1500 over the holidays on gifts, food/drink & travel. A 1% shift towards local shopping would create 3,100 jobs and $94 million in wages province-wide.

Learn more about Buy Local Week and how you can support local businesses this holiday season and year-round. 

Granville Street Welcomes Deloitte

Hundreds of Deloitte employees moved into their new basecamp in the heart of the Granville Entertainment District

The bright and lofty building, formerly occupied by Tom Lee Music, underwent a major renovation before Deloitte moved in in the beginning of October. 

Downtown Vancouver BIA staff hosted a welcome lunch on October 23rd, with hearty salads generously provided by one of Deloitte’s new Granville Street neighbours – Hungry Guys Kitchen.

We took the opportunity to ask Deloitte employees how they were liking the new location, and responses were overwhelmingly positive.

What would they like to see more of on Granville Street? Independent coffee shops, rooftop bars, healthy dining options, food trucks, and patios, according to our survey.

Deloitte will occupy the building into 2021 while their permanent home at Deloitte Summit at 410 West Georgia is being constructed. Rumour has it that two other companies have already expressed interest in taking over the building when Deloitte departs, indicating high demand for new office space on Granville street.

Businesses on Granville are enjoying the influx of new daytime customers that the new Deloitte office has brought. As Granville Street continues to evolve the DVBIA is encouraging more investment along the iconic corridor.

Dialogues with DVBIA Leadership

This year, the DVBIA launched a new event series called “Dialogues with DVBIA Leadership”, which brought together key members of the DVBIA with our Vancouver City Councillors in a small group setting. The format, consisting of the DVBIA Board of Directors, senior DVBIA staff and select members of our Policy Advisory Council, has allowed us to have a meaningful discussion about the issues, challenges and opportunities facing our city and region, and explore how we can work together to effect change. It has also given us an opportunity to get to know our councillors in a more relaxed and informal setting, helping us to understand their unique interests and priorities as they relate to our member businesses.

So far we have been able to discuss several issues, including climate action, public safety, the future of retail and local business, economic development, permitting, and homelessness. Through these discussions with councillors we have brainstormed creative approaches to issues, and look forward to further discussions about the issues that matter to our members.  

Top winter activities this holiday season

There's certainly not a shortage of things to do this winter in downtown vancouver!

The holidays are the perfect time to go to parties, festivals, and parades with your friends and family. Although it’s always nice to curl up indoors with a cup of hot chocolate, there are many Christmas events happening in downtown Vancouver that you don’t want to miss!

1. FlyOver Canada Christmas

Facebook @flyovercanada

FlyOver Canada Christmas lets you fly like Santa all across the world, ending at the North Pole. The seats and theatre give you a 4D experience with flying, snow, scents, and more. FlyOver Canada is located on 999 Canada Place and offers themed rides throughout the year.

2. Gingerbread Lane at the Hyatt Regency Hotel


The buildings on Gingerbread Lane are edible and made by bakeries, schools, and restaurants. Admission is free; however, they accept donations which go towards the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The displays are found in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Hotel at 655 Burrard Street.

3. Vancouver Tree Lighting Celebration

Located on 750 Hornby Street, the Vancouver Tree Lighting Celebration offers hot chocolate, music, cookies, and a chance to write and see Santa. Each year there are four trees, each one bigger than the rest, that are filled with light-up ornaments. This event also has free admission.

4. Vancouver Santa Claus Parade


Telus annually presents the Vancouver Santa Claus Parade on December 1. There are marching bands, dances, floats, and more. Admission is free, but donations and non-perishable food items are encouraged to bring for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. The parade begins at Broughton Street and ends at Davie Street.

5. Vancouver christmas market

The Vancouver Christmas Market, found at 1055 Canada Place, presents German sweets and treats, a visit with Santa, a carousel, and a lovers’ lane and love lock installation. The market opens on November 20, 11:30am.

This article was written by Rebecca Wong, a junior summer intern. More of Rebecca’s articles will be featured in the upcoming months.

Yule Duel 2019

Yule Duel is an outdoor carolling competition, and downtown Vancouver’s holiday event of the year.

Coming downtown for the first time, Yule Duel will welcome dozens of choirs and thousands of spectators on December 5, at the šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’ e7énḵ Square (formerly North Plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery). Now in its fifth year, Yule Duel, which has previously been held in Gastown, will give attendees the chance to sing along as the best in show go head-to-head in a series of sing-o­ffs, and cheer on their favourites as they compete for awards from our celebrity judges.

event details

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December 5, 2019


šxʷƛ̓ənəq  Xwtl’e7énḵ Square (formerly North Plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery)

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5:30 pm – 9:00 pm

All proceeds benefit May’s Place Hospice, a Bloom Group service, in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. For more information about the event, and to see a video from previous years, please visit www.yuleduel.com

Fleurs de Villes Noël

Celebrate the holiday season in Vancouver with the world premiere of Fleurs de Villes Noël, presented by National Bank

From December 6 – 15, unique floral installations will pop up exclusively throughout the Alberni corridor, creating a floral trail around the neighbourhood. Begin with a visit to see the ‘Lady in Red’ fresh floral-dressed mannequin in the lobby of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, pick up the Fleurs de Villes Noël map at the concierge desk and continue two blocks west down Alberni street for more stunning displays of art created by Vancouver’s top floral designers. 
Visitors are encouraged to snap and share their photos at the stops along the Floral Trail for a chance to win a $750 Urban Fare gift voucher. #FDVNoelContest
Follow @fleursdevilles for a behind the scenes peak of what our florists have in store for the floral trail! The DVBIA is proud to be a sponsor of Fleur de Villes Noel. For more information, visit their website