The Events Committee aims to draw people downtown by hosting major community events, promoting free guided Totem Tours, encouraging community groups to host events in City Square, and working with the Farmers' Market Society to facilitate a vibrant Saturday Market.
The first major event hosted each year is Downtown Duncan Day, a one-day, free community event held in July. This event is scheduled to coincide with and compliment the Duncan - Cowichan Summer Festival's '39 Days of July' which promotes a full month of live music and activities during the "39 Days of July".
The two other major events hosted each year are the Halloween Spooktacular and Christmas Kick-Off. Spooktacular is traditionally held on the Saturday before Halloween. The merchants participate in trick-or-treating and the Duncan BIA organizes free, fun, and family-friendly games, such as, Pumpkin Bowling, Spooky Photobooth, Mummy Wrapping, and a Customer Contest.
Christmas Kick-Off, held on the last Friday of November, fills the City Square and the streets with thousands of people. This event includes a fireworks show, live entertainment by local bands and groups, a hayride, and a contest - all designed to attract people all ages to downtown.
This busy and active Committee offers a perfect opportunity for members who are creative thinkers and would like to be involved in marketing downtown Duncan via events. Any BIA member can join the Committee on a full-time or part-time basis. Please contact the Downtown Duncan BIA for more information on how you can get involved.
The Marketing Committee promotes the 'where', 'why', 'how', and 'who' of downtown, making it a destination for all. This Committee aims at increasing exposure of our vibrant business community by finding new and more efficient ways to market downtown (i.e. social media). The Events and Marketing Committee work together to map out the year in terms of activities, events, and day-to-day business to be more strategic in the marketing of downtown Duncan.
Marketing initiatives include:
- Monthly ' Experience Downtown Duncan' page in the Citizen
- Radio ad with Juice FM
- Two Bus Ads
- Billboard on Trans Canada Highway
- Ad in the Nanaimo Magazine, Voyager, and Yam
- Monthly Article in the Valley Voice
- Downtown Dollars
- Rack Cards
- Facebook & Twitter
- Occasional ads in other local magazines
This Committee welcomes any thoughts and ideas on how to better promote downtown. Please contact the Downtown Duncan BIA for more information on how you can get involved.
Downtown Development Committee
The goal of this committee is to create a spirited downtown culture that invites and welcomes people to live, shop, work, and play. This Committee is tasked with finding a way to do things better and make downtown Duncan a more vibrant, prosperous, attractive, and sustainable community.
Downtown Development initiatives include:
- Free Wi-fi through the downtown core
- Information Kiosk in Charles Hoey park wich includes a comprehensive and detailed map of downtown, as well as a complete list of businesses
- Historical projects such as 'Heritage in Duncan:Early Businesses', a new signage initiative in partnership with the Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives featuring stories and images of pioneer businesses and heritage buildings; 'Elder Portraits, Cultural Diversity & Community', a partnership with Queen Margaret's School, Khoehemum, and the Cowichan Green Community; and the 'Totem Mural', a partnership with Sunrise Waldorf School.
- Programs to beautify downtown such as the Facade Improvement Program, and the Graffiti Removal Program
Over the last years, downtown has seen significant enhancements that have attracted new and innovative entrepreneurs, ensuring the vacancy rate is kept at an all time low. The Downtown Development Committee acts as an advocate and liaison for downtown merchants and property owners through discussions with the City, Public Works, Community Groups, and other Stakeholders. The Committee considers new developments, signages, entrance gateways and the impact all of those have on how downtown actually looks and works, including traffic flow, pedestrians, parking, and businesses.
To get involved in this Committee and help make downtown Duncan the place to 'Eat, Shop, Play, Work, and Live', please contact the Downtown Duncan BIA.