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Five Tips For BIAs

Tags: Municipalities, Tipsheet

Is your Business Improvement Area (BIA) interested in participating in Culture Days? Take a look at the following 5 tips to help your local businesses get the most of Culture Days!

1. Leverage Culture Days to draw people to your business area

Get as many businesses as possible in your BIA involved in Culture Days to draw people into the area. There are many ways businesses can participate, from holding their own activity to offering space for artists and cultural groups to hold Culture Days activities in their business.

2. Create a hub location

Your audience will increase if there is a concentration of activities in your area. Consider securing permits to close a street or hold activities in a local park or plaza. Businesses will benefit from encouraging the public to spend more time in the area. Culture Days provides an excellent opportunity to raise the profile of your BIA. Register all of the activities in your hub on the Culture Days website with a common identifier i.e., Downtown BIA Hub: Hip Hop Class, Downtown BIA Hub: Origami Workshop.

3. Promote yourself!

Use the Culture Days marketing materials and link to our social media channels to get the word out about Culture Days activities in your BIA. Use the Sun Life Bright Spots scheduler online tool to create a customized brochure for the activities in your BIA.

4. Partner with your local arts council or artist network

Many artists and arts and cultural groups may already be organizing for Culture Days in your community. Reach out to arts councils and artist networks to coordinate events and to promote activities. Arts councils can connect you with artists to host in your businesses or invite to join your hub.

5. Match artists with local businesses

Placing artists in local businesses will animate these spaces and be mutually beneficial. Artists will draw their fans to the business and the business clientele will be exposed to new artists and cultural groups. Matching artists with businesses promote the arts as an aspect of daily life and emphasizes the important economic impact of the art and cultural sector.

Consider complementary activities like holding an open mic in a café or capture the public’s imagination with unusual matches of artists and businesses such as a storyteller telling tales of food in the grocery store or jugglers juggling plungers in the hardware store!

Looking for some activity ideas for your members? Consider one of these popular and successful past Culture Days ideas for businesses:

  • Product Sampling
  • Behind-the-scenes tour
  • Free class or service
  • Demonstrations

Submitted by Catherine McLeod of Ontario Culture Days, 2014