Vancouver’s Downtown Association

First Friday Artwalk in Downtown Vancouver

Where’s the coolest place on the North Bank this Friday night, Aug. 4? It’s the First Friday Artwalk in downtown Vancouver from 5 to 9 p.m. The peak temperature that day is expected to be a toasty 100°—but by 5 or 6 or 7 p.m., everything will have cooled down to one of those lazy, hazy summer evenings when you just feel like strolling around and feeling the warm breeze on your face. And if that fails, let me just say that downtown Vancouver art galleries, boutiques, and eateries all have powerful—POWERFUL, I TELL YOU!—air conditioning that will be cranked up to the max. Cool yourself down and enjoy complementary refreshments all around town, along with with original art, music, good eats, and lively energy. To get a handle on everything that’s happening this month, download the First Friday Hotsheet and walking map so you won’t miss any good stuff!

Highlights include “Systems Meet Chaos: Art in the Family,” a father-daughter exhibit by political cartoonist and fine artist Monte Wolverton and his daughter Monika Spykerman (full disclosure: that’s me!) at Boomerang, along with a kids’ art show featuring original works by toddlers up through age 18; artistic quilts by Cathryn Zeleny at Gallery 360; fabric art by Sharon Svec at the Anstine Gallery; an exhibit of “Wilde Beasts” at The Artist Loft; the annual Art in the Heart Show & Sale at Aurora Gallery; art by Erin Dengerink at Angst Gallery; the award-winning wildlife photography of Susan Williams at Luepke Flowers & Finds; abstract art by British artist Steven Beresford at Aevum Images; nature photography at Burnt Bridge Cellars; and “Commence,” an opera prima group show at Cellar 55 Tasting Room.

But that’s only a small sampling of everything that will be happening this Friday. Vancouver’s Arts District will be shining bright with original artwork for sale in every medium. See new art exhibits, exciting retail spaces, and stop in for a bite and a sip at the restaurants and brewpubs that have put Vancouver squarely in the middle of the burgeoning food scene. Shops and galleries will be open late, and there’s usually plenty of live music and complementary refreshments to entice you inside (as though you need enticing). And whenever you post a fabulous picture of downtown Vancouver on your social media, be sure to tag it with #dtVANwa so everyone else can see what’s so amazing about the Couve!

“Art in the Family”–a Father-Daugher Show at Boomerang + Kids’ Art Show & Party

Boomerang is hosting two art shows this August, with a huge, family-friendly launch party on First Friday, Aug. 4, from 5 to 9 p.m., featuring live music by Randy Cate, complimentary refreshments, and cranked-up air conditioning!

The first show, “Art in the Family: Systems Meet Chaos,” is a father-daughter show featuring the far-out art of nationally syndicated political cartoonist and fine artist Monte Wolverton. His small- and large-scale mixed media and ceramic pieces are vivid, playful, and abstract yet utterly engaging. His cartoons and other works can be seen at www.wolvertoon.com. His daughter, Monika Spykerman (full disclosure: that’s me, the editor of North Bank Now!) has joined him for her first gallery show featuring vibrantly colored archival-quality prints and cards of her original works: lively patterns and repeating motifs, focusing on fruits, flowers, fungi, sea life, and everyday objects. More of her work can be seen at www.monikaspykerman.wordpress.com. Tom Relth, Boomerang’s gallery curator, calls the show “brain science vs. rocket surgery.”

Launching on the same day is the much-anticipated Kids’ Art Show, featuring original artwork by toddlers up through age 18. Boomerang and Vancouver’s Downtown Association are jointly hosting a giant Kids’ Art Party in Boomerang’s lower level, with free treats from the VDA and prizes for kids in several age categories. Don’t miss this joyful and varied exhibit showcasing our budding young artists!

Boomerang—a coffee house, home décor store, and family hang out with two full floors of gallery space—is located at 808 Main St. in downtown Vancouver. All revenue generated by the volunteer-staffed store (including sales of coffee) is donated to local charities and community organizations. To learn more, visit www.boomerangvancouver.com.

A Cool First Friday in Downtown Vancouver

Where’s the coolest place on the North Bank this Friday night, Aug. 4? It’s the First Friday Artwalk in downtown Vancouver from 5 to 9 p.m. The peak temperature that day is expected to be a toasty 100°—but by 5 or 6 or 7 p.m., everything will have cooled down to one of those lazy, hazy summer evenings when you just feel like strolling around and feeling the warm breeze on your face. And if that fails, let me just say that downtown Vancouver art galleries, boutiques, and eateries all have powerful—POWERFUL, I TELL YOU!—air conditioning that will be cranked up to the max. Cool yourself down and enjoy complementary refreshments all around town, along with with original art, music, good eats, and lively energy. To get a handle on everything that’s happening this month, download the First Friday Hotsheet and walking map so you won’t miss any good stuff!

Highlights include “Systems Meet Chaos: Art in the Family,” a father-daughter exhibit by political cartoonist and fine artist Monte Wolverton and his daughter Monika Spykerman (full disclosure: that’s me!) at Boomerang, along with a kids’ art show featuring original works by toddlers up through age 18; artistic quilts by Cathryn Zeleny at Gallery 360; fabric art by Sharon Svec at the Anstine Gallery; an exhibit of “Wilde Beasts” at The Artist Loft; the annual Art in the Heart Show & Sale at Aurora Gallery; art by Erin Dengerink at Angst Gallery; the award-winning wildlife photography of Susan Williams at Luepke Flowers & Finds; abstract art by British artist Steven Beresford at Aevum Images; nature photography at Burnt Bridge Cellars; and “Commence,” an opera prima group show at Cellar 55 Tasting Room.

But that’s only a small sampling of everything that will be happening this Friday. Vancouver’s Arts District will be shining bright with original artwork for sale in every medium. See new art exhibits, exciting retail spaces, and stop in for a bite and a sip at the restaurants and brewpubs that have put Vancouver squarely in the middle of the burgeoning food scene. Shops and galleries will be open late, and there’s usually plenty of live music and complementary refreshments to entice you inside (as though you need enticing). And whenever you post a fabulous picture of downtown Vancouver on your social media, be sure to tag it with #dtVANwa so everyone else can see what’s so amazing about the Couve!

The Quiet Man at the Kiggins Theatre

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, the Kiggins Theater and Vancouver’s Downtown Association present the annual showing of The Quiet Man, the classic John Wayne-Maureen O’Hara film set in the rolling green hills of Ireland. Irish director John Ford fashions a charming valentine to the “auld sod” in this beloved and beautiful movie (filmed in glorious Technicolor, of course). Here’s a refresher on the story:

Irish-American boxer Sean Thornton (John Wayne), recovering from the trauma of having accidentally killed a man in the ring, arrives in the Irish village where he was born. Hoping to bury his past and settle down to a life of tranquility, he has purchased the home of his birth from wealthy local widow, a transaction that has incurred the wrath of pugnacious squire Will Danaher (Victor McLaglen), who coveted the property for himself. As time goes by, Thornton falls in love with Danaher’s beautiful, high-spirited sister Mary Kate (Maureen O’Hara), a traditional Irish girl with her own idea of how she should be courted and a brother who refuses to offer up the mandated dowry.

All tickets are $10, available at the door or online by clicking here. The movie starts at 7:30 p.m., but come early at 7 p.m. and see a live performance by the Fort Vancouver Pipe Band. The Kiggins Theatre is located at 1011 Main St. in downtown Vancouver. After the movie, you can nip over to Shanahan’s Pub & Grill for their annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration.

First Friday Artwalk in downtown Vancouver

It’s not yet spring, but the March First Friday Artwalk in downtown Vancouver is a beautiful reminder that creativity is always under the surface, just waiting for a chance to bloom. You’ll see, feel, and taste the soon-to-come change of season with new and dynamic art, exciting retail spaces, and restaurants and brewpubs that put Vancouver squarely in the middle of the burgeoning food scene. Shops and galleries will be open late, and there’s usually plenty of live music and complementary refreshments to entice you inside (as though you need enticing). Stroll around town from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, March 3, and see what’s new in the North Bank’s hottest spot for art, shopping, dining, live music, cocktails, craft brews, and more.

To plan your evening, you can download a walking map and the First Friday Hotsheet, which offers complete details on all the First Friday goings-on. In the meantime, here are a few places you’ll want to visit because they’re hosting special First Friday events; for more information about each place, click on the links below or visit www.vdausa.org/first-friday-downtown/.

Aevum Images
Angst Gallery
Art On the Boulevard
Aurora Gallery
Boomerang Generosity Shop
Burnt Bridge Cellars
Cellar 55
Gallery 360
Love Potion Magickal Perfumerie
Low Bar
Luepke Flowers and Finds
Most Everything
North Bank Artist’s Gallery
Portland Art Creations
Rand Jeweler
Siren Salon
Windermere Stellar

First Friday Artwalk in downtown Vancouver

The weather might be frightful, but the atmosphere will be delightful during Downtown Vancouver’s First Friday Artwalk. Your heart will be warmed as you stroll around town in your coziest coats, boots, hats, scarves and gloves, seeing what’s new in the North Bank’s hottest spot for art, shopping, dining, live music, cocktails, craft brews, and most. Come to downtown any time from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 6.

To plan your evening, you can download a walking map and the First Friday Hotsheet, which offers complete details on all the First Friday goings-on. In the meantime, here are a few places you’ll want to visit because they’re hosting special First Friday events; for more information about each place, click on the links below or visit www.vdausa.org/first-friday-downtown/.

Above image: a snowy day in downtown Vancouver as seen from the window of Love Potion Magickal Perfumerie, 703 Main St.

First Friday Artwalk in Downtown Vancouver

The weather’s turning cool and rainy, pumpkin spice everything is out in full force, and it’s time to think about Halloween costumes and spooktacular fun. Downtown Vancouver is getting into the act with a frighteningly good First Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7.

Downtown Vancouver’s First Friday Artwalks are a relaxed way to check out what’s happening in downtown’s new Arts District, because it’s growing like crazy, with new places opening almost every month. Savor a romantic autumn evening, hang out with friends, or bring your family to enjoy (and maybe purchase!) great art: everything from paintings to jewelry to fiber art, sculptures, ceramics and more. Every art gallery showcases something special, offering live music and refreshments and a chance to meet the artists themselves.

Check out Vancouver’s Downtown Association monthly Hot Sheet for a walking map outlining all the First Friday options: galleries, restaurants, brewpubs, taprooms, boutiques, cocktail lounges and coffeehouses will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. and filled with artists displaying, talking about, and selling their one-of-kind works. Lots of places will offer live music and refreshments, or discounts on merchandise. And there’s always something new to try: new craft beer, new eats, and new sights. For more information about events and happenings in downtown Vancouver, check out vdausa.org.

First Friday in the Couve

The weather’s turning cool and rainy, pumpkin spice everything is out in full force, and it’s time to think about Halloween costumes and spooktacular fun. Downtown Vancouver is getting into the act with a frighteningly good First Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7.

Downtown Vancouver’s First Friday Artwalks are a relaxed way to check out what’s happening in downtown’s new Arts District, because it’s growing like crazy, with new places opening almost every month. Savor a romantic autumn evening, hang out with friends, or bring your family to enjoy (and maybe purchase!) great art: everything from paintings to jewelry to fiber art, sculptures, ceramics and more. Every art gallery showcases something special, offering live music and refreshments and a chance to meet the artists themselves.

Check out Vancouver’s Downtown Association monthly Hot Sheet for a walking map outlining all the First Friday options: galleries, restaurants, brewpubs, taprooms, boutiques, cocktail lounges and coffeehouses will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. and filled with artists displaying, talking about, and selling their one-of-kind works. Lots of places will offer live music and refreshments, or discounts on merchandise. And there’s always something new to try: new craft beer, new eats, and new sights. For more information about events and happenings in downtown Vancouver, check out vdausa.org.

Above image: an artful selection of tantalizing martinis at Top Shelf Cocktail & Martini Bar on Main St. in downtown Vancouver. Which one will you try?

First Friday Artwalk

The North Bank is in full bloom and the weather is just right: not too hot, not too cold, and 100% beautiful. Downtown Vancouver’s First Friday Artwalk is ready to wow you with great art and a chance to meet the artists, live music, special sales, delicious food, craft cocktails and seriously good beer from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, June 3. The Arts District will be packed (as usual) with creativity while shops and galleries stay open late with featured artists, live music, and special sales. Finish off the evening with a meal or a drink in one of the Couve’s excellent eateries, brewpubs, coffee houses and cocktail bars. To see a complete list of everything that’s happening during this month’s First Friday and to download a walking map, visit vdausa.org. In the meantime, here’s a one-stop-shopping list of First Friday highlights—each bullet point is a link to Vancouver’s Downtown Association website, with details about what’s happening there:

Make Vancouver Bloom

Downtown Vancouver is blooming with a bevy of beautiful flower baskets, thanks to Vancouver’s Downtown Association. The baskets were boosted into their positions on Mother’s Day Weekend, and now visitors to the Couve’s city center are greeted by a kaleidescope of floral color.

But here’s something that you might not know: the project is completely supported by public donations. Each basket costs $220 to purchase and maintain from May through September. Crews water the hanging baskets daily and on days that exceed 80 degrees, the baskets need to be watered twice. It’s a wonderful labor of love.

Donations are being accepted by Vancouver’s Downtown Association. You can give in person at the VDA office at 811 Main St., or you can donate online at vdausa.org/vda-projects/flower-baskets/. The total flower basket budget for the this year is $22,000, and VDA is about two-thirds of the way to that goal.

Vancouver’s Downtown Association is a 501©3 nonprofit (translation: donations are tax-deductible!) that is completely focused on the visitor experience in the city center. It works with property owners, businesses, event planners, and residents to improve and unite the downtown core. Learn more about at www.vdausa.org.

Above image:: volunteers help lift the flower baskets into place (photograph courtesy of Vancouver’s Downtown Association)

First Friday in the Couve

Flowers are starting to bloom, leaves are in bud and there’s a breath of warmth in the air: it’s almost spring, and there’s no place finer on a Friday night than downtown Vancouver’s First Friday Artwalk on Friday, March 4. From 5 to 9 p.m., the Arts District will be packed (as usual) with creativity while when shops and galleries stay open late with featured artists, live music, and special sales. Finish off the evening with a meal or a drink in one of the Couve’s excellent eateries, brewpubs, coffee houses and cocktail bars. To see a complete list of everything that’s happening during this month’s First Friday and to download a walking map, visit vdausa.org. In the meantime, here’s a one-stop-shopping list of First Friday highlights:

  • Adamas Realty offers live music by Brothers Bror, light bites and good beer, and a raffle of an inventive piece by JTR Artworks made from discarded/reclaimed items from local bars and nightclubs.
  • Art on the Boulevard invites you to enjoy Mike Rangner’s solo show of oil paintings, “Inspiration.”
  • Boomerang is hosting an exhibition by Portland super-realist Christopher B. Mooney, “Portrait and Urban Landscape Painting,” featuring nine large-format oil paintings.
  • Burnt Bridge Cellars offers wine tasting, small plates by Class Cooking, classical and flamenco guitar by David Rodgers, and fusion glass by artist Karla Piatt.
  • Cascade Sotheby’s hosts artist Steve Ludeman, whose inspiration comes from the varied scenic beauty and remarkable natural and cultural history of the Pacific Northwest. Complimentary wine and appetizers will be served.
  • Celestial Balance features the colorful, whimsical oil paintings of Jennifer Smith, a local artist and the creator of Visual Lifesavers Art.
  • Clark County Historical Museum offers free admission to the museum and invites all beaders to bring their projects to the museum for an evening of open beading and to see its current exhibition, “Making Beauty: Native Beadwork of North America.”
  • Gallery 360 invites you to its March group show featuring the artwork of John Turley, with live music by jazz pianist Peter Boesen.
  • House of Vintage recently obtained a collection of museum-quality original photographs that depict Native American life in the United States and Canada from the 1800’s to the 1960’s. Some photographs will be available to purchase. Complementary beer, wine and snacks will be served.
  • Luepke Flowers and Finds features local artist Maureen Montague along with free refreshments and a chance to browse Luepke’s beautiful selection of blooms and gifts.
  • Most Everything Vintage features the photographic works of four local creators as they mix vintage fashions with florals. Owner Alisa will be selling her handmade floral hair clips and photographic greeting cards, as well as artisan pieces by Babette’s Hatworks, Humblebug Jewelry, Shell Bell Vanity and spring scents by Vance Family Soy Candles.
  • North Bank Artists Gallery invites you to enjoy “What it Represents,” featuring new works by North Bank Artist members Chrissie Forbes and Reid Trevarthen.
  • Rand Jeweler features Barbara Van Nostern’s travel watercolors and a few local scenes, as well as some watercolors from her collection of national artists.
  • Second Hand Solutions features emotive works by local artist Becky Gore along with live music and samples of the Monet Macchiato specialty coffee drink. Browse over 50 pieces of original art and vintage jewelry available for purchase.
  • Sixth Floor Gallery at the Public Service Center hosts the “Wave and Time Studies” exhibit featuring the works of Clark County artist Robert Bickel.
  • Urban Barnhouse offers one-of-a-kind lighting handcrafted by Glen Fitzgerald, and Kirsten Hansell-Lumby of Distressed Mama will be giving demonstrations using her Sweet Pickins Milk Paint.

Above image: paintings by Christopher B. Mooney hang on the wall at Boomerang.

Best of the ‘Couve Award Winners

Vancouver’s Downtown Association bestowed its “Game Changer” awards to several downtown Vancouver businesses at it’s “Toast and Jam” awards breakfast last week, and we thought you’d like to hear who the winners are so that you can visit those locations and offer your congratulations! As Vancouver’s Downtown Association President Linda Reid noted, the awards breakfast “is a celebration of the people and projects that are making great things happen in our rapidly-growing city center.” Who are some of the lucky winners, chosen by a public vote? Read on…

Additional awards were given to downtown developers, architects, business owners and volunteers. A complete list of all the award winners will soon be available at www.vdausa.org. Vancouver’s Downtown Association is a 501©3 that focuses all of its volunteer efforts on the appearance and connectivity of Vancouver’s downtown core. It works with property owners, event planners, businesses, downtown residents, and others to elevate downtown to the position of “top of mind.”

Above photo: a peek inside the gorgeous Bleu Door Bakery, taken shortly after it expanded and re-opened. Photo courtesy of the Vancouver Business Journal.

VDA Awards Breakfast: Toast & Jam

Who makes the downtown Couve so awesome? It’s the people who own the businesses, shops, restaurants, brewpubs, theaters, coffeehouses, cocktail lounges and galleries where you want to hang out. Who gives those merchants and businesses people the advice and encouragement they need to keep being amazing? Vancouver’s Downtown Association, of course! Each year, the VDA recognizes the merchants, businesspeople, volunteers and visionaries who are working extra hard to make downtown extra fabulous. They’re called the Game Changer Awards, it happens once a year at the VDA Annual Awards Breakfast, and the public is welcome to attend and see first hand what it takes to make a downtown thrive.

This year’s awards breakfast—cheekily called “Toast & Jam” because a) it’s a breakfast b) we’re toasting the people who make downtown great and c) we’re jammin’ because we’re celebratin’—is slated from Thursday, Feb. 11, from 7:45 to 9 p.m. at the Hilton Vancouver. The public voted for nominees in the following categories:

  • Visionary Award
  • Façade Improvement
  • Cash Register Ringer Event
  • Golden Broom Award
  • Peoples’ Choice Favorite Event
  • Favorite New Downtown Business

VDA will also showcase the many projects it delivered in 2015 as well as its game plan for 2016. Tickets, which include a full breakfast with beverages (and OF COURSE toast with jam!) are $30 per person and can be purchased through the VDA website by clicking here.

First Friday in downtown Vancouver

It’s going to be a fabulous fall First Friday in downtown Vancouver from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6, not least because you’ll be able to see downtown Vancouver’s newest piece of public art. There will be a public reception at noon on Friday in Esther Short Park’s Propstra Square to welcome “Heart and Stone,” the beautiful new piece designed by Jennifer Corio and Dave Frei of Cobalt Designworks. The piece, which is now nestled into its new spot on the corner of 6th and Columbia, was commissioned by the Vancouver’s Downtown Association to embody the idea of “Founding Mothers,” honoring the women who have shaped our community.

But there’s so much more to see and do on First Friday, and the weather is expected to cooperate: it’ll be in the upper 50s with a bit of sun and NO RAIN! So put on your boots, sweaters, and scarves and come and see everything that downtown Vancouver has to offer: restaurants, brewpubs, coffee houses, cocktail lounges, and the huge array of galleries centered in the city’s Arts District. Shops will stay open late and every gallery will have something special to offer: new exhibits, live music, refreshments, and a chance to meet the artists (and purchase some show-stopping art). This is a great way to get in the mood for the upcoming Open Studios Tour on Nov. 14-15, where 50 of the North Bank’s most notable artists will open their private studios to the public to see where the action happens.

To help plan your even, visit vdausa.org to download a walking map and to peruse November’s Hot Sheet, listing absolutely everything happening in downtown Vancouver on Friday night.

First Friday Artwalk in Downtown Vancouver

The kids are back at school and fall is in the air…and Friday, Sept. 4, will be a great evening to celebrate the change from summer to autumn and to enjoy the last of the season’s sunshine in the ‘Couve’s beautiful downtown. Downtown Vancouver’s First Friday Artwalks are a relaxed way to check out what’s happening in downtown’s new Arts District, because it’s growing like crazy, with new places opening almost every month. Savor a romantic evening, hang out with friends, or bring your family to enjoying great art and maybe a surprise or two.

Check out Vancouver’s Downtown Association monthly Hot Sheet for a walking map outlining all the First Friday options: galleries, restaurants, brewpubs, taprooms, boutiques, cocktail lounges and coffeehouses will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. and filled with artists displaying, talking about, and selling their one-of-kind works. Lots of places will offer live music and refreshments, or discounts on merchandise. And there’s always something new to try: new craft beer, new eats, and new sights. For more information about events and happenings in downtown Vancouver, check out vdausa.org.

Heart and Stone

Vancouver’s Downtown Association has announced that another significant piece of public art will soon be added to Vancouver’s city center. “Founding Mothers” was chosen as the theme for this project, because women have had a profound impact on the livability and well-being of our community.

A committee was formed to seek qualified artists and review their submissions. The winning entry, “Heart and Stone,” will be installed on the corner of 6th and Columbia during the First Friday Artwalk on Oct. 2. This massive heart and supporting basalt boulder (pictured above) will weigh in at an impressive approximate 4500 pounds and will measure 12 x 10 x 4 feet. The artists are Jennifer Corio and David Frei of Vancouver’s Cobalt Designworks, who created the “Flying Umbrellas” at the corner of Evergreen and Main.

For more information about Vancouver’s Downtown Association, visit www.vdausa.org or contact its executive director Lee Rafferty at director@vdausa.org.

 

Vancouver’s Downtown Association Quarterly Preview Meeting

Tourism has a huge positive impact on the local economy, and its nexus is downtown Vancouver, where urban pleasures are multiplying as we speak: chic cocktail lounges and upscale-yet-approachable eateries, new brunch spots and bakeries, a proliferation of brewpubs and excellent coffee houses, trendy boutiques and vintage shops, an arts district brimming with galleries and public art installations, a beautiful, green park where large scale events are centered, and the ever-popular Vancouver Farmer’s Market. And that’s just the beginning!

Find out everything you ever wanted to know about tourism in the ‘Couve at the next Quarterly Preview Meeting of Vancouver’s Downtown Association from 7:45 to 9 a.m. on Thursday, July 9, at the air-conditioned Hilton Vancouver. A panel of experts will discuss the importance of tourism to downtown’s economy as well as how downtown businesses can connect to groups coming into the city. The gathering is open to the public free of charge; just send a quick RSVP message to admin@VDAUSA.org.

Vancouver’s Downtown Association is a 501©3 nonprofit that focuses on the vitality of Vancouver’s city center. It works with property owners, businesses, residents, event planners, and other economic development partners. Learn more at vdausa.org.

Everyone’s Comin’ to the ‘Couve

Tourism has a huge positive impact on the local economy, and its nexus is downtown Vancouver, where urban pleasures are multiplying as we speak: chic cocktail lounges and upscale-yet-approachable eateries, new brunch spots and bakeries, a proliferation of brewpubs and excellent coffee houses, trendy boutiques and vintage shops, an arts district brimming with galleries and public art installations, a beautiful, green park where large scale events are centered, and the ever-popular Vancouver Farmer’s Market. And that’s just the beginning!

Find out everything you ever wanted to know about tourism in the ‘Couve at the next Quarterly Preview Meeting of Vancouver’s Downtown Association from 7:45 to 9 a.m. on Thursday, July 9, at the air-conditioned Hilton Vancouver. A panel of experts will discuss the importance of tourism to downtown’s economy as well as how downtown businesses can connect to groups coming into the city. The gathering is open to the public free of charge; just send a quick RSVP message to admin@VDAUSA.org.

Vancouver’s Downtown Association is a 501©3 nonprofit that focuses on the vitality of Vancouver’s city center. It works with property owners, businesses, residents, event planners, and other economic development partners. Learn more at vdausa.org.

Above photograph: patrons of the top-notch Torque Coffee Roasters enjoy the al fresco seating.

Downtown ‘Couve Clean-up & Big Bloomin’ Baskets

One hundred big bloomin’ baskets will be hung in downtown Vancouver next weekend, and you can help make sure Vancouver stays in bloom all summer long. Here’s how: purchase a basket in honor of Mom for a contribution of $25 or more OR you can help hang the baskets around downtown on Friday, May 15. The costs of this program are completely covered by private donations, and everything is managed by volunteers. To fill out the order form online, click here.

Another way you can help keep Vancouver’s downtown blooming and beautiful is to help with Vancouver’s Downtown Association Spring Clean-up from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 9. Volunteers should meet at Turtle Place on the corner of 7th and Main to sweep up, rake up, pick up and clean up the heart of the ‘Couve. For more details, send an e-mail to director@vdausa.org or call 360-258-1129.

Camas & the ‘Couve Win Big

Vancouver’s Downtown Association received the Economic Vitality award at Washington’s Excellence on Main awards ceremony in Bellingham on May 7. The ceremony is held in conjunction with RevitalizeWA, Washington’s Preservation and Main Street Conference. Specifically, the award recognizes a brochure and video that have been incorporated into the region’s economic development efforts and have become a valuable tool for landlords to fill spaces downtown. The video has been viewed nearly 9,000 times since it was posted, and the brochure has been viewed hundreds of times online and is in its second printing. For more details, visit vdausa.org.

The Downtown Camas Association will be honored at the same awards ceremony for its marvelous First Fridays, which are being recognized with the Outstanding Promotional Event of the Year award. First Fridays bringing people into downtown Camas for art, activities, dining, and after-hours shopping. This year marks the tenth anniversary for Camas First Fridays, which was also recently voted by The Columbian’s readers as “Best in Clark County for Outdoor Family Fun” (plus the event was runner-up for “Best Family Event”). The event draws locals and visitors off the sidewalks and into stores, boosting sales for merchants and introducing shoppers to stores they may have overlooked otherwise. Restaurants and shops claim record sales on First Fridays, and are expanding and hiring as a result. To learn more, visit downtowncamas.com.