With the New Year just around the corner, it’s the time to reflect on 2021 and make plans for the future…
2021 was a full year, busy in ways we didn’t quite expect as we continued to navigate this new world of “pivot, pivot, pivot”. The first half of the year had us doing a lot of online marketing, encouraging Kelowna residents to come downtown to support their local businesses as they faced capacity limits and restrictions on indoor dining. From a ‘Springtime Step Challenge’ that encouraged locals to explore Downtown to the ‘Take the Taste of Downtown, Anywhere’ campaign our message continued to stay true to our mandate – support your local Downtown Kelowna businesses.
As we moved into the warmer months, Meet Me On Bernard planning revved into full gear as we worked with The City of Kelowna and Tourism Kelowna to close off Bernard from Water Street to St.Paul. Visitors were encouraged to “dance down the yellow line” and “walk on red”, as they took in all sorts of entertainment, art pieces, parkettes, and concerts. Well, at least for July. Summer turned out to be a challenge as local restrictions meant the cancellation of many of our planned events and the Okanagan and much of BC was under a cloud of smoke that lasted 6 weeks! It was a challenge to say the least, but we move on and look forward to bringing Meet Me On Bernard back next year!
Leaving behind the heat and smoke we entered the season of snow, warm drinks, and holiday cheer. The Winter Street Market went on as planned (with some minor hiccups due to the flooding) and as our first event in two years we can say with confidence that it was a roaring success. With the help of Impact Events and their volunteers, plus our amazing Downtown On Call and Clean Team, we all had a blast as the market, held over the course of one day, saw well over 10,000 people in attendance.
Asides from our events, the DKA saw some changes with a new website launched thanks to the talented minds at Sayvee. Through its creation we chose some new colours to expand our branding, reflecting the changing skies of the Okanagan. During the summer we had a team of students working with us, with two of them dedicated to creating phenomenal videos of Meet Me On Bernard. Towards the end of the year, we also hired a new Communication & Events Manager to manage our dialogue with businesses and help plan our events in 2022 and beyond.
So, as we move forward into 2022 we look forward to what the year beings and hope to include some old and new events to the Downtown Kelowna area.
We hope you continue to support us in our mission to support local.