May 10, 2023
Two programs and a marketing campaign will help position Edmonton’s downtown as a place of opportunity, activity and connection. The 2023 Downtown Vibrancy Fund and Meet Me Downtown Grant commit a combined $6.5 million to support projects that increase vibrancy and improve downtown safety by attracting people to live, work, play and visit the heart of our city.
“Downtown Edmonton is a place where diversity and creativity flourish. It’s where everyone can gather, celebrate, share ideas, learn, trade and innovate,” said Mayor Amarjeet Sohi. “It’s often the first impression we make on visitors and is key to attracting and retaining new talent and capital. The City of Edmonton continues to invest in ensuring our downtown is safe, welcoming and vibrant.”
The 2023 Downtown Vibrancy Fund will provide $5 million to long-term and strategic projects that advance the Downtown Vibrancy Strategy. More specifically, eligible business and organization-led can apply for funding to:
- Increase the number of people living downtown
- Develop local tourism opportunities and infrastructure
- Promote downtown businesses and/or events
- Activate economic opportunity and vibrancy
The Meet Me Downtown Grant commits $1.5 million in funds to support events, activities and festivals occurring in the downtown this year. Businesses and organizations with projects designed to immediately increase the number of people visiting downtown are eligible for funding.
“We know that our downtown businesses and partners are working hard to make downtown a vibrant and enjoyable place to be,” said Tom Girvan, Director of Downtown Vibrancy and Safe City. “These funds will help support our partners, allowing them to do what they do best, and give Edmontonians across the city more reasons to experience all that our downtown has to offer.”
The “Meet Me Downtown” campaign invites Edmontonians to take advantage of downtown’s many activities and attractions through a combination of traditional and digital advertising and curated experiences with Edmonton personalities, including Catherine Crowston, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Art Gallery of Alberta.
“As someone who works and spends a lot of free time downtown, I want this community to have a feeling of wonder and excitement again,” said Crowston. “Especially as we come into the summer season, there is always a lot going on downtown, and I think that the Meet Me Downtown campaign is going to go a long way in bringing people here to enjoy it.”
Campaign collateral will be used by the City, institutions and stakeholders to promote downtown events, opportunities, festivals and businesses, creating a consistent look and feel for downtown promotions. Edmontonians are invited to keep an eye out for Marvin, a fun-loving emoji who will be the face of the campaign, and his Mates as they explore the sights and sounds of Edmonton’s downtown. Marvin and his Mates can be found on advertisements, social media posts, pamphlets and stickers across the city this summer.
The 2023 Downtown Vibrancy Fund and Meet Me Downtown Grant and campaign reflect the City’s ongoing commitment to downtown safety and vibrancy. Since 2021, the City has provided $6.5 million to support 61 projects through the Downtown Vibrancy Fund, which has leveraged an additional $8.5 million in private investment.