BIA News & Updates

Happy Spring!  The new board of directors have been very busy since being elected in January. Over the past several months they have been working on the Tulip Festival, programming and animation for Italian Festival, a new and improved La Vendemmia and developed a new slogan - La Vita e Bella. Life is Beautiful in Little Italy! The Board feels it is very important to celebrate the Italian roots of the area, while embracing our multi-cultural offerings.

Tulip Festival Starts this Weekend!

Tulip Festival begins this weekend and runs through to the May long weekend (May 10-20). This year ALL Tulip Festival programming will be held at Dow's Lake!
There will be Fireworks on the second weekend this year. We expect the festival will bring a lot of foot traffic and customers to Preston Street! For this reason the BIA has sponsored Tulip Festival as a Signature Location Partner and we receive the following benefits:
  • A dedicated co-branded Facebook & Instagram Ad Campaign devoted to Little Italy's offerings
  • Prominent Signature Location Partner Listing on the Canadian Tulip Festival website, linking to our Web Page
  • 4 Organic Facebook & Instagram Posts through Tulip Fest Social Media Channels
  • Included in the Social Media GIANT Tulip Scavenger Hunt
  • 25 FREE Removable Window Decal for Outdoor Advertising during the Festival
  • 10 GIANT Celebration Tulips with the Preston St. BIA branding to be set up along Preston Street.
  • E-Marketing Tool Kit including Official Signature Location Partner Logo
The 5' tulips will be delivered this week. We also expect to receive the window decals this week. If you would like a window decal, please email the BIA office.
Please feel free to download our marketing Tool Kit for Tulip Festival. This contains graphics formatted for Facebook and Instagram, as well as the La Vita e Bella logo.
We have hired an artist to do sidewalk chalk along the street. He will start at Dow's Lake Saturday morning and work his way up Preston Street. He will do art outlines in front of the businesses so why not get your own chalk and show off your creativity by colouring in your chalk pieces.
Keep your eyes peeled for our stencils saying "Ciao", "La Vita e Bella" and "Little Italy" along the street.
We have put the full schedule of Tulip Festival events up on our website:

Minutes and Newsletters
Did you want to have another look at the last Newsletter? Want to see the Minutes of the Board Meeting? They are all now up on our website .

Italian Festival June 14-16

The Marketing committee has been very busy and preparations are well under way for Italian Festival. We are very excited that we have booked SWRL Soccer Jugglers to perform on Saturday the 15th.  They will be hosting a clinic for kids, and performing on the street and interacting with our visitors. To get an idea of their show view this video:  Download Now

We are also pleased to let you know that we have hired Brenda Dunn to provide a living colouring book, ten feet long by 5 feet high that visitors can colour in. Brenda will be on the street Saturday and Sunday.
On Sunday, Yogatown will host an outdoor Yoga class in the soccer field that will be family-friendly and encourage Dad's to participate for Father's day.
We have booked Stilt Walkers, the Firemen's Band, Face painters, Balloon artists, Pop-up hip hop dancers and Pop-up modern dancers to animate the street. The kids from St. Anthony's soccer club will be handing out Italian themed tattoos to visitors.
From our own merchants, we will feature dance displays by Arthur Murray, Virtual Reality tours by Colony VR and Matt Cassidy of the Christmas shows at the Gladstone will be back as a huge clown. Vasto will be providing their very successful children's fashion show again this year.
The Ferrari Festival will be back featuring the Show n Shine of Ferrari cars along Preston Street Friday and Saturday night, and the Ferrari Demo Zone on Carling at 3:00 on Saturday.
The Italian Car Parade is queued up and ready to present over 120 cars! As well, the Italian Car Club of Ottawa will be providing their Retro Italian Car and Motorcycle Museum at the Scotiabank Parking Lot.
The Bike Races have a new route this year
and will be running from Gladstone to Preston to Anderson to Rochester and back to Gladstone for a downhill run back to Preston Street. The competitors are very excited about the new route because the hills create up and downhill challenges! Should be an exciting race! The Bike races will run from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm (roads closed between 7am and 3pm).

The Street Party is ready to roll! Hopefully all of the restaurants have applied for their liquor license extensions by now, because the deadline is almost on us!
The Board of the BIA has a policy that was developed to be fair to all our merchants, to not allow outside vendors to come into the festival and compete with our businesses. For this reason, we do not allow food vendors and require that only licensed businesses would be allowed to sell alcohol during Italian Festival. 
There are many reasons this decision was made:

Selling alcohol is the core business of our restaurants, they have invested in training, their wine cellars and inventories and we do not think it would be fair to allow outside competitors. Also, existing licensed restaurants will be more responsible in their service of alcohol because their liquor licenses can be taken away if they overserve or serve minors. Their servers have all taken the provincially mandated Safe Serve training. The restaurants are fully insured for liquor sales.

Have Your Say on the Gladstone Station District Secondary Plan
The City is re-starting its study of the Gladstone Station District Secondary Plan. They will be holding an open house May 27th.
This is the area around the new LRT station that will be built on Gladstone at the OTrain. This is our community so please attend and contribute your opinion!
All the details can be found here:

Free Social Media Training
Following the Annual BIA Conference this past April and the success of the Social Media and Digital Main Street sessions, OBIAA has organized four FREE workshops that will be held in Ottawa. All four workshops are now online and open for registration. They can be found here:
*       Social Media for Small Business - June 4th @ 1 PM -
*       Maximizing Your Online Advertising & Digital Marketing Budget -
*       Small Business Websites 101 - October 3rd @ 1 PM -
*       SEO Fundamentals - November 7th @ 1 PM -
Should you have any questions, please contact Marlise Nishikihama

Other BIA News
City Planning poll and online meetup
Bruce Firestone of Century 21 is working with the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Business Journal to gather opinions from local business leaders on the direction that Ottawa city planning should take, over the next 50 years.

Can you visit this site and answer these poll questions? 

It'll take about 10-12 mins. Can you also send it out to whomever you think appropriate and ask them to make their views known by answering these poll questions too? You can read Bruce Firestone's full op-ed here

Also, if you have time for a 90-minute online meetup, Bruce will be hosting a zoom (that's like skype on steroids) meeting on May 22nd  starting at noon ET. All you have to do is click on this link ( ) to join at noon. The idea is to make your views known, so here's a great opportunity to make our voices heard.

Friends' of the Farm Plant Sale

Get everything you need for your garden at our spectacular 
Friends' Plant Sale (formerly known as Rare and Unusual Plant Sale). New and returning specialty growers and nursery vendors offer hundreds of beautiful plants. Garden accessory vendors will add that touch of inspiration.
Master Gardeners are once again on hand to answer any gardening questions. The 'plant coat check' service under the Friends' canopy keep you 'hands free'. Drop off your plants at the canopy and when you're done shopping, our volunteers help carry the new treasures to your vehicle.
The sale is located in the K.W. Neatby Building  parking lot
 at Maple and Carling Ave. Free admission however any donations to Friends of the Farm are gratefully accepted. A refreshment table with Bridgehead coffee and delicious baked goods will keep you nourished while shopping. Don't miss this chance to add an unusual plant to your collection, purchase a stunning hanging basket, discover the perfect garden accessory or find the right perennial for your hard-to-grow area.

Be part of the conversation. Connect with the @PrestonStreetBIA online
Join the BIA community online!

Facebook: @prestonstreetbia
Instagram: prestonstreetbia
Twitter: @Preston_BIA

Hashtags you need to know about:


Submit your content for the newsletter to:


Lori Mellor
Executive Director
Preston Street Business Improvement Association
118 A Preston Street, K1R 7P2

© 2017. All Rights Reserved