My name is Angie Delainey and I am the co-owner of Satya Yoga in downtown Williams Lake. I was born and raised in the Cariboo and have strong ties to the downtown. My family has owned the Delainey Building for over 40 years. Today I am the manager of the Delainey’s Center.
These are exciting times for the BIA, and for Downtown Williams Lake. When I joined the board 4 years ago I wanted to help bring positive change to our downtown. Over the last few years, I’ve worked side-by-side with other downtown entrepreneurs who have held the same vision that I do: A downtown that is vibrant and prosperous, with outdoor dining and an exciting arts and entertainment scene… a downtown that is the hub of Cariboo culture and commerce. I’m very happy to report to you today that we are well on track towards that vision.
I urge you to read the Four Directions 2017-2018 document in our AGM package. Your BIA knows a vibrant and prosperous downtown is the result of four critical ingredients
- SELF STARTERS with the skills and talents to create great products, experiences and services,
- PLACE, a defined area designed to support and promote the initiatives launched by self-starters,
- COMMUNITY, diverse peoples who feel welcome downtown and claim it as their own personal hub, and
- COLLABORATION, a culture of people working together to achieve common goals.
Everything we do at the BIA is designed to ensure that we have each of these 4 ingredients in plentiful supply. And how are we doing that?
- SELF STARTERS: We have programs and opportunities to support and develop the skills and talents of the people who are already, or who want to become, self-starters.
- PLACE: We’re building the visual and physical infrastructure that will support our self-starters, we’re creating “place.”
- COMMUNITY: We’re reaching out to welcome all peoples, of all special interest groups, inviting them to claim downtown as their personal hub.
- COLLABORATION: We’re helping to build a network of individuals and organizations creatively working together to achieve our common goals.
As we nurture our SELF STARTERS, grow and define our PLACE, welcome our diverse COMMUNITY, and COLLABORATE with others… we can’t help but to be rewarded with a vibrant and prosperous downtown!
But how about some specifics!
By this time next year, we will be presenting to you a five year plan to take us from 2019 – 2024. The plan will clearly show, step-by-step how we will achieve our vibrant and prosperous downtown.
And what about this year?
We have just launched our new website which is full of great resources for downtown visitors and our BIA members. We have a new domain: downtownwilliamslake.com. Check it out!
We will be launching our new Downtown Williams Lake brand this spring, and rolling out marketing and promotion tools to go with it. Expect to see street banners, shopping bags, billboards, and brochures!
We are also launching a collection of annual events designed to benefit downtown businesses and inspire the community to claim downtown as the hub of the Cariboo.
In addition to all of this, we have just launched the Seeding Start-ups project in partnership with the City, Community Futures, the Chamber, and Rural Dividend Initiative. This is a pilot project to nurture SELF STARTERS and foster a culture of entrepreneurship in our community. I’m pleased to welcome Beth Veenkamp to Williams Lake. She is the project manager for the Seeding Startups program, and serving as the Economic Development Officer for the City of Williams Lake. She is available to talk with anyone and everyone about the Seeding Startups program and can be reached at City Hall.
In closing, I want to thank our dedicated staff and directors who have made this journey with me to bring real change to downtown. I also want to thank our community partners who have pooled resources and creativity with us to reach our common goals. And most importantly, I want to thank our downtown businesses who have weathered these challenging economic times and who are downtown everyday, opening their stores to provide goods and services to our community. I promise you, real change has arrived and you’re going to see it and feel it this year.