Your BIA Update
By: Carol Gates
Port Stanley has a vibrant and active BIA (Business Improvement Area) but there often seems to be some confusion about just exactly what “The BIA” is. Each and every commercial property in the BIA area contributes to our budget via a BIA Levy. A volunteer board proposes a budget each year which is approved by the membership and then implemented by the board. No additional tax dollars are added to our budget. It is entirely funded by the businesses in the area and it’s a legal sub-committee of The Municipality of Central Elgin. My name is Carol Gates. I am the chair of the board at the current time and I proudly own GTs On The Beach. In addition, there are some amazing board members that serve with me to make all of this a reality. Your current board is Dan McNeil (councillor), Ted Halwa (commercial property owner), Mike Karda (commercial property owner), Vicci Coughlin (owner of Telegraph House), Kim Saunders (owner of The Windjammer), plus Dianne Wilson and Karen Harris from The Municipality of Central Elgin make sure we keep everything legal and above board.
Here is what’s being organized in Port Stanley, all thanks to your business community.
Canfest weekend is full steam ahead June 29th-July 2nd with fireworks off the beach on July 1st. THANK YOU to all of the merchants who donated to the fireworks auction to raise money for the show! While GTs organizes and makes a large contribution to the fireworks, it simply would not happen without the participation of our merchants who donate prizes for our annual online auction. Please make sure you have LIKED Port Stanley Canfest so that you stay in the know for the weekend. https://www.facebook.com/pscanfest/ .
Harbourfest Weekend is also well under way. August 10th-12th with fireworks off The BERM and over the harbour on Aug 11th. The twilight boat parade will be happening again along with tons of other harbour activities including water shows, vendors at The DOC Expo, live music in Glover Park, boat cruises with our newest business Orange Force Marine plus much more. Please make sure you have LIKED Port Stanley Harbourfest so that you can keep updated. https://www.facebook.com/Harbourfest/
We are currently working on a downloadable .pdf map that visitors will be able to access and/or print on an ongoing basis. Stay tuned…..we are trying to get something ready before the summer.
Thanks in part to a grant from Elgin County, our Transformer Box Wrapping project is well underway. We have chosen historical photos to go on all the big green transformer boxes and are awaiting the first proofs right now. They should be looking much better by the end of the summer.
If you haven’t seen them yet, Bridge Street has 6 new permanent metal banners designed and created by Cheryl Garrett-Jenkins of Rubyeyes Kraftwerks and paid for by The Port Stanley BIA. We hope to add more in the coming years.
A Taste of Port is our newest festival coming this Sept 21st-23rd with Fireworks off the Berm over the harbour on Sept. 22nd. A Taste of Port is primarily a food and music festival and we are busy organizing it right now to keep visitors coming to town well after Labour Day. We received over $19,000 from Celebrate Ontario to help launch this festival which will allow us to buy signage and other permanent assets to help us launch the festival. PLEASE LIKE the page https://www.facebook.com/ATasteOfPort/
We have partnered with Southwestern Ontario Tourism Corporation (SWOTC) to produce a professional Port Stanley Video. Filming will take place all of this summer, fall and Christmas so that we will be able to use and launch in 2019.
Although this is not a BIA event, we can also report that the tall ship the HMCS Oriole will be here July 20-22 and giving free upper deck tours! Please keep an eye of our main facebook page. We will post details as we have them. https://www.facebook.com/PortStanleyOntario/
We have plenty more coming in the Fall and over Christmas, we will post details as we have them!