You can’t stop progress. The leaders in our community have made that unmistakeably clear. The KCBIA met with The Kelson Group in February, and the vision and exuberance of the Fawcetts should only give us greater confidence in the future of our great city. Construction of the massive City Gardens development is well underway; however, the project is only part of the process. Leaders see opportunity. They adapt and move forward.
Similar sentiment was echoed during the Downtown Kamloops seminar, “Elements of a positive Outlook” this year. Speaker Andre LeDressay of Fiscal Realities presented a picture of downtown Kamloops from the early 1900s juxtaposed with one from today. Dr. LeDressay reminded our property and business owners that the progress and growth we’ve seen over the past hundred-plus years has been despite two pandemics, two world wars, the great depression, recessions, wildfires, an atmospheric river, (and now the Russian invasion of Ukraine).
Adaptability and innovation have been instrumental particularly in our recent memory. Be it working from home, Zoom meetings, to installing sheets of plexiglass and reconfiguring spaces, the entrepreneurial spirit has persevered -- even in the face of multiple shutdowns. Just ask Pup Johnston from the Blue Grotto. Pup renovated his premises for increased public safety, followed all health protocols, yet was still forced to close on numerous occasions for various lengths of time. The towel may have been in hand, but it was never thrown in the proverbial ring. This year, Pup has clawed his way open, and we’re back to dancing to live music downtown!
Working relationships and connections have been integral in shared experience and shared solutions. The BIAs along with the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce have communicated support programs and offered workshops to help mitigate the impacts of Covid-19 on business. Venture Kamloops has seen a record smashing number of business applications over the past year. Jim Anderson and the VK staff will be busy helping to facilitate those connections and relationships. In the name of adaptability and progress, we are seeing the transition from home office and video teleconferencing to face to face interaction in the company lunchroom and around the board room table.
“Shop local” was the battle cry you heard more than ever during pandemic. You responded, and our downtown Kamloops businesses are well positioned for recovery, growth and success. The KCBIA is committed to maintaining a vibrant and livable downtown that is diverse and accessible to all. Make plans to get friends and family together this year for a full slate of fun events downtown including Battle of the Bands, Hoops in the Loops, Oktoberfest, the Santa Claus parade and more!
We continue to work together with the public sector and our elected officials toward common goals, particularly that of community safety. Tourism Kamloops and the Rocky Mountaineer are ready to welcome the world back to our spectacular region. These are just a few examples of the collective, collaborative efforts that will continue to promote health and prosperity in our community. You can’t stop progress. Not in this town.