Monday, August 11, 2014

Business News

Kemp Joins Planning Team

Walas looks to community for input on downtown use

Released by CEPCO, Barb Kemp BIA website image


he City of Chilliwack and the Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation (CEPCO) recently retained the professional expertise of Walas Concepts Inc. to assist with ongoing efforts to redevelop downtown Chilliwack.


The team behind Walas Concepts Inc. is equipped with international knowledge and experience in community development, value creation, enhancing a creative economy, business administration and management coaching. Their newest addition to the team is Barb Kemp, a native Chilliwack resident, who has a strong passion for activating the downtown core to foster evolution and vibrancy.


Barb’s boundless experience ranges from being a retailer in the downtown for 30 years, past President of the Downtown Chilliwack Business Improvement Association, and working with organizations such as CEPCO, the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Chilliwack. With such extensive knowledge of the local community and enthusiasm for downtown transformation, Barb is a welcome addition to the diverse and dynamic team.

Walas Concepts Inc. has embarked on a journey to partner up with local community leaders, building owners, entrepreneurs, and artists to activate street life and initiate conversations about new and improved uses of the Chilliwack downtown core.


They work by mixing different approaches together in order to provide a supportive, guiding and facilitating role. By building bridges and connections between people, such as innovators, the business community, citizens and various stakeholders, Walas Concepts aims to foster an inter-connected community that is economically sustainable and socially diverse. “We believe that cities are about people and everything Walas Concepts does resonates with the idea that city development should be user-driven”, says Gerben van Straaten, Walas CEO.

Walas Concepts will work closely with residents, property owners, business owners and new entrepreneurs in the city by listening, matchmaking and aiding citizens where possible with their initiatives. The project aims to entice local residents to enhance the existing range of activities and events, while strengthening the local economy through business start-ups.

The objective is to start in the proximity of Five Corners, Wellington Avenue and Mill Street and work outward in boosting walkability and diversity of the neighborhood. At this moment, the project is in the research stage, with Walas Concepts getting to know the strengths and weaknesses of the community and working together with local residents to initiate that change. Using the strengths of the planning that is already in place is important.

The Walas Concepts team asks anyone who has an idea of how to liven their city, to come talk to them by setting up an appointment. They can be reached via email Walas here or Barb Kemp here. Phone: 604-613-8244 / 604-793-5977 Website:



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