Thursday, June 13, 2013

BIA News

Growing Pains 

Party in the Park historical overview

Released by Heidi Bannerman for Kathy Funk, Chilliwack BIA


he Downtown Chilliwack Business Improvement Association (BIA) continues to be excited about entering into the 7th season of the award winning "Party in the Park" community event.


The event started with an entertainment stage, family area with one bouncy house and a few vendor’s (who were some of our local business owners). In the planning of this new event, the BIA decided to hold it every Friday evening for eight weeks running during the summer.

An entertainment coordinator from our community was hired and she did a great job filling the stage with primarily local talent. Opening night saw about 500 which grew to 1,500 in attendance the final night.

The feedback that was received was overwhelmingly positive. The second year saw crowds double. Something special had been started for Chilliwack. The third year saw Trevor McDonald doing a great job as MC running the stage acts with amazing headliners from both inside and outside the community.

With 10,000 people currently attending, the challenge to appeal to corporate sponsors has necessitated higher profile acts in order to attract the dollars that allow the event to take place.

Branding at a high profile event has become increasingly important and balancing between local and outside performers is a continual challenge. However, in future the BIA will look towards supporting and highlighting additional local talent in an attempt to recapture the original grassroots intent of this successful event.

We have had tremendous support from the City of Chilliwack with in-kind contributions and staff assistance. With the mounting attendance growth in 2010, a decision was made to apply for City funding to assist financially. Thankfully, the City, Mayor & Council supported this event with that funding.

The additional back up funds that were recently requested are intended to cover any shortfalls or unforeseen costs and are strictly a contingency that the BIA anticipates will go unneeded (with much higher attendance comes a need for better sound equipment, more security, extra washroom facilities etc.).

The BIA greatly appreciates the publics’ feedback and as a result of previous surveys, is adding a much needed ‘Seniors Matter Zone’ and ‘Teen Zone’ which have been fully paid for by generous community sponsors. We hope to see you all this summer for another successful event!

For volunteers, local bands and entertainers, please go to our website for information on how to apply.


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