BIA pulls plug on downtown parade

Council has asked city staff to see if there is any interest among groups or individuals in assuming the responsibility of parade coordination.

The local BIA is pulling the plug on its hosting duties of the popular downtown Christmas parade.

The decision by the Downtown Chilliwack Business Improvement Association came on the heels of “significant” board discussion and merchant consultation, “as to how to best impact the downtown with limited resources of the BIA for the Christmas season,”  a BIA official said in a letter to city hall.

In response, council decided Tuesday to hold off on going to a formal RFP  process, and instead asked city staff to see if there is any interest among groups or individuals in assuming the responsibility of parade coordination.

There is still strong support in the merchant-based group for the idea of the parade continuing in the downtown core to launch the Christmas season, and BIA officials wished the city well in identifying a new organizing body.

The board decided to cease coordinating and hosting the parade “in order to focus our attention on broader, multi-day BIA Christmas events,” according to the May 17 letter signed by BIA board president Ken Popove.

“To assist with a smooth transition of this event, we will be prepared to share our information with the new coordinators,” said Popove.

He also thanked the city for its unwavering support during the past 10 years of the event. The total budget for the 2010 parade was $15,000, of which the city’s annual contribution was $7,000 for the past several years.

 

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