60,000 Voices Speak at the 2016 BIA ConferenceLondon, Ontario
April 18, 2016
The 2016 Ontario Business Improvement Area Association’s National Conference ‘Constructing Our Futures’ was hosted this year in London, Ontario.
The Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) is an association representing over 60,000 local businesses across the province. Its mandate is to improve the economic, cultural and social well-being of communities across Ontario.
246 conference delegates including BIA Board members, business and property owners, municipally elected representatives, provincial and municipal staff along with 30 exhibitors and sponsors turned out to share ideas and best practices during the three day educational conference.
OBIAA President, Ellen Timms opened the conference by saying “OBIAA is delighted to celebrate and champion the work of our BIAs in Marketing & Promotions, Economic Development, Leadership & Management and Physical Improvements through education, networking and advocacy. We would like to thank Downtown London BIA for partnering with OBIAA to present this conference!”
Minister of Economic Development Employment and Infrastructure, Brad Duguid MP was on hand to offer greetings to the packed ballroom of delegates emphasizing the importance of small business to the province’s economy and celebrating the role BIA’s play in striving to maintain our vibrant communities.
Topics included economic impacts making Music Cities a global trend, Downtown Revitalization in Ontario, Urban Regeneration, the importance of Culture, creating a sense of place and Accessibility-AODA accessontario.com/aoda/.
The OBIAA Awards were presented at the Monday Awards Dinner to BIA’s excelling in four different categories. Award Winners can be found on www.obiaa.com
OBIAA President Ellen Timms thanked all attending, and the OBIAA staff and board for its work on an in-depth submission to a provincial roundtable of Deputy Ministers (PERL) Planning, Environment, Resources, Land Deputy Ministers’ Committee, which includes recommended changes to the Municipal Act (204-216) governing BIAs, Historic Built Form Accessibility, Assessment and Data Collection. The October PERL meeting lead to the announcement from the Conference Stage of the province’s decision to provide $150,000 to OBIAA to facilitate a province wide data collection initiative.
“The opportunity to research the ground-breaking legislation that came out of the province in 1970, and has now spread across Canada and the world; to qualify and quantify the return on investment of BIAs and to understand the full impact of this ground-breaking legislation in our provinces economic, social and communities’ growth and development” said Timms, “…a real milestone for the OBIAA membership”, and for BIA communities across the province.
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Presentations from speakers at the 2016 BIA Conference can be found at http://www.obiaaconference.com/index.cfm?ID=208