2021 Virtual Professional Development Sessions – Program & Schedule

We continue to honour the four pillars of Downtown Revitalization with four streams at the 2021 BIA Virtual Professional Development Sessions.

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    Economic Development
  • Physical Improvements Icon

Reimagining Main Street (Presented by Big Star Lights)

April 21, 2021

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Our main streets are the hearts of our communities. COVID-19 closures and restrictions have severely impacted our main streets over the past year. What will Main Street look like post-pandemic? Join our panel of experts as they discuss past aspects of Main Street, possible post-pandemic scenarios, the durability of e-commerce, different success stories, accessing funding programs, and much more. 

Michael Harker | Community Researchers

John Archer | 360 Collective
David Hessels | City of Toronto
Patty Hayes | Page by Page Consulting

Activating Public Space Into People-Friendly Places

April 28, 2021

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Public space defines the cultural and social development of our communities. We use them daily, but how do we transform them into more people-friendly places? This session will explore core principles and demonstrate how to undertake creative, collaborative placemaking at a range of scales, scopes, and budgets to create a broader network of thriving public space with social, cultural, and ecological impact.

Lisa Anderson | Downtown Dundas BIA

Michelle Senayah | The Laneway Project
Lisa Rapoport | PLANT Architect Inc.


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    Marketing & Promotions
  • Leadership & Management Icon
    Leadership & Management

Marketing Your BIA In A Digital World

May 5, 2021

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Navigating the online world has been a challenge for us all. During this session we’ll discuss the wins and challenges of the digital world for BIAs and their members, how event organizers have pivoted, and ways that businesses can transition to online.

Mary-Lou Ambrose-Little | Downtown Port Colborne

Marijo Currier | Downtown Belleville BIA
Lisa La Rocca | Sonic Unyon Record

Mental Health and Wellness For Business Owners & BIAs

May 12, 2021

10:00 AM – 12:30 PM

There’s no doubt that the pandemic has taken a toll on our business, our BIAs, and our communities. During this session we will explore ways for business owners as well as BIA staff and board members to care for themselves during these difficult times. We will discuss practical ways to manage stress and how you can start investing in your mental health and wellness today.

Judy Worsley | Aldershot BIA

Sara Ivicic | CMHA
Erin Dunham | Other Bird

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