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BIA Conference a Chance to Share Best Practices


April 23, 2012 – The National BIA Conference has brought approximately 200 delegates to Thunder Bay to learn what the local Business Improvement Areas and Business Areas have done to highlight the city’s downtowns.

“We’re excited to be in Thunder Bay and to meet the people who have made the community a vibrant place to live,” said John Kiru, President of the OBIAA and the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas.

This is the first time the National Conference has been held north of Superior. Councillor Rebecca Johnson, Chair of the OBIAA Conference Local Organizing Committee, is excited to participate in the meetings and learn what BIAs have done in other parts of Ontario and Canada.

“Holding the Conference in Thunder Bay is a major milestone,” Johnson said. “I’m sure our visitors will be impressed with the methods used by our five local BIAs and BAs to attract people to our downtowns. This Conference is a chance to share best practices and learn from each other.”

The four-day Conference, which will have 20 exhibitors, is hosted by the Fort William Business District, Simpson Street and Waterfront District Business Improvement Areas, and the Westfort and Bay/Algoma Business Areas. Meetings are at the Valhalla Inn and there will be a mobile tour of the five business areas.

Since 2001, the Ontario BIA Association has been an important resource for education, partnership and collaboration to each BIA across the province.  The OBIAA recognizes the power of networking, the strength in numbers and the value of sharing common concerns and finding resolutions specific to individual communities.

Through memberships, the OBIAA represents, supports and encourages business improvement areas to increase their effectiveness and their contribution to the economic, cultural and social well-being of communities in Ontario.

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Contact: Councillor Rebecca Johnson, 577-2807