President’s Report on 2016

In 2016, the Board of the SDBA began plans to build on the new energy, exciting ideas and positive direction that was being shared by many businesses.
The 2016 AGM offered a full agenda, an election of eight Directors (David Richardson, Jason Day, Jennifer Stapleton, Rachelle Wirth, Lauri Paul, Liana Leskie and Jeanene Krake) and the appointment of three new Trus-tees (Deb Reeve, Dan Fairholm and Ric Leskie).

In recognition of the 30th Anniversary of the District of Sechelt, awards were presented to businesses in Sechelt who have been in business for 30 years or more—All For Pets, Anne Lynn Flowers and Gifts, Bob’s Barber Shop, Cactus Flower Fashions, Clayton’s Heritage Market, Drift-wood Inn, Beth Emms, Gilligan’s Pub, Golden City Restau-rant, Maribel’s Fine Fashions, Ruth Moore, Sears, Sechelt Fish Market, Sew Easy, Mike Shanks, Suncoast Lock and Trophies, Sunshine Coast Credit Union, Trail Bay Source for Sports, and The Upstairs and Downstairs Shoppe.

At the AGM, Councillor Mike Shanks spoke about busi-ness history in Sechelt over the last 30 years, and Ted Topping spoke on the experiences of customer service.

Our first big event of the year was held April 30 … the “Spring into Downtown Sechelt Business Fair”. Our out-side venue was held in the blocks of Cowrie between Trail and Wharf. Music and children’s activities were included. Approximately 35 businesses participated in the fair which also boasted the Coaster’s Car . A few businesses along the street on Cowrie also did some displays outside. All in all, the event attracted well over 400 shoppers and interested parties. Plans will be made to build further on this in event in 2017. We hope to include other features, and to include as many businesses as possible.

Sechelt’s Canada Day 2016 was a huge success, with the theme of “Way To Go—The Big 3-0” to celebrate the District of Sechelt’s 30th Anniversary. Crowds lined up early for the parade and were treated to the Sun Coast Concert Band who entertained at the Old Church on Cowrie Street. The parade began at 10:30 with decorated bikes and the Coaster’s Car Club parade of vintage cars. As the last parade entry passed The Dock, the crowds were encouraged by the popular “Tiger Dance” to stop and enjoy the suspense of the tiger. Immediately after, the official Canada Day festivities were held at The Dock. This year an enthusiastic crowd was welcomed by Acting Mayor Alice Lutes, Andy Johnston from the shíshálh Nation, and Gary Nohr representing the SCRD. Cake was next on the agenda.

At Hackett Park, Canada Day was opened at the Main Stage by Mayor Bruce Milne and Councillor Darren Inkster, with Councillor Inkster serving the cake.
On Cowrie Street, there was our 3rd Annual Beer Festival, bingo, lots of music, native dancing and drumming and great food. In lower Cowrie Street there was Hawaiian dancing, fiddle music and electric cars.

The upper part of Hackett Park was very busy with music, crafters, the Coaster’s Car Club display and food vendors. This year we added a beer garden.
The lower field was packed with crafts, children’s music and entertainment, climbing wall, bouncy castle and bike safety, plus the petting zoo and pony rides.
Canada Day is a big event and we would not be able to move forward without the support of our major sponsors. Special thanks to the District of Sechelt, Heritage Canada, and Lehigh Materials in addition to the support of many of our member businesses.

The 3rd annual Talent Show was organized by Nikki Weber and held at the Seniors Centre with 18 entries this year. The hall was packed as the audience enjoyed the excellent entertainment provided by our local youth.

After the day’s events, the District of Sechelt sponsored an evening program at Friendship Park. A special fireworks presentation was sponsored by the District of Sechelt and Lehigh. The SDBA were instrumental in the planning and finding sponsorship for the fireworks.

Our summer barbeque was again a hit with approximately 45 attending. After dinner we played Jeopardy and fun was had by all.

Many businesses on Cowrie sponsored the Tree Wells and did a great job maintaining them over the summer.

Thanks also to the Parks Department for the great job that they do with our floral displays.

Our 3rd annual Oktoberfest was held September 24 and we closed Cowrie Street between Trail and Wharf. Our main venue was our 2nd annual Craft Beer Festival. There were children’s activities as well. We built on the events from 2014 and 2015, and were surprised at the turnout which was well over 1000. We also were very pleased by the participation of the merchants on the street. We would especially like to thank All For Pets, Angelo’s Greek Grill, Basted Baker, Blue Magnolia, Coastal Crust, East 4th Vintage, Fabric Expressions, Moorestock, Pearls Bakery, Pharmasave, Pretty Natty Duds, ReDecor, Sechelt Fish Market, Sew Easy, The Slipper Factory, Strait Music, and Ty’s Fine Foods and Bistro.

The Driftwood Inn sponsored our fall Around Town session which was attended by about 20 members. Our guest was a member of the Sunshine Coast RCMP who spoke on business security issues.

In October, the SDBA participated in the BIABC’s 4th annual Province-wide “Turn Down the Heat” campaign sponsored by FortisBC. We collected 788 sweaters at our downtown locations including Trail Bay Centre Mall. We placed top in collections among the 24 BIA’s in the Province who participated. Well done Sechelt!

October also saw the return of Ted Topping to Sechelt. Co-sponsors with the SDBA were the Gibsons and District, and Sechelt and District Chambers of Commerce, Ted gave his “Inspired by Disney” presentation to a very appreciative audience.

Christmas was celebrated in Sechelt on November 26 with our big event. In preparation new lights were added on Dolphin, and our wreaths and lights on the poles helped put us into the mood. The day was busy with music, roving musicians, hot chocolate and the ever popular children’s craft tables in the Trail Bay Centre Mall. At 5:00 Light the Lights was once again enjoyed by about 300 community numbers with free hot chocolate being served by The Salvation Army. Special thanks to Lynne and Reg Dickson.

Our Parade of Lights was bigger and better than ever with about 30 entries. The show was a sight to behold with the many vehicles ablaze with lights. Winners were Swanson’s Redi-Mix, Gibsons Building Supply, and Sechelt Tree Service. The streets were lined with excited families and they were not disappointed thanks to the hard work of coordinator Jill Hemmings-Anderson. The Parade of Lights will be back in 2017

Thanks also to Ruth Moore who organized the children’s make-and-take Christmas crafts, and John Davis who photographed everyone with Santa.
Also returning this year was the Shop Sechelt campaign to encourage shoppers to shop in Sechelt. At the end of the campaign, 20 lucky shoppers each received a $50 gift certificate redeemable at any business within the SDBA.

This year, in conjunction with our Christmas festivities on November 26, we again registered for the Shop The Neighbourhood campaign. This event is sponsored by Yellow Pages and is focusing on encouraging the community to shop locally on one particular day all across Canada. We had many businesses who participated by offering special deals, sales, putting in Window Displays and getting into the swing of the campaign. Yellow Shopping bags and balloons were seen everywhere and it really bonded the community together. We ordered 1000 yellow shopping bags, and they all sold to businesses.

2016 saw a change in the SDBA’s office as well. We said goodbye to Kerry Jenkins in April, and welcomed Matt McLean as the new Ambassador/Administrator in September. I thank both for their dedication and enthusiasm.

With the renewal of the SDBA’s mandate coming up in 2017, we are working closely with the District of Sechelt to devise a funding scheme that is fairer to all businesses.

As we move into our 23rd year of service to Sechelt village, we encourage you to sup-port the SDBA board so together we can ensure that the village is unique, vibrant and has an attractive downtown. Get involved! You are welcome to attend SDBA board meetings usually held on the second Monday of each month (expect July and August) at 6:00 pm at the SDBA Office. Members are also welcome to attend any committee meetings of the SDBA that plan the events happening in the downtown – they are held at various times and locations. Without your participation events cannot happen.

Again our thanks to the many businesses who continued to support our efforts, and to the District of Sechelt for their support and encouragement. Businesses that stick together grow together. Thanks also to our community supporters who shop locally.

I would like thank the Board of Directors who have done a great job again this year.

Respectfully submitted, Katharine Trueman, President, SDBA