Re-Imagine Downtown Activation Grant Recipients Announced
Downtown Lethbridge is ready to host the return of several events this year – as well as welcome a slate of new activation initiatives.
The total funding available for the Re-Imagine Downtown Activation Grant in 2023 is $120,000. Applications are eligible for up to $10,000, with funding provided through the Downtown Redevelopment Fund.
The Re-Imagine Downtown Activation Grant originated in 2021 through the Heart of Our City Committee (HOCC) re-imagining the former Activity Grant program to enhance vibrancy Downtown. The funding aims to support businesses, entrepreneurs, organizations, and community-minded individuals in implementing initiatives, events, and/or programs that seek to activate vacant, underutilized and under-programmed private and public spaces and places within Downtown Lethbridge.
“As we saw with the launch of Re-Imagine in 2021, there are several great projects that can happen with the right support in place,” says Crystal Scheit, Urban Revitalization Manager. “During this year’s intake of grant applications, we received 23 applications with funding requests totalling more than $154,000. We were able to fund all eligible applicants with all or a portion of the ask which will bring a large variety of vibrancy into the Downtown through multiple events in 2023. With the high number of applications, it is a great sign for overall interest in the future of Downtown Lethbridge.”
Through the evaluative process, the review panel and the HOCC prioritized grant funding based on the criteria identified in the application package, with several projects partially or fully funded including:
- Word on the Street Festival is an outdoor literary event comprised of author readings for kids, teens and adults, workshops and panels, live music and activities, and exhibitor marketplace, in a street fair setting.
- Shakespeare in the Park will see the Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society bring William Shakespeare’s, ‘Taming of the Shrew’ to Galt Gardens and Festival Square this summer.
- Hootenanny! Is a free outdoor play for children and families that takes place annually in Galt Gardens, running through the month of July.
- Oktoberfest YQL is a community event held in Festival Square styled after the traditional Munich festival.
- Foodie Fest is a downtown-wide event that brings food trucks to the south and west ends of Galt Gardens while encouraging downtown restaurants to offer free samples at their brick-and-mortar restaurants. The event will run monthly throughout the summer.
- Light Up Festival Square – Three-Day Anniversary Event will celebrate the first birthday of Festival Square.
- Lethbridge OnScreen Festival a digital outdoor community theatre space will launch on September 23 and 30 in conjunction with Alberta Culture Days featuring content created by emerging under-represented artists, historians and short documentary filmmakers.
- Arts Days is a kid-friendly multiple day event from September 22-29 which will include window painting downtown and a Cabaret.
- Lethbridge Jazz Society Series hosts local and national artists in a series of live events across a variety of venues in downtown Lethbridge.
- Heritage Day is a celebration of Cultural Diversity in Galt Gardens. Enjoy cultural entertainment, and education and learn through dance, music and food.
- Trapdoors Alley Art Festival is an all-night contemporary art festival in the alley between 6 Street South and 7 Street South that would feature art installations, performances, musicians and ephemeral artworks.
- 6 Street Block Party would see a day of music in Festival Square, a market, local art, beer gardens, and more on 6 Street (between 3 Avenue and 4 Avenue).
- Centric Music Pop-Up Concerts are free, outdoor Pop-Up Concerts at Festival Square to be held daily at 12 p.m. from July 5 to July 8. These concerts feature up-and-coming artists who play classical or art music on traditional acoustic instruments.
- Downtown Yoga has weekly free yoga sessions instructed by certified yoga instructors. When the weather permits, classes will be outside, in Galt Gardens.
- Strudel Brand Talking Lethbridge will show a film capturing stories of downtown business owners, to be shown for free at Festival Square.
- Lunch and Listen Concert Series is organized by the University of Lethbridge Conservatory of Music and features exceptional concert opportunities available on a regular basis downtown.
- Go Skateboarding Day is June 21. Skateboarders from around the world gather at their local skateboard shop and skate the streets of their town.
- Community Art is a variety of free workshops taught by various instructors on Wednesdays, twice a day, during July and August.
- International Movie Nights series at the Multicultural Centre. An opportunity to come together and be immersed in different cultures through film.
- Holiday Traditions Around the World has Southern Alberta Ethnic Association partnering with community groups to showcase their rich and diverse cultures through food and performances that honour their respective important holidays.
- Authenticity and Wellness Summer Camp is for 10–16-year-olds where they can be presented with information about the authenticity of self and how that interacts with mental and social wellness.
- Kurvy Summer Fashion Shows focus on body diversity and celebrating your body. Enjoy the Thursday show at Festival Square and being treated to locally made refreshments.
Grant applications were accepted in one intake in 2023 and have been reviewed and approved by the HOCC. More information about the Re-Imagine Downtown Activation Grant as well as other support grants and incentives can be found on the city’s website.