Vancouver Downtown Association announces Van-Tastic Award winners


Six awards in various categories were given out to recognize businesses that went above and beyond in 2020 

VANCOUVER — The year 2020 was full of unprecedented challenges for the Vancouver community. During that time, businesses worked relentlessly to pivot, adapt, and survive through the uncharted territory of a pandemic. 

The owner of Night Market Pop-Local in downtown Vancouver, Jessica Chan, won the VDA’s Ooh Ahh! Award for her business pivot during COVID-19. Photo courtesy of VDA
The owner of Night Market Pop-Local in downtown Vancouver, Jessica Chan, won the VDA’s Ooh Ahh! Award for her business pivot during COVID-19. Photo courtesy of VDA

Ultimately, downtown Vancouver innovated and remained resilient to meet the challenge.

Over the last 10 years, the Van-Tastic Award Ceremony has been a celebration of small businesses and Vancouver’s community-centric values. This year, the Van-Tastics was condensed into an engaging 8-minute video, available for view on YouTube and Facebook.

“So typically, our award ceremony is in person, with COVID, it really presented an interesting opportunity to pivot the platform,” said VDA Executive Director Michael Walker. “With it being in a video format, from my perspective, it was able to reach a wider audience over a longer period of time, which is really interesting to see, especially on Facebook, and through our newsletter and on YouTube. I think we’re at about 8,500 views on Facebook, and it just continues to climb.”

LSW Architects and Riff_Creative teamed up to construct many parklets in downtown so small restaurants could stay open, and for their efforts won the Corporate Sponsor Recognition Award. Photo courtesy of VDA
LSW Architects and Riff_Creative teamed up to construct many parklets in downtown so small restaurants could stay open, and for their efforts won the Corporate Sponsor Recognition Award. Photo courtesy of VDA

There are six award categories recognizing Vancouver’s downtown businesses:

Believe & Achieve

The Believe and Achieve Award recognizes start-ups, expansions, and other small businesses growing in downtown.

Recipient: Kindred Homestead Supply

Ooh Ahh! Award

The Ooh Ahh! Award recognizes the best remodel, re-brand, or successful business pivot in 2020.

Recipient: Night Market Pop-Local

Yellow Umbrella Award

The Yellow Umbrella Award recognizes extraordinary resiliency and ingenuity during COVID-19 mandates.

Recipient: Kiggins Theatre

Vancouver-Made

The Vancouver Made Award celebrates locally made or manufactured items. 

Recipient: Bleu Door Bakery

The Carl Dobbs Commendation

An award honoring a late Carl Dobbs who championed the downtown tree planting, and the revitalization of Turtle Place. This award embodies dedication and sense of duty to our community.

Recipient: Holly Williams

Corporate Sponsor Recognition

Recognizes community partnerships that made VDA’s community development efforts possible.

Recipient: LSW Architects and Riff_Creative

“So the awards, they’re recognition,” Walker said. “So it just kind of highlighted the businesses themselves, and then also working through our marketing channels to highlight their business specifically. So it’s a mixture of community recognition, and the related marketing exposure to highlighting them throughout our different channels.”

You can reach out to Michael Walker, for additional information at director@vdausa.org, or (360) 258-1129. 

Information provided by the Vancouver Downtown Association

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