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Downtown Association names Alex Carleton as new chairperson at AGM

The Downtown Moose Jaw Association (DMJA) held its Annual General Meeting recently with the goal of reviewing last year’s activities and reviewing plans for the upcoming 2024 fiscal year
The Downtown Moose Jaw Association helps support the aesthetic and economic development of Moose Jaw’s downtown core.

The Downtown Moose Jaw Association (DMJA) held its Annual General Meeting recently with the goal of reviewing last year’s activities and reviewing plans for the upcoming fiscal year.

The meeting took place on March 27 at the Moose Jaw Co-op, following an earlier meeting held March 18 at Cask 82. The stated reason for the follow-up meeting was to allow more time for the group to elect a new board of directors.

The association’s board consists of elected members who each serve a two-year term. On alternating years, those terms come up for re-election.

The board now includes Alex Carleton, the association’s new chair, and John Iatridis, who will serve as the new vice-chair. Yvette Moore is the association’s treasurer and Michaela Turner will remain as secretary.

These individuals replace former chair Geoff Anderson and former vice-chair Guido Maalde who oversaw the association in 2022 – 2023.

2023 event recap

The earlier Family Day event on Feb. 20, 2023, was reported to be a huge success. “It was great to see everybody come out (and) have some fun with their families,” explained Geoff Anderson, CEO of Moose Jaw Co-op and former chairperson of the DMJA.

Last year’s Greek Night fundraiser gala was sold out, and Anderson said he’s certain this year will also. “We expect more than 250 attendees (in 2024),” he announced.

In 2023, the DMJA hosted its second annual Little Chicago Show and Shine in Moose Jaw’s downtown core which saw more than 400 cars in attendance.

“I think we were one of the top three (venues) in the province for the largest car shows (in 2023), and we thought that was an extremely good success,” Anderson said.

Ukrainian sculpture

The DMJA is working on a Ukrainian-themed sculpture to be featured in Moose Jaw’s downtown in honour of the local Ukrainian community who marks an integral part of Moose Jaw’s heritage.

The project has been in development now for around 18 months, Anderson said.

The sculpture will also commemorate recent Ukrainian refugees as their home country continues to face the enduring war with Russia.

1Q 2024

The 2024 ‘Snowtorious Moose Jaw’ event took place on Feb. 18, and Anderson said it was viewed as a success by the association.

The next project discussed was the ‘Swing into Spring’ initiative launched by Laurie Hysuick, the owner of Mitny Refillery. The inaugural event was held March 23rd, and on April 8 Hysuick reported it to be a success with a second iteration planned for spring 2025.

2Q 2024

The board will be working with various city departments in April to discuss joint grant funding opportunities and will meet with city manager Maryse Carmichael during the process.

The board also expressed interest in seeing cross-promotional campaigns for downtown businesses and programs be initialized on a consistent quarterly basis.

A number of additional projects were discussed including a walking art program hosted by the Kinsmen Club, a downtown DMJA clean-up project, and Anderson announced that the board wishes to maintain its flowerpot program and seeks to continue supporting the downtown public patio project.

The upcoming Greek Night gala is scheduled for Saturday, May 11.

3Q 2024

This year’s Little Chicago Car Show and Shine will continue as planned and is set to take place in September with an exact time and date to be determined.

An upcoming ‘Prohibition Days’ cross-promotional campaign will he held in partnership with Tourism Moose Jaw with details to follow later this summer.

4Q 2024

The Christmas lights campaign will continue this winter in partnership with the City of Moose Jaw, and thanks to this agreement, more lights have been added to Moose Jaw’s downtown to complement the city’s own installations.

Finally, the association has confirmed that Christmas in Moose Jaw will once again take place this October in Moose Jaw’s downtown core, and the Christmas Wish Book will be continued.

The DMJA is also seeking a full-time employee to assist with the creation of a downtown strategy, and to co-ordinate various services including benches, banners, and downtown cleanliness initiatives in an apparent expansion of its scope.

Financial report

As of March 18, the association’s annual revenue was reported as $134,741.25 with an annual expense of $108,877,34.

Total assets are valued at $87,408.26 and all liabilities equal $75,875.85.

Kelly Carty, the association’s former treasurer, made specific mention of a minor discrepancy between the numbers presented to city council and those stated at the AGM. The reason for this, she said, is simply due to the association not having the final tally prepared at the time of the earlier council meeting.

The DMJA has received just over $50,000 in 2023-24 from the City of Moose Jaw for grant funding, which Anderson said reinforces the DMJA as a viable organization and will primarily be used for marketing initiatives.

“We just want to continue (supporting) our downtown… businesses and do whatever we can to help elevate their business, improve their revenue, (and) increase tourism to our downtown core,” Anderson said.

“We know we have one of the best downtowns in Western Canada, and we certainly feel it’s a gem,” he added. “We want to get as many people (as possible) both inside and outside of Moose Jaw to patronize our amazing downtown.”

The association’s next AGM is expected to take place in March 2025.

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