The Downtown Moose Jaw Association (DMJA) says it wants to help create Canada’s most notoriously charming downtown through beautification, seasonal cleaning, and event promotion.
The DMJA’s open house on March 8 at Mosaic Place was attended by representatives from Visit Moose Jaw, Tourism Moose Jaw, and the Moose Jaw & District Chamber of Commerce.
Mayor Clive Tolley and Ryan McIvor, the general manager of Spectra at Mosaic Place, also made brief remarks at the open house. Spectra is the venue management company that operates Mosaic Place on behalf of the city.
McIvor expressed how difficult the past two years of the pandemic have been for Mosaic Place and for many other businesses in the city. He expressed his satisfaction at being able to open the doors for recreational, sporting, and social events.
“It’s just really important for me to say thank you and welcome you back to Mosaic Place,” McIvor said. “And stay tuned, I know that we’ve got a lot of great event announcements coming up here in the next couple of weeks.”
Geoff Anderson, general manager of the Moose Jaw Co-op and currently the chair of DMJA, said he was grateful for the organizations represented at the open house and the business owners who attended.
“I think it’s a partnership, it’s a collaboration,” Anderson said, “whether it be the businesses collaborating together to bring more revenue to our downtown, or whether it be the Chamber of Commerce, Visit Moose Jaw, Tourism Moose Jaw, and our association working together, I think that’s how we’re going to achieve success.”
The DMJA board consists of:
- Geoff Anderson, chair; Moose Jaw Co-op
- Yvette Moore, vice-chair; Yvette Moore Gallery
- Steve Tunison, treasurer; SaskGaming
- Michaela Turner, secretary; Moose Jaw Co-op
- John Iatridis; The Mad Greek
- Alex Carleton; The Crushed Can
- Gabi Belanger; CP Rail
- Kelly Carty; Tunnels of Moose Jaw
- Dawn Luhning; city councillor, DLSolutions
- Jim Dixon; city of Moose Jaw economic development representative
- Jacki L’Heureux; Tourism Moose Jaw
- Rob Clark; Chamber of Commerce
- Leslie Campbell; media
Representatives had a chance to talk about their roles in promoting the city, including Rob Clark, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce; Rick McKeown, president of the board of directors of Tourism Moose Jaw; and Paula Burns from Visit Moose Jaw.
Mayor Clive Tolley reiterated his desire to see Moose Jaw grow to a population of 50,000. He said the business community was a vital part of that goal and asked everyone present to support and help work toward growth.
“I don’t believe any of this Statistics Canada stuff about the census report saying we went down in citizenship,” Tolley said, “because we didn’t, because there’s about 36,000 people here according to Saskatchewan Health.”
There’s a lot happening in town, the mayor said, mentioning several developments such as the Great Plains Power Station. But, said Tolley, there is an immediate need for employees in this city. He plans to try and bring Ukrainian refugees to the city, saying they would be excellent citizens.
Anderson gave a presentation outlining plans the DMJA has for business in the city. There are four corporate pillars to the plan, namely:
- Visibility and awareness
- Good lines of communication with downtown businesses
- Economic stimulation
- Vitality for the long run
Anderson thanked the city for a recent grant of $43,000 that will supply the DMJA’s operating budget for this year. The money is to be used for events, programming, and initiatives. He also had another exciting announcement, which is the city’s hiring of an economic development co-ordinator.
The co-ordinator, Anderson said, “will spend 50 per cent of their time strictly working for the Downtown Moose Jaw Association, executing our goals and actions. So, I can’t thank you enough for that.”