What is the Downtown Business Association

What we do: We serve approximately 500 businesses and property owners in Downtown Red Deer, Alberta.

Our Mission:

  1. Showcase a rewarding downtown experience.
  2. Creates and supports an inviting environment for thriving commerce.
  3. Acts as a champion and advocate for the downtown business community.

Member Benefits: Any business located within the Business Improvement Area (BIA) is a member of the Downtown Business Association. Learn more about the benefits of your membership in this section. Read More.

Board of Directors: The DBA succeeds due to the involvement and direction we receive through the volunteer Board of Directors. The DBA Board of Directors operates under a governance model by ensuring the organization supports its objectives and fulfills its fiduciary (legal) obligations. Read More.


What We Do

We serve approximately 500 businesses in Red Deer’s Downtown core located in a designated Business Improvement Area (BIA), shown in the grey area.

Our 2023-2025 Goals

Our Vision

Downtown Red Deer is a vibrant, thriving, unique local experience for commerce and community

Strategic Plan 2023 - 2025

The Red Deer Downtown Business Associations mission:

Showcases a rewarding downtown experience.
Creates and supports an inviting environment for thriving commerce.
Acts as a champion and advocates for the downtown business community.

Target Audiences

To help diversify downtown Red Deer the Downtown Business Association is focused on:

Unique, eclectic businesses, such as arts, culture, makers and independents, seek community and offer experiences.
Professional services and non-retail businesses ( who take upper floor leased spaces).
Shoppers and experience seekers looking for unique, authentic culture, and goods and services in a walkable area.
Build and engaged Downtown Community
Develop a Downtown Brand
Enhance the Downtown Experience

Your annual levy is calculated by The City of Red Deer on an annual basis based on the space occupied by the business and collectively, this amount makes up approximately 65% of the DBA annual budget. The budget is approved first by the DBA Board of Directors and then through Council. The remaining 35% of the budget is raised through contracts and grant funding to allow the DBA to deliver on the expectation of our businesses.


Board of Directors

The DBA succeeds due to the involvement of volunteer business owners who set the direction of the DBA through strategic planning and governance. The board of directors follows a governance model by ensuring the organization supports its objectives and fulfills its fiduciary (legal) obligations. The main purposes of the Board are to:

Showcase a rewarding downtown experience.
Create and support an inviting environment for thriving commerce.
Act as a Champion and advocates for the downtown business community.

Each of our Directors works at, owns or operates a business in the BIA and, collectively, are responsible for setting the strategic direction of the association which is achieved through the leadership of the Executive Director and her team.

Board Members

Brandon Bouchard - Chair

Tribe Flat-out | Downtown Red Deer Adventures

Katrina Sharpe

Cinch Communications Inc.

Matthew Mowbrey

Woodbine Legal

Vicki Finlay

Junktiques Home Decor

Gary Oosterhoff

Century Centre

Paige Koster

Paige Koster Photography

Viktor Doerksen

Red Deer City Council

Shawn Frank

Chapman Riebeek

Dwayne Hanusich

Red Deer RCMP

Brett Mauthe

Servus Credit Union

Todd Lawrence

Untitled (Instagram Post (Square))

Annual Report

The vision for our city’s downtown continues to play a central role in our progress and well being as a city. Downtown revitalization projects, both private and public, have contributed to our current business and retail environment creating an enhanced commercial district that will ultimately attract new businesses, new jobs and increased visibility.

Downtown Red Deer is a dynamic mixture of retail shops, coffee houses, restaurants, ethnic food, professional services as well as arts and entertainment, positioning Downtown Red Deer as a unique destination for residents and visitors to our community. With many new revitalization projects, specialized retail opportunities and special events, Downtown Red Deer is becoming the diverse, attractive and desirable core of our city.

To learn more about what your DBA has been working on, view our recent Annual Reports by clicking the links below:

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about Downtown Red Deer with these answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

When and how was the Red Deer Downtown Business Association formed?

In response to a petition by Downtown businesses, in late 1983, Red Deer City Council passed a by-law establishing the Red Deer Downtown Business Association (DBA) as a Business Improvemnet Area (BIA) under the Municipal Government Act. The association is funded primarily by a business tax levy on the net annual rental value of the area occupied by a business located within the BIA. Everyone benefits, so everyone pays.

What is a BIA?

A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is formed under the Municipal Government Act (MGA) and is governed by a set of bylaws that designates the zone and allows for a levy to be applied to businesses within the BIA to improve and promote the area. The BIA is guided by a volunteer governance board whose members are elected members of the BIA and/or appointed by Red Deer City Council.

Is the Downtown Business Association (DBA) part of The City of Red Deer organization?

No. However, in order to advocate for the needs of the businesses and fulfil the DBA strategic objectives, it is in the best interests of the DBA to maintain a positive relationship wherever possible.

How is the DBA funded?

The DBA is funded primarily by a levy that is imposed on all businesses within the BIA. By occupying a space within the boundaries, the levy is automatically applied at City level when preparing tax notices. The BIA levy makes up approximately 65% of the DBA budget, the remaining 35% comes from contracts and grants. The combined sources of income allow the DBA to deliver all of the programs and services as laid out in the strategic plan and in more detail throughout the website. The levy alone does generate enough income to maintain the level of service provided.

Is the Red Deer Public Market (held on Saturdays) organized by the Downtown Business Association?

No. The DBA organizes the Downtown Red Deer Market, held Wednesdays from 3:30-6:30 p.m. The organizer of the Red Deer Public Market (Dennis Moffat) can be reached at 403.346.6443.

I have questions about social issues that are affecting my Downtown business. Who should I contact?

The DBA promotes itself as the direct point of contact to all businesses experiencing challenges in whatever form that takes. This ensures the DBA is aware of what is going on throughout the Downtown and is able to advocate where needed at municipal levels

Downtown Red Deer businesses face a number of challenges on a daily basis, from drug and needle debris to graffiti to pan handling and loitering. This is not unusual in any city and we will never be able to entirely eradicate it, however, it is the DBA’s responsibility to provide support where possible and to identify clear boundaries around acceptable behaviour.

To counteract the challenges, the DBA has a number of resources available. Whatever you are experiencing, please contact the DBA and share it with us – we can help. We have access to needle pick-up, staff training, and crime prevention solutions that are subsidized by the DBA.

Most recently, the DBA has formed a partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Lived Experience Council, a group of individuals who are sharing their experiences of homelessness and addiction, with those in the community working to solve these issues, with the objective of creating and delivering better supports for those still experiencing homelessness and addiction.

The Lived Experience Council is working directly with the street-involved community in areas of downtown most susceptible to the impact of this community to foster a better sense of understanding with them and to reduce issues around places of business using a peer to peer model.

The DBA and Lived Experience Council worked directly with our business community to garner feedback, that allowed us to create the document below, outlining options and resources available to our business community, to ensure your ability to run a successful business in an ever-challenging environment.

Lived Experience Council Report

For more information, support or to discuss an issue you are facing, contact Sandy at sandy.dempsey@downtownreddeer.com or 403.340.8696.