Downtown association looking forward to growth in 2024
The Downtown Moose Jaw Association (DMJA) had a successful year in 2023 and are now looking forward to growing in 2024. Some of the highlights from the past year included the first ever Snowtorious Family Day winter festival that was held on Feb. 20 in Crescent Park in which the downtown association saw a good turnout. Then on May 13, the association held its second annual Greek Night that was sold out with 350 people in attendance. This event has grown from about 200 to 250 people at the first Greek Night. It was also one of the largest fundraisers for the downtown association in 2023. The Little Chicago Show and Shine returned on Sept. 17 with over 400 vehicles making it the third largest car show in Saskatchewan this past summer. The DMJA, in consultation with the City of Moose Jaw’s Public Art Committee, received funding from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to erect a Ukrainian sunflower sculpture in Crescent Park. The project got the green light in 2023 and will be installed in early 2024. Finally, Christmas in Moose Jaw took place in October. New this year was the Moose Jaw Wish Book, a play on the old Sears Wish Book catalogues, in collaboration with local businesses. DMJA president Geoff Anderson said the association will continue to align itself with the city’s vision built on values. “We will always start with open, honest, frank conversations with our stakeholders. We clearly define what we do and what we do not do and operate as one family and one community to make the community better and prepare for the future,” he said. One of the major goals of the DMJA is to establish a Downtown Business Improvement District. The project is ongoing with the hopes the city will recognize the Business Improvement District (BID) in the next four years. That would include BID funding with the city matching funds of about $55,000 each year. The downtown association is also looking to find the short and long-term needs for seasonal festivals and events such as the Greek Night, car show and Christmas in Moose Jaw as well as initiate a summer adopt-a-flower-bed program. There is also work happening to have the DMJA hire a full-time executive coordinator. “Currently, we are sharing an employee with the city where we would like to work towards having our own staff member as well as creating a downtown branding strategy in conjunction with economic development. They’ve been a great resource for us last year,” Anderson said. The organization plans to continue to support core amenities and services downtown including supporting downtown cleanliness and initial discussions have taken place about infrastructure on River Street. Coming up in the first quarter of 2024, the DMJA will once again hold its winter festival, work with the city department to find joint grant funding opportunities and hold a quarterly cross-promotion campaign. The second quarter will see the flower pot program initiated as well as the pop-up patio, the installation of the Ukrainian sculpture, the expansion of the walking art program, community clean up and the third annual Greek Night. During the third quarter, the DMJA will look to support Sidewalk Days, the Little Chicago Show and Shine will return for its third year and it will cross-promote Prohibition Days with Tourism Moose Jaw. Finally, in the fourth quarter of 2024, Christmas in Moose Jaw and the Wish Book will return and the association will support the hanging of Christmas lights throughout downtown. In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, Discover Moose Jaw encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the Discover Moose Jaw app HERE.