The Chinatown District Business Revitalization Zone (BRZ) is an organization established November 10th, 2015, through Municipal Bylaw 43M2015 as approved by the City Council for The City of Calgary in accordance with Municipal Government Act, Revised Statutes of Alberta 2000, Chapter M-26, and the regulations established thereunder.
Situated in the heart of Calgary, on Centre Street along the Bow River, Chinatown is the hub of Asian (especially Chinese) culture, language, education, community, and commerce. The Chinatown District BRZ embodies the responsibilities to promote the cultural fabric through infrastructure, appearance, and language together with Chinatown’s residents, merchants, societies and associations, and civic partners.
See CDBRZ Area Map...
The Chinatown District Business Revitalization Zone (CDBRZ) is a partnership program to enable businesses to work together to raise funds and administer an organization that will serve to improve and promote business in this community. CDBRZ is unique among other Calgary BRZs as it also intends to revitalize the distinct Asian culture and societal diversity of this community and the 100+ years of civic heritage and pride.
Building upon the successes of other Calgary BRZs (e.g. Calgary Downtown Association, Inglewood, Kensington, International Avenue, etc.), CDBRZ will engage downtown city planners, communitystakeholders, business owners and future investors.
We will work with The City of Calgary to address parking, roads, transit, land use, building development, parks and riverfront infrastructure issues. We will also advocate for improved safety, security, cleanliness, attractiveness, and community behaviors. Working with tourist organizations, economic development authorities, and the art and culture community, we will market this district as a visitor and cultural destination. Most importantly, we will promote suitable development and business opportunities in the Chinatown district to new investors and business operators.
Chinatown and the Calgary’s Chinese community has a rich history of contributions to the city’s ethnic diversity, entrepreneurial businesses, cultural experiences, modern innovations, rich and spicy dining, and colorful entertainment. Both local visitors and out-of-town tourists to this unique destination experience many of these opportunities. Through them, we experience economic, market and financial growth.
Canton Block, circa 1970. Glenbow Museum Archive.
Over the years, especially since the Calgary 2013 Flood, Chinatown businesses have experienced stagnant, if not negative, growth while the rest of Calgary has experienced record commercial, retail and other business growth.
Surveys following the 2013 flood and during recent BRZ business engagements show that Parking (i.e. the high cost and lack of on-street parking) and Safety / Security (i.e. unsafe roads and sidewalks, lack of evening lighting, unclean sidewalks, double-parked and sidewalk parked vehicles, etc.) are the two prime reasons for visitor decline. The lack of area marketing and tourism promotion were also cited as reasons for the decline in business investors and new startups. CDBRZ sets out to change this.
The role of the Business Revitalization Zone is to promote economic and business development in the Chinatown District through:
The BRZ is governed through BRZ Bylaws, approved by Interim Board of the Chinatown District BRZ (November 10th, 2015), which outline the composition of the Board of Directors, the Director’s nomination criteria, and the BRZ Board election process.