Foodie Friday is now a provincially-recognized program.
It was honoured with the BC Economic Development Award, in the ‘Best Community Project’ category. Cities with populations over 20,000 people qualified for the award.
Foodie Friday was launched by the City of Prince George last August as a way to bring people into the downtown…and what better attraction than food?
“We started it to really revitalize downtown, bring people to the downtown core,” says Melissa Barcellos, the Manager of Economic Development for the City of Prince George. “There are over 10,000 people who work in downtown Prince George. So we wanted to take advantage of those potential customers. Get them outside, enjoying the sun and enjoying the food from the local restaurant tours.”
To initiate early adoption, the City waived all permit fees for vendors. It also provided free electricity hook-ups.
Each Friday during the summer months, anywhere from 100 – 350 people stop by City Hall’s front lawn to grab a bite, while enjoying the music and atmosphere.
“We got great feedback from businesses on their sales, new customers,” says Barcellos. “People also reported they found new restaurants they weren’t even aware existed.”
It’s the first time Prince George has won an award through the BC Economic Development Association. “It’s great to have third-party recognition, especially on a provincial level,” says Barcellos. “They actually use examples of projects that win these awards to help coach other communities on projects they could implement in their communities.”