An Edmonton arts organization has been named as Canada’s Favourite Local Business in a national competition sponsored by local gift card giants Downtown Gift Cards.
Edmonton’s TIX on the Square, operated by Edmonton Arts Council, came top in the competition, which asked people to nominate their favourite local business. TIX was praised for its support for local artists and unique gifts.
Danny Ross is the Arts and Retail Services Manager for Edmonton Arts Council and said championing local and collaboration are key aims of the business:
“It is really exciting to receive the accolade as Canada’s Favourite Local Business. TIX has evolved from a box office to a community arts hub and our mandate is to support the arts industry. Everything we sell, from a print to a keychain, is made by local designers and artists. Edmonton has a thriving arts scene. Located in the Downtown core, we’re flanked by Edmonton’s largest art gallery, a concert hall, live theatre venue, city hall and library, so we’re able to serve both visitors to Edmonton and locals.
“Many shops and galleries have moved to online spaces over recent years. One of the ways we’ve been able to maintain our physical presence is through community collaboration. We worked with the Fairmont Hotel chain in their Hotel MacDonald to create a small gallery space in their hotels stocked with local products, and regularly collaborate with other galleries, print shops and our local libraries.
“I think that people want more than to buy a product, they want to connect with the painter, the designer or the musician behind the piece. That is what gives the item meaning for them. In 2023, we aim to connect with even more arts organizations and with emerging designers and makers. Through collaboration we build our community, and that is more powerful for us all in the long term.”
TIX is part of the new Edmonton Downtown Gift Card, launched by Edmonton Downtown Business Association to stimulate consumer spending and support businesses in the core. TIX is also an in-person location where the Gift Cards can be purchased, in addition to online at edmontondowntown.com/giftcard
The Edmonton Downtown Gift Card can be spent at multiple participating Downtown businesses, including restaurants, bars, arts and cultural venues, cafes, hotels and retail stores.
“As soon as we heard about the Gift Card, we were keen to get involved,” adds Danny. “It opens up the opportunity to spend at multiple places and the money is guaranteed to stay local. The more dollars spent local, the stronger the community. It becomes a more vibrant space where businesses want to be, and that improves the quality of life. If locals celebrate local, then it also encourages outsiders to experience Edmonton too.
“Getting set up as an in-person location to buy the Edmonton Downtown Gift Card was easy, and it’s very easy to accept the card as payment. We’ve had lots of people spending their Edmonton Downtown Gift Cards at TIX already. What’s great about being a part of the Gift Card for us, is that it brings new people through our doors. It encourages customers to take a chance on a new business they haven’t tried before.
“When they spend their Gift Card with us, customers are delighted to hear the stories behind the pieces we sell, helping forge a greater connection with the artist, and the community. The Gift Card truly is a catalyst to an immersive experience of Edmonton.”
There is no cost to Downtown businesses to participate and accept the Gift Cards. The Edmonton Downtown Gift Card has no activation or usage fees, and funds do not expire.
Puneeta McBryan, Executive Director of the Edmonton Downtown Business Association, said:
“Over the past few years, TIX on the Square has continued to demonstrate remarkable creativity and innovations in retail marketing, such as pop-up art experiences, student shows and other community collaborations. The store is an important piece of downtown’s retail as we look at ways to create a dynamic and vibrant retail mix.”
Puneeta adds: “TIX is an ideal Edmonton Downtown Gift Card sales point not only due to its convenient location in Churchill Square and Edmonton’s Arts District, but because of the exceptional customer experience and products it sells, attracting both potential and existing customers to downtown and inviting them to come back again and again.”
The technology for the Edmonton Downtown Gift Card is provided by fintech Miconex in association with international payments technology solutions provider EML Payments. Miconex sponsored the search to find Canada’s Favourite Local Business across its programs in 8 Canadian provinces.
Colin Munro is the Managing Director of Miconex and said: “The Canada’s Favourite Local Business competition was designed to shine a light on local, so we can celebrate the local businesses who are having a positive impact on their community. By championing local designers and artists, collaborating with other organizations, and participating in the Edmonton Downtown Gift Card, TIX is playing its part in making Edmonton a thriving city for people to live and visit. Congratulations to TIX on their accolade as Canada’s Favourite Local Business.”
The Edmonton Downtown Gift Card is issued by Peoples Trust Company. Card funds are not insured by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) or any other government deposit insurer or agency. Funds do not expire, non-reloadable and no cash access. For Cardholder Agreement or Customer Service: www.getmybalance.com or 1-833-558-1108.