Now that cooler weather is upon us and that little voice inside our head screams, The snow is coming! we are faced with preparing for winter. Change the tires, clean the furnace and empty the dead flower baskets. As Prince Georgians we are experts in checking off the list of household winter to dos but this is not as true for our business winter check list. While we may look favourably at our southern friends with green grass year round and flowers blooming in February, we too have an opportunity to become as beautiful in the depths of winter as we are in the middle of July.
Reality check. We are a winter city. We are covered in a layer of snow for 6 months of the year or more. These are things we cannot change and rather, I would argue, we should embrace. There is a wonderful website that should be a resource to us which is found at: www.wintercities.com and is hosted by the Winter Cities Institute. Who knew such an organization existed? It is a wonderful tool and forum that delivers innovative ideas, urban designs, and success stories for people just like us who want to develop a winterscape in Prince George.
Particularly as we prepare to host the 2015 Canada Winter Games in just 875 days, the Prince George business community could be the grassroots pioneers working to make changes to our building exteriors that will create safe, welcoming, and attractive storefront areas specifically for winter. These kinds of changes do not require large capital investment, they can be simple things such as filling flower boxes with pinecones or branches when summer flowers are removed, adding warm exterior lighting, or installing awnings to keep snow off of the sidewalk.
Businesses that have a store front that are interested in learning more about what they can do to create a winterscape in Prince George may register for the upcoming Chamber workshop called Winter Haven: Inspiring Storefront Designs in a Winter City from 7:30 to 10a.m. on October 2. The workshop is facilitated by Linda Parker from Community Policing, Suzanne Samkow from L&M Engineering and a representative from the Canada Winter Games. These three professionals will provide workshop participants with useful ideas on how to create welcoming, safe and unique storefront designs specifically for winter. Real life local examples of store fronts will be reviewed and critiqued during the workshop to provide useful feedback to participants. The workshop is $25 for Chamber members and $35 for future members and registration is available online at www.pgchamber.bc.ca or by phoning 250-562-2454.
Workshop participants will also have the first opportunity to receive one of 16 free storefront cleanups scheduled on October 3 and 4 as two teams of volunteers will visit businesses throughout Prince George to help prepare for winter. These cleanup teams will come to your business to spend a couple of hours washing your windows, cleaning your awnings and signage, scrubbing your building exterior, emptying flower baskets and sweeping the sidewalk. No strings attached. Free of charge. Just contact the Prince George Chamber to book your Cleanup appointment now as it is on a first come, first serve basis with workshop participants at the head of the line.
Until next time, stay in the black and keep coming back.