Vancouver getting a 'night mayor' to boost hospitality sector

Mayor Kennedy Stewart announced a new initiative Thursday supporting Vancouver nightlife with an Office for the Nighttime Economy. The new office will be a single point of contact for the tourism, hospitality and arts and culture sector.

The City of Vancouver will be getting its own version of a “night mayor.”

Mayor Kennedy Stewart and representatives for downtown businesses and the hospitality and tourism sector announced Thursday the creation of a new “Office for Night Time Economy.”

The office will serve as a “single point of contact for Vancouver’s tourism, hospitality and arts and culture sectors to help us innovate faster and help us grow these critical sectors,” Stewart said.

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The office is based on the concept of a “night mayor,” who liaises between the entertainment and nightlife industries and elected officials, which has proven successful in several major cities around the world, including Amsterdam, New York and London.

Stewart said the office hopes to hire a full time “Night Advocate” next fall.

The office will be managed on an interim basis by the Hospitality Vancouver Association, with seed funding from the association, the Downtown Vancouver Business Association, Destination Vancouver and the mayor’s office.

“This initiative is about creating a 24/7 economy that supports those people working in all industries in a truly global city,” Downtown Vancouver Business Association president and CEO Nolan Marshall said.

“It’s about more than about joining with friends for a drink or joining with friends to see live music. It’s about the intersection of public safety, place making and of really economic development, because at its heart this is an economic development initiative.”

Steward said the office will begin its work by reaching out to the tourism, hospitality and arts and culture sectors over the summer, and crafting recommendations next fall on how the city can support and grow the industry.

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