As a BIA (Business Improvement Area), we work hard to make sure our members (merchants and commercial property owners) feel supported and empowered to reach their potential.
The Heights Merchants Association
The Heights Merchants Association (HMA for short) is a BIA. What’s a BIA? A Business Improvement Area is a specially designated district where merchants (commercial tenants) pay a BIA levy, like an extra tax, that is only spent on the commercial district and community economic development. From Street Banners and Public Art to Litter Pick Up and Graffiti Prevention, from Events (like Hats Off Day!) to Marketing and Promotions, a BIA acts like a “head office” for our members; that is, our 330+ shops and services. We help the area look nice and be welcoming to our shoppers and visitors, we help solve problems for the area, as well as promote it, create that sense of place and community, and much more. We are your neighbours, your cooperative problem-solvers, and the stewards for the neighbourhood shopping district.
Our Programs and Services
As a BIA (Business Improvement Area), we work hard to make sure our members (merchants and commercial property owners) feel supported and empowered to reach their potential. Some of our many services to the district include:
Street Banners, Litter Pick up (4 days/week), Public Art (murals, etc.), Graffiti Prevention, and more.
Liaise with City of Burnaby on district initiatives for Outdoor Spaces, Physical Infrastructure and new Amenities, Parking, Transportation Policy, and more.
Social Media, Web Site, Business Directory, Marketing Campaigns, Business Recruitment Support.
Services include: Member of District 1 CPAC, 24-Hour Security Alert.
City and partner events such as STRIDE Arts Fest, Giro di Burnaby, as well as social media Community Page administration.
Hats Off Day, Deck the Heights, Crave, Lunar New Year, etc..
In addition to public events, such as Hats Off Day, the Heights Merchants also hosts annual events for our members: merchants and commercial property owners of Hastings Street (Boundary Road to Gamma Avenue). These include our Annual General Meeting (autumn) and our Member Mixer (spring).
Board & Staff
The HMA team comprises up to 12 diverse volunteer Board members from all geographic parts of our BIA, many different business types, and representative of the diverse cultures of the Heights. We are also served by two full-time staff members, and from time to time, one or two additional coop work term employees.
Our 2020-2021 Board of Directors
Josie Romeo (President) – Vancity Savings Credit Union
Nelson Chow (Vice President) – Waypoint (GNK) Insurance
Rishel Fortugno (Treasurer) – Custom Mortgages
Christophe Bonzon (Secretary) – Chez Christophe Chocolaterie et Patisserie
Janet Bevilacqua (Director) – Pillars Salon
Christine Cho (Director) – Big Dog Little Dog Bakery
Heidi Dueck (Director) – United Optical Dispensary
Jack Kuyer (Director) – Valley Bakery & Property Owner
Ninna Snider (Director) – Muckabout & BC Bee Supplies & Property Owner
Board members serve as volunteers on various Board committees, and working committees such as Marketing, Transportation, Physical Improvement, Green Business, and others.
Our Staff in 2020-2021:
Isabel Kolic – Executive Director
Isabel has more than 25 years experience in communications and marketing strategy and management in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. She also ran her own business for 10 years. Her bachelor’s degree in Communication (Policy & Media) and her post-baccalaureate diploma in Community Economic Development (including international work in Ukraine) all contribute to her work with the HMA. Isabel speaks four languages.
Katrina Caguioa – Marketing and Events CoordinatorKatrina brings a diverse skill set and work experience background from non-profit and private sectors (including ad agencies) to the HMA, as well as a diploma in Marketing Communications from BCIT. She is a capable graphic designer and marketing strategist, and has comprehensive event management skills. Katrina speaks three languages.
Looking To Open A Business Or
Have Questions About The District?
Have a great business concept you want to bring to Burnaby Heights? We’re a great place to do business. From our central location in the Lower Mainland, our proximity to the Tri Cities, Downtown and East Vancouver, an easy 10 minutes across the bridge to the North Shore, and 5 minutes to Hwy 1, our district is a convenient location for employees to come to, and our diversity of shops, cafes and restaurants make this a wonderful place to work. We’re also well connected to transit routes and east-west and north-south cycling routes.