By RENEE FRANCOEUR
There’s a new fashionista in town.
With popping green eyes, pearl earrings and tall brown boots, she’s also the go-to gal for everything related to downtown Red Deer.
Meet Rosie Red, the hip new character developed by the Red Deer Downtown Business Association.
She may be only made of cardboard but, according to the DBA, she’s a queen of knowledge and not to mention quite the charismatic diva.
“Rosie Red is the new voice of the DBA, thanks to a heightened focus on marketing and communication,” said Graham Barclay, executive director of the DBA. “She’s the expert on where to buy high end shoes, where to get the best massage, where to grab a beer after work, or where to have a romantic dinner. She is the one-stop source with all the answers.”
Plan to see her downtown on a constant basis, said Barclay, everywhere and anywhere.
Rosie Red made her official debut at the DBA’s annual meeting Wednesday at the Red Deer College Donald School of Business in the Millennium Centre. She’ll be a personality hard to ignore, said Barclay.
Rosie Red is also a social media whizz. She has her own email address, Facebook page, twitter handle and blog to keep Red Deerians up to date about what’s going on downtown.
“It’s such a neat idea to take the marketing of the downtown to the next level,” said Craig Curtis, Red Deer’s city manager. “Rosie will be a part of creating that tipping point for downtown, where we have enough momentum to take it even further.”
Star Cunningham, assistant director at the Medi Aesthetics Institute of Canada in downtown Red Deer, said it was an absolute pleasure to be introduced to Red.
“This will create great buzz,” she said. “And I think it will get even more people talking to the DBA as they can go through Rosie.”
About 60 downtown business owners and professionals came to the breakfast meeting to hear about upcoming events that Red will play a big role in.
The Downtown Ambassador Program features four people who walk around the downtown area in red cowboy hats and vests, delivering information to tourists. It was run by the city in the past but starting this summer, it will now operate out of the DBA.
Barclay said the association plans to enhance the program, sending the ambassadors all around Red Deer to attract visitors as well as locals downtown more.
Other key events on the DBA horizon is the farmer’s market move onto Little Gaetz and Time for Lunch, a new program where the DBA will be promoting lunch specials at downtown restaurants.
“We want more people to get out of their offices and eat on the street, supporting local businesses,” said Barclay.
This summer is also the 10th anniversary of Centrefest, the city’s annual street performance festival. A special private cabaret featuring all the performers will happen July 28 at the Central Alberta Theatre for $30 to celebrate the 10th anniversary.
Bill Graham, the chair of the board for the DBA, said Red Deer’s downtown has come a long way in 10 years and he only sees it continuing to intensify and bloom.
“The core of a downtown is the businesses there and the synergies between them,” he said. “And the downtown in truth is the heart of the whole municipality.”
Red Deer’s own Rosie Red now has a place in that heart.