Jeff Bray, a public affairs consultant and one-time Victoria Beacon Hill MLA, stands in the heart of the Government Street retail area. He was recently hired as interim executive director for the Downtown Victoria Business Association. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

Former Victoria MLA filling integral business role downtown

Jeff Bray takes on interim executive director position with the DVBA

The Downtown Victoria Business Association has reached out to a former MLA whose riding once encompassed the geographic bounds he is now overseeing.

Jeff Bray, who has been working as a public affairs consultant in recent years and has previously done work for the DVBA, is in his second week as the organization’s interim executive director.

He joins the marketing and advocacy group at a busy time of year downtown, not quite a month after the DVBA board parted ways with former executive director Kerri Milton.

“When this opportunity came up and I had conversations with the board and the chair, I told them I’d be delighted to provide them with assistance in this transition period,” Bray said.

An executive search firm is in the process of finding candidates to take over the job permanently, with the goal of having someone in place by early spring next year.

Suzanne Bradbury, the association’s chair, said the board appreciates Bray’s willingness to step in with the holiday shopping season in high gear.

“Jeff’s knowledge of the DVBA, his respect for the membership and his strong relationships with DVBA stakeholders make him well suited to steward the association’s many exciting projects and initiatives through the first quarter of 2018,” she said in a release.

Bray, who served as Victoria-Beacon Hill MLA from 2001 to 2005, said he’s doing his best to guide and support DVBA staff to encourage people to come downtown to shop, dine, relax and otherwise do business.

He’s also bringing himself up to speed on such downtown concerns as parking and other business-related issues.

“Parking is one that is top of the agenda for everybody,” he said. “In part, it’s a sign of just how vibrant and strong downtown is that that is a challenge.”

The DVBA works closely with such bodies as the City of Victoria, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and Tourism Victoria on joint opportunities and areas of concern, including access to businesses.

“We’re looking for a multitude of solutions to enable people to commute downtown, or dine or see their dentist,” Bray said. “We have the park and ride (at Douglas Street and Frances Avenue), and are working to find other ways to make it easy for people to come downtown, including bringing their car.”

The DVBA oversees a number of business and community initiatives, especially at this time of year. The roaming Santa and horse-drawn carriage programs downtown recently kicked off, and the DVBA will play a key role when Comic-Con comes to town next March.

For more on their activities, visit downtownvictoria.ca or call 250-386-2238.

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in Victoria

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

Public packs Victoria mosque during B.C.’s Open Mosque Day

‘The best way to deal with fear is to educate. That’s what we are trying to do here’

Vancouver Island First Nations Youth Ambassadors deliver message to the United Nations

The delegation appeared at an event celebrating ‘the rich tapestry of global cultural diversity’

Turning pro on the Island

Pacific FC’s Brad Norris-Jones talks about his journey to pro sports in Victoria

Fitness and health programming drew more than 12,000 participants in Saanich

New report also finds a gender split in programming

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

B.C. VIEWS: Power politics wins over rational energy policy

B.C Hydro continues to face interference on rates

PR firm suspends contract with former B.C. premier amid groping accusation

Edelman says in a statement that Campbell has served as a special adviser to the firm since last July

James says B.C. budget puts priorities on NDP’s poverty, environment plans

She said she expected the government’s poverty reduction and climate change strategies to be priorities in the budget

PHOTOS: Day 1 of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

Games kicked off in Red Deer this week

Most Read