Introducing the Marda Loop BIA

The Marda Loop BIA represents over 170 businesses that are the soul of Marda Loop: where life connects.

The Marda Loop BIA works to promote, improve and enliven the Marda Loop business district. Come to Marda Loop and find everything you need.

OUR HISTORY

The name Marda Loop comes from two significant South Calgary landmarks. The word “Marda” comes from the Marda Theatre (1953-1988), which was founded by Mark and Mada Jenkins. “Marda” was created by the merging of the founder’s names. The word “Loop” comes from the streetcar that made rounds through early Calgary’s downtown and outlying areas. It travelled as far as 34th Avenue and 20th Street, before “looping” back to the City Centre. After 1950, it was replaced by a trolley bus that went down 33rd Avenue to a turnaround loop near 22nd Street.

It wasn’t long before the area became known as Marda Loop and, though both the trolley and the theatre are long gone, the name and the history are still an important part of the area.

What are BIAs?

Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) are business organizations that work to improve and promote a district. They are established by City Council in response to an initiative by businesses in a specific area. All businesses within the boundary are automatically members of the BIA.

There are 15 BIAs in Calgary. Marda Loop BIA was one of the first, established in 1984. There are thousands of BIAs and like organizations in North America and worldwide.

The BIA is governed by a Board of business reps who are elected by members at an Annual General Meeting. The board sets the BIA’s budget, which is mostly funded by an annual levy on businesses that is administered by The City of Calgary.

Scope of the Business

The BIA communicates on everything from promotional opportunities to road work to business support programs. Email is how we keep our business members informed. Make sure you are on our email list and please read our emails – don’t let them go to the junk or Spam folder! Contact info@visitmardaloop.com

  • Our emails deal with everything from government supports to promotional opportunities to upcoming road work. Business owners, store managers and marketing people will benefit from the info in BIA emails.
  • Join our private Marda Loop Business Owners Facebook page to share information with your business neighbours.
  • Come to one of our Networking and Learning events, in person or online.

Get in touch if you are interested in learning more about the BIA Board or one of our Committees, or about any of our programs below:

  • Our website includes an online Business Directory. You can update your listing using the form on this page: visitmardaloop.com/listings/
  • We are @visitmardaloop on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Make sure you tag us in your posts using @visitmardaloop and use our hashtags #intheloop #myymarda #meetmeinmarda #mardaloopyyc #mardaloop.
  • We promote businesses every month on social and email newsletter – contact our Social Media Coordinator Dakota Kidby for more information at dkidby@socialcentricinc.com
  • We have a monthly public newsletter aimed at visitors and shoppers SIGN UP HERE
  • Marda Gras Street Festival is our signature event, attracting as many as 40,000 people on the second Sunday in August. Find out more at mardagras.ca. Basic participation is very inexpensive for our member businesses, and we also have sponsorship opportunities.
  • We also do promotions like Eggfest at Easter, Spook the Loop at Halloween, Spirit of the Loop, and a holiday Gift Guide to kick of the holiday shopping season and more.
  • We try to provide opportunities for all businesses to participate in our promotional efforts.
  • Contact us to get involved in our advertising, marketing and event
  • Street furniture including planters, garbage cans and benches.
  • Décor including street banners and seasonal Christmas lights, and public art.
  • We also have a litter pick and graffiti abatement program
    • Contact us for free graffiti clean-up on your site.
  • We want to foster an attractive and pedestrian-friendly business area, and we support Main Streets improvements planned for Marda Loop: http://www.calgary.ca/mainstreets
  • We support quality development that brings more businesses and residents to the area to build a vibrant and prosperous community.

Priorities for 2022

Getting back to events post-COVID

A direct email connection via a public newsletter to the local market/community members.
Status: Launched

Marda Heritage Project to better tell the Marda Loop story in our marketing, beautification, and community engagement efforts. In collaboration with community stakeholders. Status: Launched

Participate in Main Streets planning and prepare for construction expected 2023-24

Marda Loop BIA 2022

Bob van Wegen, Executive Director – bob@visitmardaloop.com

Mike Bruni, Board President (Bruni Law)
Whitney Titheridge, Vice President (Crabapple Clothing)
Nova Kane, Treasurer (ATB Financial)
Mike de Jonge, Secretary (Marda Loop Brewing)

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