Facade Improvement Program

Do you want to spruce up your building and business façade with the addition of some decorative details?  Hankering for a fresh coat of paint on your building?  Pining for updated signage, awnings and/or lighting? Not sure how to pay for any of this yourself in today’s tough economic times?

The Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association (DCBIA) FAÇADE IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM provides grants to property owners and business owners to renovate, restore or redesign their commercial building façades and storefronts in downtown Courtenay, located within the DCBIA boundaries.

50% of upgrade costs are available per project, to a maximum of $5,000.

The goal of this program is to encourage owners of such buildings to invest in building upgrades that create a more appealing and marketable environment on the street, attracting people and businesses to the area.

This new program presents a vital opportunity for the continued revitalization of Downtown Courtenay. YOUR INVOLVEMENT is crucial for the success of the program.

2017 Grant Deadlines:


Receipt of applications for grants, no later than April 30, 2017

Approval by committee, by May 30, 2017
Completion of project; no later than December 31, 2017

We encourage you to read the Façade Improvement Program material attached below, and contact any of the DCBIA Directors on the Infrastructure Committee (see below) to discuss any proposed improvements to your building. The list of eligible improvements is extensive, the application is simple and straightforward, and the dreaded red-tape is kept to a minimum.

Download the Facade Improvement Program Application Form and Program Guide here: 
Facade Improvement Program Application Form and Program Guide

2016 2017 DCBIA Infrastructure Committee
Dr. Colin Wilson - 250-898-8683 (Downtown Chiropractic)
Deana Simkin - 250-334-8811 (Billy D’s Pub)
Jorden Marshall - 250-338-8211 (Hot Chocolates & Cakebread)

City of Courtenay links and resources

The following is a summary of the type of City permits and permissions as they relate to the Façade Improvement Program:

Development Permit – the downtown is within the “Downtown Development Permit Area” (see pages 83-86 of the Official Community Plan, available here.  The Development Permit Guidelines relate to the form and character of buildings and include building details and design, entrances, signage and building lighting. A Development Permit is required for exterior renovations unless you are only replacing the windows or but not changing the openings, only painting the exterior, or if the change in the exterior design of any building on any one side is less than 25% in area as determined by the City.

Building Permit – A building permit may be required if changes are made to structural elements, or if changes are being made to window openings or doorways (access/egress).  On March 18, 2013, City of Courtenay Council unanimously voted in favour of reducing the Development Permit Fees from $1,000 to $100 for the exterior renovation of properties within the Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Area in support of the DCBIA’s Facade Improvement Program.

Sign Permit – any new signs or changes to existing signage requires a sign permit. Sign Permit information and applications can be found here.  Note that if a Development Permit is required, the Downtown Development Permit Area has guidelines specific to signage.

Business License – renewal is required on an annual basis.

Encroachment Agreement or Use Permit – use of any City land (sidewalk, road right-of-way, plaza etc) for outdoor patio area may require special permissions through an encroachment agreement or use permit.

Previous Recipients of the DCBIA Facade Improvement Grant

Philip Diede (building corner of 4th & Fitzgerald) - 2015

Joe Formosa (building corner of Cliffe & 4th) - 2014
Ski Tak Hut - 2014
Codes Country Lanes - 2013
McConnochies building - 2013facade-improvement-program-guide_and_application_form_2017.pdffacade-improvement-program-guide_and_application_form_2017.pdf