How downtown businesses hope to spruce up the city

Downtown Charlottetown Inc. is hoping a grant program will make the city's streets a bit more beautiful.

Grant program funds artistic and engaging projects to make the city more inviting

Downtown Charlottetown Inc. is funding projects to make the city a little brighter and more inviting for people. (Courtesy of Downtown Charlottetown Inc.)

Downtown Charlottetown Inc. is hoping a grant program will make the city's streets a bit more beautiful. 

The downtown business association started a program called "Gritty to Pretty" last year. It's modelled on other programs in cities around Canada, according to Dawn Alan, executive director of Downtown Charlottetown Inc.

An example project is making a street sign pole a chair. (Courtesy of Downtown Charlottetown Inc.)

The organization is giving away grants worth up to $750 for artistic and creative projects in the downtown area. It could be anything from setting up a reading nook on the sidewalk or hanging bright umbrellas from an alley.

"Every time we have an opportunity to plant a garden, to revitalize an alley, to bring a new product to the street that invites conversation or an opportunity for people to sit for a bit, we try to take advantage of all that, it just makes our city look better and more inviting," Alan said.

Another example project is taking up parking spaces for people to play life size checkers. (Courtesy of Downtown Charlottetown Inc.)

Downtown Charlottetown Inc. has a $3,000 budget for the program, she said, and grants will be on a first-come-first-served basis until the budget is spent. The application period closes at the beginning of June. Applications are available online.

Projects can be as simple as painting existing infrastructure. (Courtesy of Downtown Charlottetown Inc.)

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With files from Stephanie Kelly