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Red Deer Downtown Business Association

Downtown Business Spotlight : BAGSY


9 minute read

This week’s Business Spotlight shines on BAGSY, located at 4734 on Ross Street. We caught up with owner Aimee Hartnoll to hear more about the community she’s created around her new and gently used clothing store and find out what Bagsy is all about:

What is your business?

Bagsy! It means “dibs” in England, so if you “bagsy” something it basically means you’ve called dibs. So that’s kind of how it started. I was selling my own clothes on [Facebook] Marketplace and I realized I was doing really well—I have a little bit of a clothes problem!—so that’s how it started and then it kind of just morphed into this space where I buy and sell clothes. Probably 80% of them are gently used and the rest are new. It’s not just retail, I’m not sure if you’ve seen on Facebook, but it’s such a community. I love women and supporting women and having that connection—I have a mum’s group as well in Red Deer that I do. So anyway, its just about connection. I don’t need to fit into this norm of what stores need to look like so now I’m just opening on a Wednesday evening and everything else is online. Wednesday evenings is like the social event. I call it the Bagsy Collective. So, people can come in pick up and try on the items they’ve Bagsy’d online. I’ve coordinated it with the Downtown Market too, so hopefully people are going to go to the Market, grab an ice cream and then come over here! So that’s kind of my plan going forward, but I don’t want it to be just about sales so I’m going to make sure that we’re having an evening where women can socialize—because people know each other from the [Facebook] lives! They’re like ‘Oh, you’re Mary!’ You know, and then they meet and its great, it’s fun!

When did you open?

I was selling things on Market place for a while last year, and I was asked by Once Again Consignment store to come in and do her online marketing because she had to shut down for Covid. So, I moved into her store selling her things from April to September. And then I moved upstairs here [4734 on Ross Street] in October and then I moved downstairs May 1st. It’s just growing!

What would you say makes your business unique?

It’s just the fact that it’s so person-centered. I don’t have just one style, because I know there’s not just one type of woman, you know, everyone’s different, unique, quirky. When people come in, because I do shopping parties too, you book them separately, there not during the public hours. People come in here,  they come in with their friends, and then I follow them around the store, basically, seeing what items they’re picking up and then I add to it. I’ll see something hanging there, and I’ll think this will go really nicely, and I’ll gently nudge people out of their comfort zone. So, the other day, someone came in and she only wore office clothes or jeans and a t-shirt. So, I got her a vintage skirt out and a little off the should top and she’s like “Hmm, I’ll try it.”—not really loving the idea—and she put it on and ended up loving it! I feel like it’s kind of giving ladies that way to express themselves and feel good and comfortable. I’m not going to put you in something that you’re not interested in or doesn’t suit your personality. I kind of just want everyone to be able to enjoy those good pieces. Regardless of brand, all my dresses are between 16 and 20 dollars. All my jeans are 12 dollars, regardless of brand. I sell lots of Lulu items and everything generally is under 20$. I buy low and I sell low!

What are some products and services that you offer?

Products are the clothing, accessories, shoes and active wear as well now. Services include the personal shopping experience. So when you come in for a shopping party—I’ve just announced this—and people bring their friends in, if their group collectively spends 100$ then the host will get 10% off; 200 dollars, 20% discount. So, it’s kind of a fun thing, more of a social thing. People can bring in snacks and teas and coffee and just have this as a fun little place to socialize!

Why did you choose Downtown Red Deer as the location for your business?

I find it very central, for a start. I also find it has that European feel to it down here. In England we don’t have big malls, we have “high streets”, and you walk from one place to another. So, I really like that about it. There’s so many little places and I feel like it’s a real community down here, people come and join together. I have to say though, some of my clients weren’t very happy about coming downtown. Some didn’t want to come to Bagsy but I just felt good about it. I feel like those clients are gradually coming back and I’ve made even more friends and clients just by being down here!

What do you think makes Downtown vibrant?

I feel like it’s the hub of Red Deer. We’ve got the Christmas lights down here, the parade, but again, it’s the people! There’s just so many different businesses here; things you wouldn’t necessarily find in a mall. There’s a lot more down here. The parks are just such a nice place to sit and enjoy, whereas, if you’re in a mall or a plaza you’re not going to get that.

Finish this sentence: I love Downtown Red Deer because…

I don’t know how to finish that in just one sentence! I love the amount of people and just the diversity. Because there’s so much down here, there is so many different people from so many different walks of life that walk by or pop in. And again, you wouldn’t necessarily get that in other places—you park outside a mall, you go in and come out again—you have like typical mall-goers, maybe. Whereas here I just find you kind of get everyone! I’m just excited about being here, I’m excited to be part of the community and get to know more people and discover businesses down here!

Get in touch with Bagsy to book a personalized shopping party or join the Facebook Live fun! You can follow them here:


We serve approximately 500 businesses and property owners in Downtown Red Deer, Alberta. Our Mission is to build an engaged Downtown community, develop a Downtown brand and enhance the Downtown experience.

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City of Red Deer

Council boosting budget for Downtown Business Association

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Council approves 2024 DBA budget, increased investment in events

The Downtown Business Association is investing more time, money and energy into downtown events following City Council approving its 2024 budget. During the presentation today, DBA Executive Director, Amanda Gould and Board Chair, Brandon Bouchard outlined the organization’s plans for the upcoming year to continue to work towards creating a busier downtown that intends to result to increased support for businesses within the Business Improvement Area (BIA).

“The DBA remains steadfast in its objective to build on the growth seen in 2023.  The collaboration between The City of Red and the DBA is at all time high and with the pending actions set to be delivered through the Downtown Activation Playbook, I know there are many great things to come that will support our business community and create the thriving downtown we all want to experience,” said Amanda Gould, DBA Executive Director.

“Today Council demonstrated their commitment to their strategic priorities with the support shown to the DBA through unanimous support of the 2024 budget. This mighty Association continues to do great work on a shoestring budget and the 2024 Board of Directors are keen to lend their expertise and entrepreneurial skills to benefit the downtown in its entirety.”
Brandon Bouchard, DBA Board Chair

The DBA’s budget is partially funded through the BIA tax levy, which is collected by The City of Red Deer. Each year, the DBA presents its proposed budget to Council for their consideration. When reviewing the budget, Council considers alignment between the DBA’s downtown priorities and City’s community priorities.

“DBA has constantly hit far above its weight in our downtown, I can’t think of a more supportive messenger of promotion than the team at the DBA, it’s so encouraging to see this strong support for our downtown,” said Mayor Ken Johnston. “I’m encouraged by the leadership and direction of the DBA and look forward to what they have in store for 2024. They continually bring positive initiatives to the downtown even with the constraint on finances.”

The DBA’s total approved budget for 2024 is $775,160, with $277,725 funded through the BIA with the remaining amount funded through items such as grants and contracts. The BIA portion for 2024 is an increase of five per cent from 2023.

The Downtown Business Association has been operating in Red Deer for more than 30 years, serving approximately 350 business owners in the Downtown area. Through partnerships and leadership in advocacy and promotion, the DBA is the catalyst for a vibrant and prosperous downtown that is the place to live, work, play and do business.

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Red Deer

What’s Happening Downtown: Holiday Edition!

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Hey Red Deer!

Embrace the festive spirit downtown this holiday season! Immerse yourself in the dazzling brilliance of the city hall lights, delight in family-friendly events, and complete your holiday shopping at the heart of the city this December. Explore a myriad of activities and events designed to make your holidays truly magical. Read on for detailed information about the incredible lineup of festive events awaiting you this season!

Frost Street Patio Party

December 8th @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Join the DBA and Spandy Andy on the Ross Street Patio for some frosty fun! Check out the children’s entertainer’s activity booths and sip hot chocolate under the festive downtown lights. Bring the whole family together for an unforgettable outdoor celebration. Whether you’re grooving to the DJ or simply basking in the warm glow of the fire tables, the Ross Street Patio is the place to be for an evening of free family fun. Visit for more information.

Click here for updates!

Santa Bus

Dec 8, 9, 15, 16 @ 5pm – 8pm

Santa is back on the bus! Merrily cruising down the streets of Red Deer, you can follow Santa Claus on the My Bus App for his arrival time in your neighbourhood.

Click here for more info!

Christmas Pickle

November 15 –  December 15th

A pickle used as a Christmas decoration may seem odd at first, but it’s an old tradition. When decorating the tree, the pickle is hung last, hidden among the branches. The first person to find the Christmas Pickle on Christmas morning receives a special blessing for the year and an extra gift! As part of North Pole Stroll, many Downtown Red Deer businesses place pickles in their stores. Customers lucky enough to spot them are eligible to win a prize from that business, such as a discount or raffle entries. Please click here for more information.

Click here for updates!

Mary Liv at the Velvet Olive Lounge

Dec. 20th | Doors 5pm | Show 7:30pm

Check out the talented multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Olivia Morelli, an emerging artist from Saskatoon, Sk.

Ticket price is $10 + 2.50 SC

The Velvet Olive Lounge hosts LIVE music 4 days a week. Check out the full December line up here.

Afro-Caribbean Cultural Cafes

& Storytelling

December 13th, 2023 @ 6PM

Discover a celebration of diverse cultures with tantalizing ethnic cuisine and captivating storytelling at the Flex (4919 49 ST). Join us alongside your family, friends, and colleagues for an enriching experience.

Free and open to the public!

Contact: 403-550-4067

Click here for more information or register at

Supported by the African Caribbean Centre of Central Alberta and the City of Red Deer.

Window Scavenger Hunt

November 16th- December 16th

Many downtown Red Deer businesses decorate their windows for the holiday season. The Downtown Business Association has created a self-guided tour in the form of a scavenger hunt so you can see them all! Get a copy of the scavenger hunt at for your chance to win a 300$ prize package. Email your completed copy to [email protected] with your name and contact info. The winner will be announced on December 16th.

Click here to learn more!

Winter Wonderland

November 3rd – January 24th

On display now!

Visit Curiosity Art & Framing for their Winter Wonderland temporary exhibit. Featuring art by Betty Schnell, Margaret Blank, Peter Caden and many, many more!

Visit their website for more information and examples of the artists work.

Twinkle Tour & Late Night Shopping

December 15th @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

For one night many Downtown businesses remain open late to help Red Deerians with their holiday shopping and to encourage the support of local businesses. From 4-7PM, downtown visitors are invited to grab a free hot chocolate and a copy of the holiday scavenger hunt on the Ross Street Patio. Check out the beautiful window displays and City Hall lights and pick up some Reindeer Food & Snowman Soup on your way to your favourite shops.

Visit for more information.

Writes of Winter Contest

Red Deer Arts Council and the City of Red Deer have partnered on a writing contest to keep our imaginations warm this winter. We invite Red Deer youth, teens and adults to create a short poem or story (fiction or creative non-fiction) with a maximum length of 500 words about winter and/or the holiday season in Red Deer. All submissions can be sent to the Red Deer Arts Council at for a chance to win exciting prizes.

Click here for more information!

Amanda Gould
Executive Director
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