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Red Deer Downtown Business Association

Downtown Business Spotlight: Sacks Thrift Ave


8 minute read

This week’s Business Spotlight shines on Sacks Thrift Ave! This charity thrift store is located at #101 4805 48 Street. We spoke with Vincent to learn more about sustainable fashion and the Vinyl Record renaissance!

What is your business?

We’re a vintage store that specializes in vinyl predominantly, but also clothing. But, it’s probably best to start with the history of how this all started! I’m actually part of the ownership group of the building [Mid City Plaza]. Like a lot of Downtown buildings, we had a lot of vacancy. My past is in real estate, so I actually put together the group to invest in this building—but it hadn’t been going well. When we lost Sagit Aries Costumes when she retired, the place was vacant for a while, and I decided to open a charitable thrift store here—because we do have Charities in the building—to support them and create a tenant for ourselves! We started off as a thrift store, with some mixed results. But, from the old Sound House that used to be located Downtown we got a whole bunch of left-over records, so we had this vinyl wall and we kind of found that was a big chunk of our sales. When we closed down for four months at the start of the pandemic, I went and sourced a whole bunch of records. And immediately, when we reopened, sales jumped up! People started coming in for curated records. That became a big push for the business and now that’s our biggest seller here. We have the best, largest selection of Vinyl in Central Alberta. As we continued to succeed, we now support Central Alberta Brain Injury society as well as Canadian Mental Health, but we’re hoping we can support more charities as we grow.


When did your business open?

It will be two years in October.

What makes your business unique?

Well, another thing I should bring up is, hopefully, in the next few weeks we will be opening our rage room! I think we have that all ironed out and should be opening that up shortly. When we were a thrift store, we got all this stuff donated that we never sold. You go ask any thrift store—they’ve got tons of stuff that they’ll never sell. It’s a pity that exists, but we’re finding a purpose for it!

What are some products/services that you offer?

We still have some of the typical thrift up front, but in January we made the switch to a curated thrift and vintage. It’s a big draw, especially to our younger clientele. They just recognize that this is more environmentally friendly. The clothing industry is the #2 polluter in the world and clothes are made so cheaply now that they just fall apart—versus the old stuff that is forty years old that stands the test of time. Young people just love this stuff because they know it’s going to last.

So, there’s band merch, patches, we do bring in some new band merch as well. And the records. There’s so much investment in nostalgic things going on, like Pokémon cards. People want to invest in things they love, and you can’t get that with MP3’s and on-demand music apps. People aren’t actively listening, whereas, with a record you are purposefully listening and experiencing an album. I’ve been doing my research and there is so much that gets lost from the music when it’s on an MP3 or an app. Specifically, when they take a song and make it into an MP3 they are removing some of background music in order to make the file smaller.  Studies have shown that when listening to records there is a bigger dopamine release than when listening to MP3’s. That’s why people keep coming back to records; to hear the music how it was meant to be—it’s such a massive dopamine hit!


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

Well, I already owned in Downtown, but the truth is what we need is more people living Downtown, more business Downtown—it has to be a destination. The city, of course, has to encourage it to be a destination and then we all prosper. So basically, someone’s got to do it!

What do you think makes Downtown vibrant?

I’m finally seeing progress! The mural campaign [Meet the Street] was great, we hoped to be a part of that, maybe next year. But seeing the Ross Street Patio, seeing the scooters, it just kind of encourages things. I’m not sure what exactly makes it vibrant right now—but it’s starting. We couldn’t have the festivals this year, there’s so much we couldn’t do and yet this is the first time in a long time I feel like we’re turning a corner. There’s so much more that can be done. It’s just tough under these circumstances to say what makes it vibrant, any one specific thing. There’s some really good things, and there appears to be good things coming.

I love Downtown Red Deer because… 

Well, I love it because it is turning the corner, at long last. Ross Street Patio, Little Gaetz—we’ve got these streets that are becoming that charming little thing that every Downtown needs, and now it’s about expanding on it and making more spaces in the Downtown worth checking out and then having the programs, like live music, in other corners of the Downtown. That will come with time, and we hope to do some of that here once this is all done!


Check out Sacks Thrift Ave for band merch and great records! Follow them for updates:




Check back next week for another business spotlight! If you would like to see your Downtown business spotlighted, please contact us at 403-340-8696 or [email protected].

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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