Uptown Saint John getting a boost through Rediscover Main Streets initiative

News release

Side by side comparison between an Uptown Saint John alley and a 90 ft sound and light tunnel

July 28, 2022 · Saint John, New Brunswick · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Atlantic Canada’s main streets, downtowns and neighbourhoods are vibrant spaces where people gather to enjoy all that our urban and rural communities have to offer. After more than two years of the pandemic, people are yearning to safely connect and return to the region’s downtown areas. The Government of Canada, through the Rediscover Main Streets initiative, is supporting community-led projects that will bring energy back to these lively and important community hubs.

Targeted support a game changer for Uptown Saint John

Today, Wayne Long, Member of Parliament for Saint John-Rothesay, announced an investment of $41,859 through Rediscover Main Streets for Uptown Saint John Inc. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA.

This support will allow Uptown Saint John to amplify and promote special events and festivals for over 60 days, through the installation of a 90-foot programmable light and sound tunnel. The photo-friendly and ever-changing experiential light display will draw foot traffic into uptown Saint John and help reanimate the city.

The Rediscover Main Streets initiative helps non-profit organizations team up to create new activities, develop marketing initiatives and promote events, all of which encourage residents and visitors alike to rediscover what the region’s communities have to offer and drive more support for local businesses.

The Government of Canada is committed to helping small businesses and local communities recover and together work hard to build a strong and resilient economic recovery that works for every Canadian.


“Our main streets, downtowns and neighbourhoods are at the heart of our vibrant rural and urban communities here in Atlantic Canada. This innovative initiative will help breathe new life into our communities big and small, and encourage residents and visitors to come out and enjoy everything uptown Saint John has to offer.”

-        The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“The success of main street businesses is essential to building strong, vibrant, resilient communities. The public art display will encourage residents and visitors to rediscover uptown Saint John by providing a unique experience that will produce economic benefits throughout the region.”

-    Wayne Long, Member of Parliament for Saint John-Rothesay

“Uptown Saint John, your Business Improvement Association, recognizes the importance of new experiences and attractions for both our residents and visitors to this great city. The interactive public light display will encourage more foot traffic to our beautiful, historic city centre. It has been a challenging few years for our small business community and this placemaking initiative will surely 'brighten up AND LIGHTEN UP' the spirits of everyone!”

-    Nancy Tissington, Executive Director, Uptown Saint John Inc.

Quick facts

  • Uptown Saint John Inc. is a Business Improvement Association working to enhance the foundation of the community it serves through beautification and sanitation efforts, marketing initiatives, special events and more.

  • On March 18, 2022, ACOA launched Rediscover Main Streets a $10 million initiative to support locally driven measures aimed at encouraging Atlantic Canadians and visitors to rediscover main streets and neighbourhoods across the region. 

  • The Rediscover Main Streets initiative complements other federal, provincial and municipal measures to help businesses and communities build back better. 

  • Since the beginning of the pandemic, ACOA has invested just under half a billion dollars to help businesses and organizations through the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting more than 20,000 jobs in communities across the region.

Associated links


Marianne Blondin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and of the
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Dominique Bouchard
Senior Communications Officer
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Nancy Tissington
Executive Director
Uptown Saint John Inc.

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