About Us

Who Are We?

We are the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission (DDBC.)

Our mission:  To champion the vitality of downtown Dartmouth.

Our Mandate

In order to achieve its mission, the DDBC is mandated with 4 strategic directions:

  • Member Capacity Building- facilitating communication among members, mentoring, providing services that have an economic benefit to members, sharing knowledge among members.
  • Advocacy- being a collective voice for members on issues of importance.
  • Placemaking- undertaking activities that improve the downtown such as streetscaping, making the community clean and safe, engaging in events and art projects.
  • Marketing and Branding of Downtown Dartmouth

Our Five Core Values:


 The Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission will work collaboratively and respectfully with all members in the community.


The Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission will be an authentic organization focused on supporting the individual characteristics of its members, the community and small-town feel of Downtown Dartmouth.


The Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission will foster a diverse community by welcoming a diversity of ideas, cultures, communities and people to the district.

Entrepreneurial Spirit/Independence

The Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission will reflect the creative, innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of its membership by being adaptive, resourceful and sometimes scrappy to foster the unique character and growth of the district.


The Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission will work with all members in the community with a focus on growing a socially responsible, economically and environmentally sustainable community.

Our Vision

Downtown Dartmouth is a vibrant, welcoming and supportive community that maintains its unique character while residents and businesses thrive.

We are governed by a Board of Directors made up of representatives from the business district. We also collaborate with other local organizations and community leaders who share our vision.

How Do You Become A Member?

If you rent or own commercial property in our catchment area, you are automatically a member. The DDBC is funded through a tax levy assessed on all commercial properties in the district. There are no additional membership fees.

What We Do

Promote Business Growth

The DDBC actively promotes businesses through social media, print and broadcast communications. The DDBC organizes events year-round to build community and draw people into our business district such as Switch Dartmouth, Nocturne, summer concerts, the Halloween Parade and The Dartmouth Christmas Tree Lighting. We actively work with entrepreneurs and community partners to recruit new businesses. We also work with community partners to attract visitors from other parts of HRM, the Maritimes, Canada and beyond. In the summer months, we staff information kiosks in both ferry terminals to encourage people to spend time in downtown Dartmouth.

Fund Street Beautification and Public Art

The DDBC strives to make our downtown a welcoming and attractive place to do business. We support public art projects downtown such as eye-catching murals and light installations.  We fund and coordinate the pole banners and seasonal decorations. Nearly everyday, you’ll find Donald picking up litter on our downtown streets and sidewalks. During the summer months, he’s joined by a summer student member of our Enviro Team.

Advocate and Lobby for Downtown Dartmouth

The DDBC assumes a leadership role with regard to all issues that impact the future of our community. We serve as the voice of our business district ensuring that the needs and concerns are addressed fairly and promptly. Some of the issues we are actively involved with include community safety, small business concerns, development, social issues, transit, taxation, policing, parking and snow clearing. We have recently successfully lobbied to keep extended Alderney Ferry services, and a few years back, we lobbied to save Fire Station 13.

Provide Member Services

The DDBC offers many services to our members including, but not limited to: access to our boardroom for meetings and access to our tables, tents and coolers for events. We offer regular networking events, professional development workshops, graffiti removal services, bi-annual shredding events and more. We also offer a one-time signage grant to new businesses. All members receive our monthly email newsletter to keep updated on events, changes and other important information.



Tim Rissesco – Executive Director

Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission

Tim has led the revitalization of Downtown Dartmouth since 2012 with a focus on attracting new businesses, public art installations and events. He is passionate about downtown Dartmouth, its people and its potential.

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Christine Stokes – Office Manager

Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission

Christine is the person you really need to know at the DDBC.  She’s the one on the front lines who assists members of our business community with all manner of concerns everyday.

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Crystal Garrett – Director of Communications and Marketing

Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission

Crystal oversees all of the DDBC’s communications, marketing and media relations. She brings a deep background in broadcast journalism, public relations education and non-profit communications to the team.

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Shawn Parker – Street Navigator

Shawn Parker is our Street Navigator in downtown Dartmouth. As you can see from Shawn’s incredible smile that he’s a genuine person with a gift for helping others. Shawn spends his days reaching out to homeless and street-involved folks in our community. He says listening is his number one job, then connecting folks to what […]

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Doug Townsend – Chair

The Canteen & Little C Take-Out


Doug Livingstone – Vice Chair

Livingstone & Company


Matthew Gass

The Wooden Monkey Dartmouth


Shannon Marshall

Indulgence intimate Apparel


Terry Drisdelle

Waterfront Development Corporation


Sam Austin



Claudia Chender



Julia MacLeod

New Scotland Clothing Co.


Roban Gutowski – Secretary/Treasurer

East Coast Credit Union


Marquita Davis

Clean Foundation


Cst. Jenna Clarke

Halifax Regional Police


Janice Fiander

Halifax Regional Library


Matthew Jarsky


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