We are a small but mighty (!) group of volunteers, business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs who believe that our downtown core is the heart of the community, rich with stories from our past, and dreams for our future.

Uptowne is dedicated to creating fun, engaging experiences for all our visitors, whether you are shopping, dining, or using one of the many professional services in our district. We host a few major events through the year, primarily Summer Oldstice in June and Midnight Madness in November.

How it all began

In 2005, Uptowne Olds was formed as a committee under the Olds Institute for Community & Regional Development. The objective of Uptowne Olds was to promote the downtown core (Uptowne) as the preferred place to live, work and shop. Along with this objective both Uptowne Olds and OICRD promoted economic development through sound stewardship of the culture, heritage and historic fabric found in the community.

In 2020, the Town of Olds withdrew its funding to Olds Institute, which displaced the Uptowne committee and began the process of forming its own independent society. The new structure of Uptowne is yet to be determined, but many of the same focuses will carry forward: honoring the local history, culture and heritage, spotlighting our creative culture, marketing and growing our business community, and hosting fun and engaging events for the whole family.

The Great Pivot of 2020

In addition to finding ourselves “homeless”, the health crisis of 2020 had a global impact on small businesses such as ours. With forced government lockdowns in the spring, several business owners chose to move on to retirement or opportunities away from their independent businesses. Uptowne members, however, found a way to pivot their approach to doing business in a nimble and agile fashion.

The Uptowne team ramped up their social media activity, growing their online following by upwards of 80% to 160%. Our key events were adjusted to avoid crowds, spreading out two major one-day events into 10- and 12-day events. Many businesses reported experiencing the same or even better sales than their 2019 numbers as a result of these efforts! And several new businesses came into the core in the last half of the year, which provided a sense of stability in such uncertain times.

Looking ahead

There is still a great deal of untapped potential in Uptowne Olds. The Board now plans for the changes they might anticipate 2021 to bring, and they do so with a renewed sense of optimism for the future. They share an unfailing willingness to go the extra mile to bring together business, non-profits, residents and guests to create memorable experiences for all.

As the association moves forward, an updated mandate, vision, mission and bylaws will be created to reflect the changes in the environment, both locally and abroad. New initiatives will blossom from a revived volunteer base. More new businesses and creative events will be welcomed to the district. Memberships and collaborative relationships will grow as we work in conjunction with local organizations to move forward into this exciting new decade.