Tap in to local knowledge about Sidney                                Volunteers with the Sidney Business Improvement Area Society (SBIA) have started their Ask a Local program for visitors to town this summer. The program is designed to provide local knowledge about area events, activities and the shops and services available in downtown Sidney. Look for the Ask a Local volunteers in their blue shirts.                                 (Steven Heywood/News staff)                                Volunteers with the SBIA have started their Ask a Local program for visitors to town this summer.                                 (Steven Heywood/News staff)

Tap in to local knowledge about Sidney Volunteers with the Sidney Business Improvement Area Society (SBIA) have started their Ask a Local program for visitors to town this summer. The program is designed to provide local knowledge about area events, activities and the shops and services available in downtown Sidney. Look for the Ask a Local volunteers in their blue shirts. (Steven Heywood/News staff) Volunteers with the SBIA have started their Ask a Local program for visitors to town this summer. (Steven Heywood/News staff)

Ask a Local about visiting Sidney this summer

WATCH: Look for volunteers in blue shirts and a mobile information kiosk around town

The Sidney Business Improvement Area Society (SBIA) has launched one of its new visitor information programs as it embarks on its first year of tourist services.

At the beginning of June, the SBIA handed out distinct blue shirts to volunteers who are part of their Ask A Local program — a way of providing local information to visitors and locals alike. The idea, says Executive Director of the SBIA Donna Petrie is to bring information to people – rather than only rely on the Sidney Information office on Beacon Avenue. Volunteers, she said, can meet people around town and at a variety of local events, answer questions, provide directions and even charge a cell phone or iPad.

“No fuss or searching out the information centre,” she said in a media release, “though we’re always happy for visitors to stop by there too.”

A mobile kiosk will make the rounds with the volunteers, bringing with it more information and resources for visitors.

The Ask A Local program will help us drive business to our members’ front doors,” added Morgan Shaw, visitor experience manager for the SBIA’s tourist services, “and encourage visitors to stay longer and better yet, come back.”

The SBIA’s tourist services through the Beacon Avenue visitor centre is funded by the Town of Sidney and Destination BC and operates year -‘round.