Downtown Façade Improvement Program

Downtown Ponoka in summerAs of January 2, 2024, the Town of Ponoka’s new Downtown Façade Improvement Program is open to applications from businesses in the downtown area of Ponoka that are making upgrades and improvements to their commercial buildings.

The purpose of the program is to encourage building improvements and investment in the downtown core (the Central Commercial C1 District). By assisting business owners in the downtown area to make upgrades and improvements to their buildings, the program aims to help attract more visitors and business activity to the downtown core and promote economic growth in our community.

The Downtown Façade Improvement Program provides municipal grants to owners of buildings in the downtown area for up to 50 per cent of eligible building improvement costs – up to a maximum of $5,000 per project. 

For more information about the Downtown Façade Improvement Program, please click on the links below:

Downtown business owners can also contact the Town of Ponoka Development Services at 403-783-4431 or by email at

The Downtown Façade Improvement Program provides grants for up to 50% of eligible project costs, to a maximum of $5,000 per project.

  • Funding is allocated on a case-by-case basis and in the order in which applications were received, until the budget has been spent or the program year has ended;
  • Submitting an application may not guarantee a grant or a specific grant amount; and
  • Applications not funded in the current year's budget may be considered in the next year or subsequent years of the program.

The grant provides an incentive to undertake building upgrades which create more interesting and appealing streetscapes and properties to attract people and business in the Central Commercial C1 District (the downtown area,) as determined by the Town of Ponoka Land Use Bylaw, which can be found here.

The Downtown Façade Improvement Program is intended to:

  • Promote building improvements and investment in the downtown area;
  • Contribute to the built environment through visually interesting and appealing buildings;
  • Encourage more foot traffic for the area and provide lasting first impressions; and
  • Help building owners attract and retain tenants and market their properties.

The Downtown Façade Improvement Program is part of the ongoing implementation of the Town of Ponoka Downtown Action Plan, which focuses on enhancing Ponoka’s downtown core as a primary retail and commercial district for Ponoka and the surrounding area. Successful projects shall strive to improve the publicly visible appearance, design, accessibility and function of a building.

  • The applicant must be the building owner(s) or their designate (written authorization from the owner to apply);
  • All projects must obtain the necessary development permit and building permit as required by the Town of Ponoka;
  • All projects must be for existing buildings on parcels designated Central Commercial (C1) District under the Town of Ponoka Land Use Bylaw;
  • Project improvements must comply with the standard urban design guidelines established by the Town of Ponoka under the Central Commercial (C1) District of the Land Use Bylaw; and
  • The building must be used for primarily commercial purposes.

Examples of work that are eligible for reimbursement may include:

  • Restoration of exterior finishes and repainting of the building façade;
  • Repair or replacement of windows, doors and doorways;
  • Installation or replacement of exterior building lighting;
  • Installation of awnings and canopies;
  • New architectural details such as entranceways, base trim, cornices and corner accents;
  • Addition of permanent patio areas and permanent landscaping elements connecting to the street; or
  • Installation of accessibility structures, such as ramps and entrance features. 

Examples of work that are not eligible for reimbursement may include:

  • Alterations to windows reducing transparency;
  • Digital screens or digital signage;
  • Removal of accessibility structures; or
  • Development and building application fees.

  1. Submit a completed program application form; incomplete application forms may not be accepted. Program application forms can be found here.
  2. Applications will be reviewed in the order of receipt; additional information or revisions may be requested.
  3. Applicants will be notified of decisions made regarding their application.
  4. After the application is approved, and other required permits are obtained, project construction can begin. Permit application forms can be found here. Applicants will be notified if any permit application forms need to be completed.
  5. The project must be reviewed, approved and completed before funding is provided.
  6. Application decisions made are final and cannot be appealed.