The long-time face of Downtown Kingston could soon be moving on.
Doug Ritchie, managing director of the downtown BIA, confirmed to Global News on Thursday that he’s in “exit” talks with the BIA board. Ritchie says he’s in negotiations to step down and “the talks are at a critical stage and continuing in a positive tone.”
“That’s what we’re talking about,” Ritchie said. “A retirement plan.”
The 68 year-old Ritchie first joined the BIA when it was formed back in 1983. During the past 38 years, Ritchie helped to transform the downtown area into a hub destination with a variety of annual festivals, from FebFest to Buskers and Bluesfest. Ritchie has won awards for his projects and initiatives.
Referring to a possible change in direction at the BIA in light of COVID-19, Ritchie acknowledges the pandemic has taken a toll on the downtown.
“I’ve enjoyed it immensely, but certainly it’s a much more different time right now,” he said.
As for Ritchie’s departure, he says, “I think we’ll have an announcement very soon.”
Ritchie, a Toronto native, received a lifetime achievement award from his BIA peers from across the province in 2017.