A decision by the Valemount Council to scrap the old Village crest in favour of a new logo has raised ire among former local politicians.
At the July 24th regular council meeting, former Mayor Jeannette Townsend, who served six terms, spoke out against the new branding strategy.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, Townsend complained that the Village is now using the same logo as the tourism committee.
“The Village of Valemount is a duly incorporated municipality which is a very separate entity and should not be adopting something the tourism marketing committee adopted. It’s a Mickey Mouse way of doing things,” she said.
Duly incorporated municipalities have a coat of arms or a crest, she says. If there was a change, long-time residents should have been involved in the discussion.
“I feel an error has been made.”
Mayor Andru McCracken responded to Townsend’s concerns, saying the branding process undertaken by the tourism committee between 2008 and 2009 involved looking at a brand for Valemount as a whole – not just for tourism purposes.
The branding exercise included various steps such as identifying the visual identity, the perception and the brand personality of Valemount as felt by residents and visitors.
In 2009, the Tourism Committee presented the new logo to Council and asked Council to adopt the logo for the Village of Valemount. Council decided not to change the crest, and so only the tourism committee began using it.
“I think we are paying heed to the (visioning) work that was done,” McCracken said.
Former councillor Rita Tchir asked Council what the final cost to tax payers would be.
McCracken said council has decided to use the stationery with the old logo until it is used up. Village EDO Silvio Gislimberti advised Council in a report in June that little staff time would be needed to prepare some electronic letterheads with the new logo and it could be introduced over time with no extra costs when replacing letterhead paper, business cards, adhesives on vehicles, etc.
Gislimberti also said in his report that for economic development promotion and tourism marketing purposes, one logo and one tagline are proven to be stronger.
Peter Felmark, a member of the Valemount tourism committee says he thinks Council made the right decision.
“I love the new logo – people who have lived here their whole life may think different, but this is 2012, so I like it,” he said.
The sun-snowflake symbol is intended to highlight the year-round outdoors possibilities and to express Valemount’s attributes (simple, freedom, openness, friendly, etc.); the sun-snowflake symbol is also more distinctive among the many representational logos (mountain logos) used throughout BC and Western Alberta; finally the sun icon also represents a continuation of the actual Village Logo (mountains and sun) developed by Laurae O’Dwyer in the 1980s.
Former councillor Joan Nordli wrote a letter to Council expressing her discontent about the logo change as well, saying she is disappointed the change is happening on the 50th anniversary of the Village’s incorporation.
But Village Councillor Hollie Blanchette said the timing is right.
“I think the 50 year celebration is a good time to look back and celebrate our old logo and start with something new with our new logo.”
McCracken said he would like to honour the former crest in some way in the village – like the large image on the fire hall.
“I’d like to see something where we fly that banner proud,” he said.