By Daniel Betts
On July 24, during the Village of Valemount council meeting, some valley residents expressed their disappointment with council’s decision to adopt a new logo. Council received a letter written by local resident and former village councillor, Joan Nordli explaining the history behind the original logo and asking why, in the 50th anniversary year of the village would council decide to make such a change.
“It’s a crest, it was developed as a crest. It’s known all over. It’s recognized as the Village of Valemount. It’s an emblem,” stated Nordli during the council meeting.
Andru McCracken, Mayor of Valemount, felt it important to address the issue despite the decision having been made and asked council for feedback.
“I like change,” stated Councillor Blanchette. “For 50 years we’ve had this logo and I think the 50 year celebration is a good time to look back and celebrate our older logo and again to start with something new and our new logo.”
Mayor McCracken noted that a $50 thousand branding study conducted for the Village of Valemount recommended the new tourism logo council recently adopted, creating a consistent branding package. “I’m comfortable with the new logo,” stated Mayor McCracken. “But I think I said pretty clearly at the council meeting where this was discussed, it’s really important for us to pay heed to the previous logo and I would like to see something done where we fly that banner proud.” Mayor McCracken offered the Fire Hall as an example where the old version of the logo still exists and the trucks still have the old crest as well. Mayor McCracken also noted all the old letterhead that still exists will continue to be used until it has run out. “We have to get our stuff in order and have a consistent theme and that takes time.”
“I guess the big thing is consistency and continuity of promoting our town with one symbol. In Valemount we are embracing tourism now so it’s not an us and them kinda logo its something we are going to stand behind whether we participate in tourism or not, just for the consistency I think is really important,” said Councillor Dallas Bullock.
During the public input portion of the council meeting Jeannette Townsend, former Mayor of Valemount and Rita Tchir, former Village of Valemount Councillor, expressed their disappointment with the current council for their decision to change the Village of Valemount crest. “Any dully incorporated municipality has a coat of arms or a crest, they do not adopt the logos of the tourism marketing strategy,” said Townsend. “I feel that an error has been made.” She felt more community involvement was needed before the decision was made. Townsend pointed out the new logo fails to acknowledge Valemount’s forestry heritage. “What about the forest industry and our forest workers and those who have contributed over the years and paid taxes to this municipality for decades? They have not been considered at all.”
Tchir asked council if a final cost had been determined for changing to a new logo. While council did not appear to have an immediate answer, acting Chief Administrative Officer, Anne Yanciw spoke to The Valley Sentinel on Monday, July 30.
“I don’t really see any costs,” said Yanciw. “We are changing a lot out through attrition.” She explained that as items are used up or become worn out they would be replaced with the new logo such as decals on village vehicles, where they have the ability to create them in house at a very low cost. “As they fade and look ugly we will replace them with the new ones,” said Yanciw. Some costs would be incurred anyway as items are used up or are in need of replacing. She noted the village has been using electronic letterhead for sometime now and there is no cost to switch over the electronic logo. “There are very few things that we are unable to change over with minimal cost,” said Yanciw.