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City of Castlegar

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A powerful vision can forever change a community’s trajectory in countless positive ways. More often than not, vision statements collect dust in forgotten documents on shelves. Why? Because they need a mechanism to bring them to life, and that mechanism is brand.

The mid-point between Calgary and Vancouver in the West Kootenays, Castlegar has built a brand around its role as a regional service centre (transportation, health, education, commercial services, tourism) for 60,000 people living in the Trail-Castlegar-Nelson corridor. The brand process brought a hard focus to a long-standing, softly expressed desire, and clarity of brand direction illuminated quick decision
making (18 months) to:

  • Extend the visual identity and brand family with renaming and re-brand of the Castlegar Airport to the West Kootenay Regional Airport including significant infrastructure reinvestment
  • Create a new visual identity for the Castlegar & District Chamber of Commerce
  • Create an enabling environment for new hospital construction
  • Spend multi-million dollars to proactively attract big-box anchor stores by servicing a large block of new commercial land near the airport
  • Facilitate construction of a new casino

These milestones are significant, but they are only part of the Castlegar story. Meet a resident of Castlegar and you’ll have a new friend on Facebook before you even get home. Personality of place is worn on the sleeve here. The brand reaches out to you personally… hello, chat, talk, hug, connect, do business, get together, think, have fun, laugh, love, live… It feeds your individual aspirations about living better. From this seed grow the roots of those Castlegar seeks: creative urbanites in major metropolitan centres who are sick of the rat race and looking for a balanced entrepreneurial, outdoorsy lifestyle.

Castlegar’s personality did not go unnoticed, thanks to the City’s renowned “Hello My Name Is” municipal business cards, “Do It Outdoors” tourism advertising, international annual Sculpture Walk contest, a creative community showcase video displayed on Vancouver Airport screens before and during the 2010 Winter Olympics, and an artfully conceived investment attraction video.

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