Ever heard of chuckle-inducing city names like Saint-Louis-du Ha! Ha! in Quebec or Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Alberta?
Chilliwack is taking its rightful spot in the pantheon of distinct city names.
How about Eyebrow, Sask., or Spuzzum, B.C.? Maybe you’ve visited Meat Cove, N.S., Punkeydoodles Corners, Ont. or Forget, Sask.?
WestJet just announced a list of its 50 favourite unique Canadian city names and Chilliwack made the list.
The airline did it as a clever and cheeky marketing ploy to announce its winter flight schedule — and it’s been catching on.
“It was a cool thing to see our name on the list,” said Allison Colthorp, executive director of Tourism Chilliwack.
They enjoyed it so much they reposted the cloud image WestJet made of their fave city names on social media sites.
Chilliwackians often say they’re from “the ‘Wack” so it has already gained the community name a somewhat “wacky” profile, the tourism official notes.
They meet and greet thousands of visitors every year at the Tourism Chilliwack headquarters on Luckakuck Way.
“A lot of people know us for our corn but they also love the name Chilliwack,” said Colthorp.
The anglicized version of the Halq’meylem name, Ts’elxweyeqw (or Ch-ihl-kway-uhk) means “slough/backwater/quieter water at the top of the head”; or “going into a slough from the river at the top of the head (water)”, which is a reference to the many sloughs at the mouth of the Chilliwack River where it flows out of the valley and leads to the Fraser River.
“We don’t get a lot of quirky questions about our name but we do often get asked if the band Chilliwack comes from Chilliwack, and where they live.”
For the record, the band Chilliwack is not from Chilliwack, nor do the members live in Chilliwack.