“The magnetic field is changing, and it’s pointing east.”
That’s how the video voice-over launches the new brand, Ch’illiwack, British Columbia, as unveiled by Tourism Chilliwack before a rapt audience of more than 275 community partners at Chilliwack Heritage Park.
The idea being conveyed at the Christmas breakfast was that Chilliwack is ripe to become the number-one tourist destination for anyone heading from points west.
“Our brand is far more than just a logo. It provides us with a clear sense of identity, reflects our history, who we are and the direction in which we are moving,” said Brian Minter, chair of Tourism Chilliwack.
The breathtakingly beautiful new brand materials “came to life” with the help of Partner and Hawes agency, with the video by Inmist Media House, after a solid year of research, strategizing and careful design.
The iconic Chilliwack images presented in the new branding are earthy, modern and very visually appealing.
“We were blown away by the power and pride we all instantly had with the Brand and the Story,” said Allison Colthorp, executive director of Tourism Chilliwack.
The epic slide show shows the sheer breadth of recreational and visitor opportunities with descriptors: “Mountain high. Valley low. River wide. Lake deep.”
“It was important that we recognized our key challenges through the branding process,” Minter said. “Chilliwack has been perceived as being far away from Vancouver and as simply another highway community.”
Other B.C. communities also boast amazing scenery and attractions, so differentiating Chilliwack, and positioning it in a unique fashion was crucial.
The campaign appeals directly to those “long fatigued by urban code and business conduct, in search of pathways less traveled” and divvies up the options into tidy categories like “Outdoor adventures, Farm & food, Arts, culture and history, Fish Chilliwack, golfing and Cultus lake.”
“We are in a very competitive destination market that truly is global in nature,” Colthorp added. “Our new brand helps differentiate us from our competitors and at the same time pays respects to the Sto:lo Coast Salish people.”
The new brand, Ch’illiwack, features the subtle and understated accent, which helps connect the name unequivocally to its Stólo-Coast Salish roots.
In the Tourism Chilliwack 2018 video, it explains: “The name ‘Chilliwack’ is derived from the Halq’meylem word Ts’elxweyeqw which means ‘going back upstream, as far as you can go in a canoe.’”
A local Stólo leader acknowledged the intentional efforts to be inclusive.
“I want to acknowledge the Tourism Board and staff for being open-minded and inclusive with their new brand,” Squiala Chief Dave Jimmie said. “The new brand shows off this beautiful gem we call home and provides an opportunity to share with others the history of our land.”
The brand launch rolled out the hashtag first debuted in 2014, #sharechilliwack, and added a new one, #InStólo to further emphasize the Stólo connection.