Chemainus has a new brand that highlights the town’s artistic side.
During the Savour Chemainus event Oct. 2 at the Chemainus Theatre Festival, part of the Cowichan Valley Wine and Culinary Festival, the Chemainus Business Improvement Association unveiled its new brand, with new brochures, new banners for town streets and a revamped website at www.visitchemainus.ca. New billboards were also put up on the highway that day.
The new brand features the tagline “Vancouver Island’s Arts Town.”
Randy Huber, managing director of the Chemainus Theatre Festival, says they did surveys and workshops in the past, and this focus on arts and culture came out of that work, with people mentioning the town’s murals, theatre, artisans and live music often.
New photos were taken by Vancouver-based photographer Ken Paul.
“He took a lot of amazing shots,” said Aaron Heppell, a senior graphic designer with Nanaimo’s Primal Communications Ltd., which designed the new brand materials. “I think he really captured the essence of the area.”
Huber feels Paul’s photos have a lot of life in them.
“One of the things I really like is we’ve taken the murals and kind of humanized them by putting people in them,” he said, using the example of a photo of two people looking at the well-known Native Heritage mural.
“With Ken, one of the things we talked about was showing people interacting,” noted Heppell. “Having the people in the photos with the murals, it gives it that sense that this could be you. You should be here.”
When asked why do a re-branding now, Huber says he think it’s more a question of why didn’t it happen five years ago.
“The community needed it for a long time,” he said. “I’ve been involved in marketing for Chemainus for five years, and we haven’t had a set standard. What we have now is a set of guidelines, branding standards.”
“It’s unifying the message,” added Heppell. “Any time you do place branding, you want to bring out the best attributes of the area. There are a lot of people here doing great things, and having that one unified brand, it helps. Everybody’s working together. One thing about a brand for a place is it’s all about the community and working together.”