WKTA starts the regional branding conversation

What do the Slocan, Arrow Lakes and North Kootenay Lake Valleys have in common? How can we work to promote the region?

What do the Slocan, Arrow Lakes and North Kootenay Lake Valleys have in common? How can we work together to promote the region to visitors and potential new residents?

The West Kootenay Tourism Alliance (WKTA), formed in January this year, has started a conversation in our communities to explore these questions.

“We’re having an open dialogue to uncover what characteristics and values we have in common,” said Peter Welkerling, chair of the alliance. “This will form the basis of a brand for the region that we can use to attract visitors, new businesses and residents.”

Welkerling explained that the WKTA grew out of a tourism workshop held in Nakusp in January this year, attended by people from the Nakusp, New Denver, Kaslo and Revestoke areas. “It was obvious that there was an appetite in the room for collaboration,” said Welkerling.

A core group, consisting of representatives from the Chambers of Commerce in the region, have been meeting regularly ever since that initial workshop. In August, they hosted a strategic planning session with people from local businesses and organizations in the region.

“After all of this, the group decided we wanted to embark on a branding process,” said Welkerling.

Welkerling says that many people equate “branding” with a logo or slogan, but that is not what it is.

“A ‘brand’ is actually one simple, overarching promise that we can deliver on. It tells our story so we can capture the attention of people who resonate with it,” he said.

Welkerling says that once the brand has been distilled and agreed to by the regional community, the logo and other promotional materials will follow, based on the brand.

“That will be another step in the process, but for now, we are focusing on the community conversation,” said Welkerling.

Welkerling stresses that the brand will not just be for attracting tourists.

“Our goal is to attract new residents and businesses to the area as well as to increase tourism in each of our communities,” he said.

He also emphasized that WKTA feels it is very important to find “the right fit of tourism” for the region.

“We know people in this area do not want the area to become another Banff,” he said. “We want to focus on attracting the people who appreciate our values, and on what makes our region unique.”

The group has secured funding from Destination BC and the Columbia Basin Trust for the branding exercise. A Request for Proposals was issued in October, and a company called Re-influence was the successful bidder. Although the company is based in Victoria, they have roots in Nelson. One of the Reinfluence team members was involved with the branding for Nelson-Kootenay Lake Tourism.

WKTA and Re-influence have begun gathering feedback from the communities to determine what we have in common and what makes our region unique. To contact WKTA, email westkootenaytourismalliance@gmail.com.

 

Just Posted

More burning prohibitions rescinded in southeast B.C.

Category 2 and 3 fires will be permitted in Southeast Fire Centre as of 1p.m. on Wednesday.

B.C. parents leery of HPV cervical cancer vaccine

Provincial registration uptake among lowest in Canada

Municipal spending outpaces population growth 4-fold in B.C.: report

Canadian Federation of Independent Business has released its annual operational spending report

Winlaw preemie survives smoky birth

GoFundMe Campaign started for West Kootenay family with preemie baby.

Youth on the Loose: Centre takes trip to Whatshan Lake

The trip was organized by the Nakusp and Area Youth Network

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

B.C. man who left hospice to run in upcoming election dies

A week after leaving hospice to go to city hall to declare his candidacy, David Hesketh has died.

Most Read