The city’s new slogan is the ‘City of Selkirk – Where it all comes together’ and it’s a slogan that truly sums up what our city is today and will be in the future. Along with the new slogan is a new logo that reflects the vibrance, cultural fabric and warmth of our city.
The slogan and logo were arrived at following months of community consultations with the people who have a vested interest in Selkirk. Stakeholder groups consisting of people who call Selkirk home, as well as others who are connected to the city in different ways, such as work, tourism or sports, were tasked with defining their image of Selkirk. Armed with the stakeholders’ input, Ion Design led city staff through the rebranding process and the results are now being rolled out to the public.
Chief Administrative Officer Duane Nicol said Selkirk today is a vibrant city that is experiencing unprecedented growth and development. We are growing into a modern urban centre, yet retaining the hometown feeling; we have witnessed the arrival of new business and new residents, and our inclusive nature has welcomed them all; and we have seen pride in our community explode, and it’s a feeling we share with our neighbours both near and far. Rebranding to reflect these burgeoning attitudes simply makes sense.
“With all this new investment in the community, people’s minds are changing around Selkirk. People see the change in development, the rebirth, the regrowth of our community,” Nicol said.
“We want a brand that we can market that’s going to accurately reflect that new, more modern, progressive quality of life that we’re able to deliver in the community. It’s an aspirational effort, we’re not perfect yet, but the brand speaks to where we’re going to be in the future.”
Taking control of our economic destiny
The city began its rebranding efforts several years ago, but recognized that while a new image was needed, the price at the time was too high. Council adjusted its approach and last year put out a Request For Proposals that asked for a marketing company to do the brand development with city staff handling the implementation of the brand. The result was much more affordable and in keeping with Priority 2 of the city’s Strategic Plan, which calls for council to take firmer control of the city’s economic destiny.
Mayor Larry Johannson said the new brand reflects a new Selkirk.
“We’re progressing in the City of Selkirk, we’re progressing in housing, in recreation and we’re becoming a medical centre of excellence and this is the next step,” Johannson said.
“This rebranding is firmly placing us in the 21st Century. The brand, it’ not jut the logo, it’s everything that surrounds it, it’s everything that we stand for and these five words – proud, vibrant, connected, inclusive and innovative – those are all describing where we’re going. We’re here now but we’re going to continue into the future, we’re not stopping.
“This rebranding shows people that people here are proud of Selkirk, and we’re showing others from across Manitoba and globally frankly, what we’re all about and what we have to offer. It’s a great time to be here.”
Selkirk’s new brand reflects our city’s role as, like the slogan says, a place ‘where it all comes together’. Our city is a hub: for business, commerce and community living in Manitoba’s Interlake Region.
Connecting the region & growing the economy
Selkirk is connected, it’s where Interlakers and more come for shopping, for health care, for entertainment and for sport. We have a spectacular new hotel, a state-of-the-art hospital is rising on Easton Drive and our Business Park is breaking ground for new business, the first of which is a health and wellness centre. Selkirk is an innovative city that has redefined itself and changed the way we look at ourselves and the way others look at us.
Single- and multi-family dwellings are being built in Selkirk to accommodate an influx of new residents who’ve seen what Selkirk has to offer and are excited to become part of it. The new brand reflects Selkirk’s vibrant culture, fuelled by the community’s love of sports, the arts and culture.
Sheri Skalesky, director of Selkirk Biz, knows a thing or two about rebranding as the chamber underwent its own rebranding a few years ago, dropping the name Selkirk and District Chamber of Commerce in favour of the more compact Selkirk Biz moniker, and adding the tag line ‘It’s all right here’.
She’s excited about the city’s new brand, and said it fits perfectly with the message Selkirk Biz is delivering.
“We are a hub here, this community is a hub. It takes in a lot of the surrounding area, whether it’s for retail, or service or health care. When you look at the new tag line – Where it all comes together – it just makes perfect sense. We think it’s fantastic and when we look at our own tag line – It’s all right here – we feel it’s a nice match, it works well together,” Skalesky said.
“It’s nice to have something that you can start communicating, and you can start incorporating into your pitch line as an ambassador. It gives us a really nice strong message, a unified message that everybody else is using.”
Laurel Sarginson, chairperson of Red River North Tourism, said the brand and what it represents showcases today’s Selkirk very well.
“I think it’ very attractive, the words themselves are written in a way that communicates stability with a modern touch and the message is very positive and reflects what Selkirk is all about. I’m very pleased with it,” Sarginson said.
Selkirk’s former logo incorporated the city crest, which will still be used on official city documents, but not for marketing purposes. Vanessa Figus, marketing and communications coordinator, said the new logo will become the calling card of the city, and over time seen on the city’s website, business cards and letterhead, vehicles and potentially even the iconic water tower.
“It will become instantly recognizable,” Figus said. “And its use will be consistent.”
Nicol said the new brand will help Selkirk get where it’s going.
“It’s a much more professional way to market your community and it’s part of our strategic plan. Building a strong and stable local economy is a pillar of that plan and revitalizing Selkirk’s image is a critical strategic objective,” he said.
“Council is serious about attracting new business and growing into the progressive community that our citizens know we can be and this is a significant investment in that direction.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Many Manitobans’ know very little about Selkirk other than its association with the steel industry and mental health care facilities. Without a clear message or marketing focus, the City has not been able to effectively communicate all of the positive attributes of our community. Confusion about what we have to offer and the opportunities that exist here deter potential investors. If we are to continue to grow our community and develop a strong local economy, we must build a strong brand to improve our ability to market to potential residents, businesses and visitors.
First it’s important to know that a brand is more than just a logo. While a logo, colour scheme, and creative design may provide a unique representation of a brand – it’s just the surface! Brands go much deeper than the logo.
A “brand” is what people think and feel when they hear or see the name of a product or service. For example when you hear the name McDonald’s or you see their logo (the “golden arches”) you have an almost immediate reaction. The thoughts and emotions you attribute to McDonalds is what we typically refer to as a “brand”. For Selkirk, our brand is the sum total of all of the things that the public knows, both factual and emotional, about our community.
Brands are established in people’s minds in a few ways:
- Direct, personal experience
- Vicarious experience (ie: word of mouth); or
- Marketing and other media messages that shape their thoughts about the brand.
Building a new brand is, if you do it right, complex and requires expert skills and tools. The City of Selkirk engaged Ion Design to help us through this process. Ion is a marketing firm which specializes in place-branding and has helped communities all over Canada develop strong brands.
First we needed to understand what our current brand is, that is to say, what our stakeholders thought and felt about us already. We did significant research to get a good understanding of what residents and other Manitoban’s think about Selkirk. First we did a phone survey of Selkirk residents and then we participated in the Probe Research omnibus survey that’s conducted across Manitoba. Then we brought together business and community leaders in a series of brand-discovery workshops. Under Ion’s guidance, these stakeholders helped us expand on survey data and truly get to the heart of what we want our city brand to be. See the video below to learn more about how our new brand was developed.
The City of Selkirk’s heraldic symbol, commonly referred to as the “city crest” or the “city’s coat of arms” is an important symbol for the city. It was designed in 1982 as part of the City’s centennial celebrations and represents Selkirk’s proud history. In recent years the City has used the crest as its logo. With our new brand, this will no longer be the case. While you will see the crest less often – it will not be going away. The crest will continue to be used as the City’s official seal and will remain a central part of the City’s official flag. The crest will continue to be used to represent the city governance and will appear on very formal or ceremonial documents and as the symbol for Mayor and Council. This practice is similar to the practice followed by many major Canadian cities such as Vancouver, Toronto, Winnipeg and Montreal.
Over the next few years the City will apply the new logo and brand styling to signage, documents, stationary, our website and advertisements. We will thoughtfully and cost-effectively roll out the new branded images; but more importantly, the City will be working hard over the next few years to bring improvements to how we manage the city and deliver services to citizens to create the “brand experiences” that will help us shape how residents and other stakeholders think and feel about Selkirk. To truly revitalize the city’s image – we have to keep our “brand promise”. We have to build a vibrant regional hub for commerce culture and recreation and provide the best opportunities an urban centre can offer.
A big benefit of the new brand is that it has helped us clarify and focus on the key messages that we want to share about our City. While we have many, many positive things to say – it’s critical to distill these messages into a few powerful statements that, if we can get our stakeholders to remember, will drive the community pride and economic growth we desire.
These key messages don’t just reflect what we offer today, they also represent our aspirations as a community. They speak to who we are today and who we will be in the future.
After careful community consultation, these are our key messages:
- Selkirk is the economic hub of the Interlake region of Manitoba, for industry, services and technology.
- Selkirk is a community of caring neighbours who enjoy access to urban amenities with a hometown spirit.
- Selkirk is a thriving centre of state-of-the-art health care, featuring a major new hospital and mental health facilities, and extensive community support services.
- Selkirk is a destination for cultural tourism – featuring high-quality festivals, facilities and annual celebrations.
- Recreation fills every season in Selkirk, from boating, fishing, soccer and cycling to hockey, snowmobiling and many other indoor and outdoor activities.
A brand essence is really the distillation of a brand into a few words or key ideas. Selkirk’s brand essence takes the form of five key words:
These key words represent what we mean when we say “City of Selkirk”. They reflect our best characteristics and are the words we want people to instinctively use when they try to describe our community.