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Request to display more hand-painted banners in Sicamous at odds with district marketing

Council discusses ratio of painted versus branded banners and value of volunteer art
Examples of past volunteer painted banners that have hung in the District of Sicamous on lamp posts. Council discussed how many branded banners versus hand-painted ones will be on display this year at the Jan. 11 2023 meeting. (District of Sicamous photo)

Sicamous may see more colourful, hand-painted banners brightening up the town this year.

At its Jan. 11 meeting, Sicamous council discussed how the district moved towards cohesive branded banners on lamp posts a few years ago, with imaging reflecting the district’s promotional material. There are 60 spaces where banners can be placed within the district and this year’s plan was for 40 of them to be branded, and 20 to be hand-painted by a volunteer group out of the Red Barn that creates new community banners each year. This year, that group, referred to as the Sicamous Community Banner Project, wants there to be more artistic ones on display.

District staff did pre-purchase 10 additional banners to be either painted or printed with branded messaging as they anticipated a 50/10 split between branded and painted banners, and wanted to have some leeway in deciding what would go where.

Operations manager Darrell Symbaluk said the district could look into buying more banner arms to attach to poles, but they can’t alter BC Hydro poles so that does limit the space, and each set of banner arms would cost about $500 with an additional cost to powder coat them.

Coun. Ian Baillie asked about the marketing strategy that went into the branded banners originally and how the hand-painted banners fit into Sicamous’ goals of marketing the town to tourists and locals.

Mayor Colleen Anderson said that strategic branding is what the district ultimately wants to share and that Main Street needs to be branded, but acknowledged there is value in getting people together to create art and the group has been doing it for a long time.

Coun. Malcolm Makayev suggested redirecting the volunteers to painting murals and placing those around town, but community member Deb Heap said she didn’t speak for the volunteers but wasn’t sure if the artists would enjoy painting a mural. Heap instead suggested specific areas for banners to be displayed for a short time, and then auctioned off and framed to be put up inside public buildings. Coun. Siobhan Rich suggested a painted banner display month. Anderson said that while it does take staff extra time to put up and take down banners, it is something for council to consider further.

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Rebecca Willson

About the Author: Rebecca Willson

I took my first step into the journalism industry in November 2022 when I moved to Salmon Arm to work for the Observer and Eagle Valley News. I graduated with a journalism degree in December 2021 from MacEwan University in Edmonton.
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