Rossland puts a new branding iron in the fire just as the Gateway Project posts for proposals

Andrew Bennett
By Andrew Bennett
May 16th, 2013

The Rossland “brand” is getting a makeover to give key stakeholders a “consistent, professional image”—stakeholders such as the city, the Chamber of Commerce (CC), the library, and Tourism Rossland (TR)—but council was divided in April over the logo suggested by the designer and asked for more alternatives.

The designer obliged and returned with four very distinct options, each with four variations. These options, and also the designs chosen by the CC, TR, and the library, can be viewed in the pdf file attached at the end of the article.


For the city in the near term, the only major impact will be new truck decals for 22 vehicles at a total cost of $407, and new business cards. Council has asked staff to mete out the $710 expenditure on new cards and only to print new ones when the old ones run out. Letterheads, email signatures, and the website will also be changed at very little cost.


The option presented at the April 22 meeting featured “City of Rossland” in the new block capital font that will mark all the stakeholders’ logos—based on the Rossland Signage Manual that has been used for all the recent signage around town—and the logo is embellished with the city’s coat of arms.


The alternative designs include exactly the same words and font, but are embellished with different images, such as an ore cart with a tree growing out of it or silhouettes of the town’s iconic buildings with a sun setting behind a mountain.


Below “City of Rossland,” variations have either no subtext, “British Columbia Canada,” or, in cursive, “Community, Sustainability, History.”


None of these options would have come up had council not been divided at the April meeting over the coat-of-arms logo. A motion to go ahead with the logo as presented was narrowly defeated by a 3-3 vote, with Coun. Jody Blomme, Coun. Kathy Wallace, and Coun. Jill Spearn feeling that the designers should bring council more options to choose from.


Even though he voted to go ahead as planned, Mayor Greg Granstrom was also ambivalent about the original option: “Quite frankly,” he said, “I’m not impressed. It’s rather quaint.”


Spearn wondered why the city’s logo was being changed. “I don’t know what it accomplishes other than [the logos] become consistent,” she said, “but our consistency could have gone to the library and Tourism Rossland rather than coming down this way.”


“I think we need to be presented with more than one choice,” Blomme said. She also sat on the TR and CC boards as they chose new logos, and she said everyone liked the old Chamber logo, “so an attempt had been made to maintain some of the elements.”


Some things had apparently changed since the decisions were made, such as the TR logo’s cursive “Unspoiled. Uncrowded.” “I don’t remember that,” Blomme said.


“It was quite a process, but the choice was whittled down over time,” Blomme said about those boards’ logo decisions, and she had hoped council would also have more input into the final design of the City of Rossland logo. Spearn added her thoughts on this particular script, “It’s totally ungrammatical.”


“It would be nice to explore some other tweaks on this dial,” she said.


“Should we have input into this? Absolutely,” Spearn said.


Some decisions made by other groups were questioned. Wallace, for example, did not like the crows sitting on Rossland in the library logo. Coun. Kathy Moore said, “Other groups have made their decisions, that’s for them to make, not us. If the library likes crows, they get the crows.”


For the mayor, it was a question of expediency: “How much time do we want to spend on this?” he asked. 


Although Moore was “not fussed” about the logo, she agreed with Spearn that there was a “process issue.” Spearn said, “We used to have a design review committee and also used to have a streetscape committee. Now service groups are making decisions for the City of Rossland and we’re only presented with the final, no drafts.”


Wallace disliked the logo as it stood and wanted more input: “As it sits, I don’t like it. I see the coat-of-arms minimized by the big block letters. I would support that we can see this in a few variations. If we make a decision tonight, it will be that way for a while.”


Now council has been presented with a suite of options to choose from at the May 13 meeting, they will be able to discuss and decide from among them, likely some time in June.




Council has also decided to move ahead with a request-for-proposals (RFP) for the Gateway Project that some people hope will put a new face on the entrance to Rossland from the Paterson border, revitalize the museum, and give a home to tourist information services.


The RFPs will have all been received by the city for review before the middle of June. The city will then have two months to make it’s decision about whether or not to move ahead, and with which proposal.


“A lot of work has gone into this already, we’re going on almost a year already,” Coun. Tim Thatcher said on April 22, when council made it’s decision to approve the RFP and “get the process rolling.” 


“It’s all been vetted through Teck,” the mayor said. Teck came forward as Rossland’s major partner in the Gateway Project after liability concerns forced the company to close the LeRoi mining adit—formerly the museum’s biggest draw—in 2009. “It’s also all been vetted through our museum consultant,” he said.


Spearn said she was “appreciative” of the effort that went into the “enormous [RFP] document.” “Since the mine closed, there’s been a pretty significant decrease for Rossland. I hope this will increase those numbers again,” she said.


Moore was concerned that the city is “expecting a ‘modest proposal’ with sketches, but [the scale of the RFP] doesn’t seem so modest.” She was also concerned that contractors only had 45 days to prepare their proposals.


Granstrom reiterated, “It’s all been vetted through a museum professional, and he thinks it’s all possible and very feasible.”

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