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Right On Brand...

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The greater community of Dauphin and the area at large is poised to realize its potential when it comes to tourism thanks to a new brand ready to be launched.

“Dauphin . . . . Adventure From Here On Out” is the community’s new brand developed by the City and RM councils in co-operation with Travel Manitoba and McKim Communications Group.

“It’s an exciting day for both the RM and the City,” mayor Allen Dowhan said during a virtual unveiling of the brand hosted by Travel Manitoba last week. “We have a lot of potential in our region and especially now with the 36 kilometers of mountain bike trails. I’d like to thank Travel Manitoba and Mckim agencies for facilitating the public consultation. It was a eye-opener for myself because that’s where I realized the potential for our region.”

It was a sentiment echoed by reeve Ron Ryz, who was pleased at the co-operation involved in developing the concept.

“The brand has been highly anticipated by our council and we are so excited to be able to see it for the first time,” Ryz said. “This has been an incredible process for our staff to participate in and I’m thrilled that the RM and City were able to work together on this project. We are confident that this brand will help us increase tourism in our area and showcase everything that we have to offer.”

The move to create a distinct identity, strengthen area residents’ sense of place and align messaging used by businesses and the community has its roots in 2018 when Dowhan approached Travel Manitoba president and CEO Colin Ferguson at an Association of Manitoba Municipalities convention and asked for the branding process to be centred on Dauphin.

The work to create the brand began in earnest last October when consultations were held with community stakeholders to discuss the community’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, as well as catalogue current assets, determine current versus desired perceptions and the identify key marketing assets.

Audra Lesosky, executive vice-president Mckim Communications, said the brand is meant to increase visitation to Dauphin by leveraging and building on its signature events such as Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival and Countryfest, but also the wilderness and active outdoor opportunities.

“Those who are aware of Dauphin largely associate it with the larger festivals that you’ve been so successful with. But beyond that, little else,” she said, adding the stakeholder consultations were enlightening and made it relatively easy to identify the full breadth of opportunities the brand needed to convey.

“So we want to make sure that people know how vibrant a city it is with not only uniquely rich arts and culture, but also access to spectacular wilderness and active outdoor experiences.”

The idea behind the brand is that the city of Dauphin can be a hub from which visitors can access the region’s rich wilderness and active outdoor adventure opportunities.

“The North Gate Trail system, Dauphin Lake, Riding Mountain National Park, Duck Mountain Provincial Park,” Lesosky said. “You’re ideally situated as a hub for accessing all of those assets. So this was something we kept top of mind, that there needed to be balance. We want people to know about Dauphin’s vibrant arts and culture scene, of course, but we also want people to know how easy it is to access some of Manitoba’s most spectacular wilderness. To make sure people know that they can experience the best of Manitoba in and from Dauphin.”

Walking participants through the creative process, and providing examples of print, digital and billboard advertising, Lesosky explained the origin of the brand and its potential impact.

“We knew that we could leverage fun and vibrant in a new approach for packaging what you already have in a way that’s scalable for what you might develop in the future,” she said. “This idea of these dynamic angles kind of shone through and began to infuse the entire brand idea, and that’s what led our creative team to develop this unique, powerful and memorable word mark for Dauphin so the cultural aspect of it shines through in the vibrant colour and the graphic accent and it has a dynamic movement for an active feel.”

The tag line. “Adventure From Here On Out” positions Dauphin not only as a destination, but as a hub for the opportunities surrounding it.

“Together the mark and the tag line strike the balance that we felt was needed for Dauphin,” Lesosky said.

“The angular quality of the letter forms make it dynamic and modern. There’s movement and vibrancy. The graphic accent accentuates the idea that Dauphin is at the center of this rich region for a variety of activities to explore. And it ties in with the tag line Adventure From Here On Out. You can see that accent over the P is pushing out, it’s also a nod to your celebrated sunny climate because it could be interpreted as a sun rising on the horizon. Because it’s so intentionally open to interpretation, what anyone sees is entirely informed by your background and experience and, because of this, it can be used to create some really beautiful and powerful brand expressions.

“It reflects that Dauphin truly does deliver that quintessential Manitoba, Canada experience. It’s bold, strong, there’s a beauty and balance to it.”

Working off of a provided guide for applying the logo and tag line to ensure brand integrity is maintained, city and RM staff will now work to roll out the new brand.

“I think I can speak for both the city and our own staff that we really enjoyed working with this and we’re very excited to see what comes next,” said RM of Dauphin CAO Nicole Chychota,
“And a lot of it comes down to working with the community. We are excited to connect with the tourism operators and community members to really establish how we can take these concepts that McKim has created and make them work for Dauphin.”

Chychota said the branding process layed bare everything the area has to offer and it is impressive when looked at as a whole.

“Over the next few months the City and RM staff will be working on coming up with a plan on how we move forward,” she said, adding there will be some community involvement in the process. “One of our first steps is going to be talking about a website, we think that’s really important. And developing some social media strategies to go along with this. But we’re really just looking forward to having all of your input, getting your feedback on the brand and seeing what we can do with this.”

Above facilitating the process through its branding program, Travel Manitoba vice-president of Marketing and Communications Linda Whitfield said her organization will be there throughout the rollout of the brand to help where they can.

“Now more than ever when pandemic-related travel restrictions have increased, the importance of local tourism, welcoming other Manitobans into our communities is critical to tourism recovery specifically, and to Manitoba’s economic recovery in the future,” Whitfield said.

“This is kind of where we turn over the baby and we are excited to see how it goes forward. But we are here always to assist and to give any advice that we can.”