City looks for signs of improvement

Penticton: Home of “fill in the blank.”

  • Oct. 11, 2011 6:00 p.m.

Penticton: Home of “fill in the blank.”

That’s one empty space a local resident was hoping council would fill in, urging them to better promote the city’s assets and events in highway signage.

Lorraine Evans, a Penticton resident, wrote council last month about noticing the various signs along Highway 97 that brand the city as a place to stay.

“Highway 97 has many large commercial signs leading to and from Penticton and very few signs that say anything about the amenities in Penticton,” she wrote.

She offered the city 20 suggestions to consider, among those she considered “world famous,” were the Penticton Vees, Duncan Keith and Skaha Rock Bluffs.

Amenities included the city’s four ice rinks, one curling rink, the Trans Canada Trail, three art galleries, the Penticton Race Track, White Lake Observatory, three tennis courts, the research station and Apex Ski Resort.

Groups were also a possibility: The South Okanagan Symphony, two mixed choirs, South Okanagan Sailing Association and Okanagan College.

Most communication with the city gets received with nary a word, but Evans’s letter struck a chord with a few on council.

Coun. Judy Sentes remarked many towns have signs that boast about their annual fairs, and that an event like Ironman which sets Penticton apart could make for an appropriate advertisement. She mused about whether the Ministry of Transportation had made some sort of decision on highway signage.

“What the province did was it instituted a sign policy that set out guidelines. There was a standard format you had to follow, so it doesn’t become an eyesore,” Coun. Garry Litke said.

Coun. Andrew Jakubeit said the ideas were worth exploring, especially considering the state of current welcome signs.

“Our entrance sign by Skaha Lake and as you come in at the north end, it’s a tired sign. It’s old,” he said. “I don’t know if we’re looking at replacing those signs at some point, but maybe we could look at doing a ‘Home of Ironman’ or whatever we want to bring to light when we do.”

Staff will investigate highway sign possibilities, and council unanimously approved receipt of Evans’s letter.