Councillor looks to festivals to put city on map

It looks like if Penticton is going to create a brand as the Festival Capital of Canada, it will have to do so on its own.

  • Jul. 7, 2011 6:00 a.m.

It looks like if Penticton is going to create a brand as the Festival Capital of Canada, it will have to do so on its own.

Spearheaded by Coun. Mike Pearce, the city had approached other local governments throughout the Okanagan Valley to investigate whether there is an interest in developing a broad branding concept for the region as the festival capital of canada.

The idea, Pearce had said, was to promote the fact that the area has many festivals throughout the year while not interfering with the existing branding that each municipality might have.

Pearce said he wanted to start off with the idea on a larger basis but if the other municipalities were not interested, Penticton could still work to brand itself as the festival capital.

Monday evening Pearce told city council that interest in the idea from other local governments appeared not to be there and that Penticton should proceed by itself.

“We have numerous festivals now and it seems like the community wants that as opposed to hard-core industrial stuff, smelly stuff or pollution,” Pearce said. “We have an awful lot of facilities now, with hundreds of millions of dollars invested, and I think we have to get down and dirty and figure out how to market them real heavy.

“We added the GranFondo this year. We added the Oktoberfest last year. We’ve just been through two or three and there are a whole bunch more (coming). There’s Jazz Fest. So I think we can carve out a unique thing in our marketplace for people to choose Penticton as a destination place if they are interested in festivals from the Meadowlark Festival to all the ones that we hold throughout the year.”

Pearce said since there has already been some time and money invested in branding already, the city would have to proceed carefully and properly engage residents for input.

“In this community I have learned from being around here that you might get your knuckles and your toenails wrapped real hard by somebody who thought you should have gone through the process and they have had a career developing other things like peaches or the wine industry or everything else,” Pearce said. “So I think we better go through the process.

“We have to go to the professionals in the community just to see how we would do it. A lot of them that I’ve talked to are anxious to get on with it.”