Rebranding an Entire Community

The city of Prince George, BC, once a fur trading post and frontier town, is now the largest city in Northern BC. This relatively undiscovered gem is natures wonderland full of parks, activities and sports for all seasons. It is also the central crossing point for the province of British Columbia, uniting all six regions and is situated at the congruence where the railway, two rivers, and two major highways all cross through the city centre, located geographically within the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation traditional territory, a name meaning “The people from the confluence of two rivers.”

The downtown core of Prince George, known as “City in Nature”, was created based on an early 1900’s City Beautiful planning approach. The combination of nature abundance, First Nation ancestry, early British influence, and Canadian heritage is what makes Prince George truly unique. Unfortunately Prince George also had a problem, it was a city mistakenly known as a tough, cold and dark forestry and mining town; the Games were identified by the key stakeholder groups as the best chance to change it’s Northern story and demonstrate to visitors that Prince George and the surrounding areas are a great place to work, live and play.

Rebranding the community of Prince George began in 2012 with the initiation of the 2015 Canada Winter Games (CWG) planning. As the design partner for the Games, Epic Design began by facilitating several focus groups with over 30 representatives from 14 key stakeholder groups (identified below). The result from those workshops was a detailed understanding of the city, the community, the region and what the Games represented. The resulting slogan, “choose your path, leave your tracks, and journey with us as we rediscover our community and region” became the focal point for the Games introduction video as well as the mantra for branding discussions. When Epic Design came up with this slogan, we had no idea that it would result in a community rebrand that would continue well beyond the 2015 Games.

Our team took the input from the focus groups and distilled it down into themes and concepts, which we used as our creative guidelines to develop the visual identity for the Games. The 2015 Canada Winter Games visual identity was regarded as the best branded Canada Games in its 48-year history, and was applied to everything from a full headquarters building wrap and event fencing scrims to athlete gear, merchandise and apparel. The visual identity consisted of three themed-scenes: Winter, Nature, and Canada. Each landscape scene was made up of paths, triangles, textures, animal creatures, athletes and some include local landmarks.

Based on the initial work with CWG, Epic Design has worked with Downtown Prince George (the business improvement association) , New Caledonia Nordic Ski Club, 2019 World Paranordic Championships and Canada Games Council. The single multi-sport brand, created by Epic Design, for the 2015 Canada Winter Games has already been adopted, adapted and applied to three additional organizations within the PG community. This approach has allowed these local partners to define and implement their own unique brands, while leveraging to 2015 CWG concepts, design feel and brand standards, to help ensure consistency across the community and reduce the costs to each branding participant.

World Para Nordic Championships 2019

Downtown Prince George

Caledonia Nordic Ski Club

Epic Design helped us re-brand Caledonia Ski Club so that there would be complimentary alignment with the legacy design elements from the 2015 Canada Winter Games. We felt that we were in the “best hands” in terms of Andi knowing what we needed, and was a fantastic guide through the branding process. When we were awarded the 2019 World Para Nordic skiing Championships, we put a call out for designers to help us with the branding, and Epic Design shone through very brightly. The branding was absolutely critical to convey a professional, consistent and polished look in everything we do, and Epic has delivered flawlessly. We have received many glowing accolades on the professional and creative look that we have for the World Championships.

Kevin Pettersen
Chairperson, Prince George 2019 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships

Multi-Sport National and International Clients