PEACE COUNTRY LOGO READY IN SIX WEEKS

DAWSON CREEK ? How do you translate everything the Peace Country stands for into a logo no bigger than a postage stamp?

Six graphic design artists are struggling with that concept as we speak.

And to make matters worse, they?ve got additional hurdles to take, such as, it¹s got to work equally well on a giant billboard and on a jelly jar, the artists live throughout the Peace, and their final design will be unveiled in six weeks.

The initial idea in 1999 was simple enough, says Frances Armstrong, program manager at the Kiwanis Enterprise Centre in Dawson Creek.

?The question we were struggling with at the time was, how do we get more dollars at the farm gate?? she says.

The answer? Get people to recognize that the Peace Country produces high quality products, and then they?re prepared to pay a little more for them.

It?s a marketing tool called branding, and it gave birth to the Branding the Peace Country Association (BPCA) last year, after years of hard work and Peace-wide involvement.

?A well-designed logo is of crucial importance to marketing both inside and outside the region,? explains Brand Management Consultant Bill Oppen ?When people see this brand, they?re going to associate it with the Peace Country, quality, environmental stewardship, best practices.?

The unveiling of the Peace Brand Logo will take place at the BPCA annual general meeting on April 16, 2004 at the Holiday Inn in Grande Prairie.

It¹s going to be a big Peace Country celebration, Oppen promises. Among the invited dignitaries are the mayors of Peace Region municipalities; First Nations chiefs; Alberta and B.C. agriculture ministers Shirly McClellan and John van Dongen; Alberta Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Pearl Calahasen; B.C. Minister of Energy and Mines Richard Neufeld; B.C. Minister of Small Business and Economic Development John Les, and the MLAs from the region.

As for the artists, they?ve got their work cut out for them, but Brand Marketing Consultant Don Pettit, from Dawson Creek, says they?re up to the task.

?We have tremendous talent here and we are using our home-grown talent to brand the Peace Country,? Pettit says. ?That?s really what it’s all about: the Peace holds so many treasures, from fabulous people to exceptional products. Too few people know about these, but Branding the Peace is going to change that.?