By Pioneer staff
The Village of Canal Flats will soon have a new name.
The initiative comes as part of the overall economic redevelopment strategy that was put in place shortly after the mill closure in late 2015.
The decision to rename the Village is based on the results of a 2017 marketing survey that showed that the name Canal Flats does not “conjure images of breathtaking mountain scenery, pristine alpine lakes or the wealth of outdoor recreational opportunities for which British Columbia is known.” Further, the village name ranked in the low 20th percentile when respondents were asked whether Canal Flats reflects “a mountain modern lifestyle.”
According to village staff, the frontrunner in the Name Our Village contest is McGillivray’s Landing, the original name of the settlement. The name of the village was changed to Canal Flats in 1913 coinciding with the opening of the first post office. While the final list of choices has been finalized. Also under consideration are Molly’s Reach, Danger Bay and Kimberly North. Derivations of other popular municipal names, which included Victoria and Whistler were considered then stricken, as they were not considered “British Columbian enough.”
The cost of the village re-naming is estimated to be approximately $770,000 and includes changes to signage, logos, letterhead, and existing map templates. The largest expenditure will be a $285,000 payment to the Province that will cover legal costs and the name change being formalized though an act of the provincial legislature.
In the last 25 years, three B.C. communities have moved forward with municipal name changes and have incurred budget overruns of between 68 to 172%.
Community members are invited to visit the Village of Canal Flats website and to register a vote for one of the shortlisted names at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YRGT23L. The new village name will be announced during the Canal Days festivities in early June.