Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Halifax Rebrand

Good evening cyberspace. I hope that time has found you well. It has greeted me with a few challenges as of late but that is just alright; how else would I learn, grow and become a stronger, wiser individual? I decided to repost a Facebook post I made in regards to a recent re-branding of the Halifax Regional Municipality due to a lot of negative feedback on the matter. I could have taken the time to touch it up here but I felt I would just leave it as it was. It was written with only a general idea, some personal experience and a desire to see the city I call home come together at least for this. It's intention is good and our actions will determine the result. Before I continue rambling on about the topic, here is my original thread:

"As someone not born and raised in Halifax, someone who has only recently in the last few years lived here, someone who has always had a connection simply because it is the focal point of Nova Scotia, someone who knows and knew Halifax without being a true Haligonian I would like to share this sentiment with all of you born and raised in any of the communities that comprise the HRM:

Most people from the "outside" call it all Halifax anyway; always have and most likely always will. It isn't a slight to anyone (Dartmouth, I'm looking your way; you too Sackville and Bedford), it's just that Halifax is the geographical capital city of Nova Scotia and it is much easier for someone who does not live here to bring all the citizens of the HRM under that umbrella; especially post amalgamation but it was happening long before. And while we refer to that umbrella of communities as Halifax, we are aware that there is a difference between the rest of the communities and we take due diligence (especially those of us from Nova Scotia or the Maritimes in general) to ensure we refer to the actual names of proper communities, big or small, that aren't "Halifax". The new Halifax brand, intentional or not, is just taking that unspoken definition and turning it into a defining brand (see what I did there?). 

So with that in mind, I think that the real haters of this new rebranding should stop looking at it as though some uppity Haligonians are trying to take the credit for the success of the city as a whole or are trying to take away the history of the communities that encompass the HRM and the new Halifax brand. This branding is an attempt, perhaps a weak one, to sell us to the world and I'll let you in on something: we need the economic boosts where we can get them here in the Maritimes. Will it make us all rich and wealthy? No. What will it do? It will make us united; it will makes us connected; it will make us strong; it will make us all work toward the future together. It will do all this as a brand, not as a definition to who you are and where you are from. 

And yes, 200k is a ton of money (though I heard somewhere it was closer to 300k but the number is irrelevant) but take a look at what some of your governments, at any level, have wasted on lesser plans and objectives in the past. Take a moment to review the ill-fated financial decisions made before this and you'll surely find greater financial wastage to be upset about. The reason I can accept the cost is because this was a promise made by Mayor Savage; he said he would rebrand the city and he has done just that. Regardless of the success or failure of it, Savage said he would do, did it and will now stand by it until it flies or dies. As the Mayor, the figure head of representation for all the communities that fall under the HRM, he has unified each one of us behind a strong and bold grab for positive economic growth that will benefit us short and long term, regionally and globally. We have a new edge to compete with the mega-cities across the country like Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver and we have all of that without having to be mega. 

If for no other reason, you should be in support of the rebranding because it is happening regardless of your dissent. A unified support of such an undertaking would definitely go a long way to furthering it's potential for success; petty and juvenile infighting does the opposite and quite frankly, makes us look foolish and the people across the HRM that I know, and I've met a great deal of you, are no fools.

I love Halifax. I love the HRM. I love the whole damn city and it really doesn't matter how we sell ourselves to the world because it is the people, not the place, that really sell our city. Once you've been here, you will always come back. That is my word on this matter."

I know many residents are very passionate about their community and I don't expect anyone to just be alright with this marketing change; it's change and that can be scary but change can be whatever you want it to be. I have lived in this city for almost three years now and the feeling of community I feel here, everywhere here, is stronger than many rural communities I've lived or visited. We have a rare thing here in Halifax; we have history (however good or bad) and we have wisdom and the cities sense of pride and community is build behind that time and experience. We have true strength and true strength cast behind such a project can only bring success.

Stay safe, be at peace and love one another.