Friday, 15 January 2010


What Does Culture Look Like?
By: Connor Buchanan, Cultural Coordinator; Parks, Recreation & Culture Branch

Wood Buffalo has a burgeoning cultural scene and it’s time to brand it. So municipal staff will be recruited in February to help select a logo from contest submissions.

During the time I’ve spent getting to know those who call this region home, it has become apparent that everyone has their own view of culture – and that’s a great thing. By listening to diverse perspectives on what that abstraction encompasses and how it comes alive for different people, I have been fortunate to expand my knowledge base. I also understand that because culture is a community-based concept -- a collective thing -- it is important to provide residents with an opportunity to participate in how we, the municipal cultural staff, interpret and represent that.

Over the past month, municipal employees will have hopefully noticed a series of “teaser” advertisements that ran in local newspapers, promising “something shiny and new” from the Community Services Department in the New Year.

On Jan. 15, the final ad was revealed, announcing a competition for artists and designers of all ages, skill levels and artistic mediums to create a logo to represent the culture of Wood Buffalo. The winning design will be used to identify the cultural staff and the municipal activities, programs and projects that they are involved with or produce.

Originally, a logo had been created in-house to represent the new cultural division and its mandate. However, in consultation with the graphics design team of the Communications Department, we realized that you can’t really have culture without a major community component.

The proposal was reevaluated, which led to an open call for designs so that Wood Buffalo’s various communities and residents could be included in the process and take ownership of what culture means and looks like to them, and how it should be presented to outside parties.

There is no doubt that this is a difficult task. How to best capture that fluid concept with an image is a tremendous task but a rewarding personal challenge. If you or anyone you know is artistically inclined, or has an idea of what could be featured, please start brainstorming and enter a design.

The submission deadline is Feb. 19, 2010.

For more information about this project, please see the link on the Web site:, under the heading entitled “Cultural Logo Competition,”
contact me at: (780) 788-4335 (office), (780) 714-7173, or

1 comment:


    We have finally added some of the Logo Submission to the Cultural page of the Municipal website!

    Please take a look and read through some of the paragraphs explaining the artists’ choices in design, symbolism, etc.

    * Not all submission were included due to the size of some of the original works.