Four Prince Rupert area artists’ work will be showcased on new wayfinding signage throughout the city Tourism Prince Rupert presented to City Council on March 28.
Tourism Prince Rupert (TPR) has been working on the project since the fall of 2021, when it issued a public callout to artists requesting submissions for informational signage. Chris Fraser, Roddy Tasaka, Lucy Trimble, and Kristen Mckay were the four artists chosen for their work to be included in the signage designs, said Ceilidh Marlow, executive director of TPR.
Funding for the project was secured through the Province of British Columbia’s Community Economic Infrastructure Incentive Program (CERIP), bolstered by funds from the Tourism Prince Rupert Society.
The project will take place in stages, with the installation set to be in September 2022.
“New welcome signage will be installed at each main entrance to the community: at the Highway 16 entrance from Terrace and at the Highway 16 entrance from the BC Ferries terminal. Next, new wayfinding and informational signage will be installed throughout the downtown and main tourism areas,” a media statement read.
Classed as a destination development project one of the multiple goals is to improve visitor perception upon entry and exit into the community by installing new “Welcome to Prince Rupert” signage.
“The installation of new welcome signs at all official entrances to Prince Rupert will not only signal to visitors that we are a vibrant, welcoming community, but also that key economic investments are taking place here and that Prince Rupert is entering a new decade of transformational change,” the tourism organization stated.
To blend cohesively with the City of Prince Rupert’s recent rebrand the new welcome signs will also include a welcoming message in Sm’algyax and artwork by local artist Russell Mather, Marlow said. The new welcome signage is conceptualized to use a cement base, aluminum stand with cedar accents.
“We are thrilled to unveil the work we have been doing with local partners and a group of talented artists to install new community welcome & wayfinding signage throughout Prince Rupert. This has been a long-desired project for Tourism Prince Rupert, and I’m particularly proud to have the opportunity to showcase the work of diverse local artists, as well as to work with the Tsimshian Sm’algyax Language Authority to include a Sm’algyax welcome message on the new signage.”
Marlow said that adequate signage had been a long identified issue by both TPR and visitors. Fresh signage will benefit both visitors and locals by assisting to more easily locate retail, dining, hospitality, outdoor adventure businesses and attractions in the downtown core. Key elements will be detailed information such as maps and illustrations noting distances with other important information.
The new wayfinding signage will help Prince Rupert’s visitors arriving by air, road, and rail to better navigate the community. New signage will also have a particularly strong emphasis on the cruise economy she said by improving cruise visitors’ ability to navigate the community.
The timing for this project is opportune for a number of reasons, TPR stated.
“Tourism has been one of the hardest-hit sectors by COVID-19 and investment into local tourism infrastructure will signal to all of our stakeholders that tourism recovery is a key priority and the visitor experience will be improved at all turns to allow for a more resilient local tourism economy in the years to come,”.
Secondly, the tourism organization said the installation of new welcome and wayfinding signage provides an opportunity to align with the City of Prince Rupert’s revitalized vision for the community.
“Throughout the consultation process for the Prince Rupert 2030 Vision, TPR was a key stakeholder and provided the tourism perspective needed to inform the final product. In this new vision, community “quality of life” amenities are included as a key priority, with investment in downtown revitalization noted as particularly crucial.”
K-J Millar | Editor and Multi-Media Journalist
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