When council adjourned on Monday, June 7, it was the last time as the District of Mission. It has officially been designated as the “City of Mission.”
“Next time we get together, we’ll be a city,” said Mayor Paul Horn.
Coun. Ken Herar brought forth a motion directing staff to initiate the re-branding process. This includes the development of a new logo with consultations with local First Nations and the broader community, swapping “District” for “City” in letterheads, emails, websites and other locations, and immediately signing all legal documents as the “City of Mission.”
The motion passed unanimously.
Mission’s logo, which features the bell tower of Westminster Abbey, has been in place since 2005.
Herar said featuring the Catholic landmark in the district’s logo was used as a marketing approach, and some have expressed concern over mixing church and state.
He said Westminster Abbey was not even consulted 16 years ago, and a new logo should represent the diversity of the community, and bring in everyone to create the new image.
He also highlighted the discovery of the mass grave at a Kamloops Residential School, and the lack of recognition of Mission’s Indigenous peoples in its “Welcome to Mission” signs.
“As a council, we adopted nine principles of reconciliation, and how we move forward on these matters should be reflected using constructive dialogue,” Herar said.
“The lens of today should capture a theme of unique cultural history and diversity in leading us to the forefront of our Indigenous communities.”
Coun. Mark Davies stressed the importance of extensive consultation with local First Nations.
“Reconciliation should be top of mind as part of this process,” he said.
Staff were asked by Coun. Jag Gill if the re-branding has been included in the budget. They said the larger portion of it was not approved last year, but they would come back with a strategy, including funding sources.
The change has been in the works for a long time.
Coun. Carol Hamilton brought forward a motion for staff to investigate its feasibility in 2018, after speaking with the Mission Downtown Business Association, Mission Chamber of Commerce, Mission Community Archives and the economic development office.
In 2015, staff presented a report to council recommending reclassification to be more attractive to investors.