The coals are fired up. The iron is nice and hot. Ok Squamish, bend over it's time to get branded. Tomorrow (Saturday the 15th) we will once and for all find out "what YOU think 'Squamish' should say to the world.'
Some may be shocked by this news, after all didn't our current mayor and council get elected for fiercely waving the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada (ORCC) banner? Well yes, yes they did, but as anyone who truly understands and passionately believes in that title can tell you, those appear to be more empty words to slap on letterheads and pamphlets during election time.
Defensive? Yes I am, and I believe I have reason to be. After all it would appear that our ORCC elected leaders have decided to borrow 20 million dollars to get "everything" built at once. Personally I think it's a great idea. After all, in our diverse community the only thing everyone can agree on is that we need a second sheet of ice. And few oppose an arts center, seniors center and public market. Perhaps the glaring omission of any funds to the ORCC falls into the very valid political category of "things are getting done... we just can't tell you about them."
I believe that's the case, but we turn around and lo-and-behold we find our Economic Development office holding a meeting to fine tune our "brand." I suppose that's understandable, after all ORCC is an intense vision and it takes passion and dedication to economically develop a community that values their natural surroundings over their highway strip malls. However, it does once again give us the feeling that some people still cant see it no matter how much proof they are given.
For example, this year the Test of Metal Sold out in 6 days. SIX DAYS! Thereby solidifying it as the premier mountain bike event in Canada. Meanwhile our province is internationally awarded the title of "Ultimate Global Mountain Biking location." Not to mention our windsurfing spit has recently been recognized by World Cup officials as the ideal North American Location, in spite of the fact that it's so ghetto you cant even turn your car around.
What I'm saying is this. Squamish is the Outdoor recreation Capital of Canada for only two reasons. One: Mother nature has bestowed upon us the greatest assortment of recreation in the world. Two: We've utilized and nurtured these assets solely on the blood sweat and beers of our globally recognized volunteers. Will Squamish continue to coast on the backs of these volunteers until they break? Or are we going to finally put our money where our mouth is? I suppose there's always the third option of changing where our mouth is.
Which brings me to the branding meeting you should attend tomorrow. Will we keep the ORCC title? Or is it time to finally give up, sell out, and go with "Squamish, as close to Vancouver as Abbotsford."