By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – The Morinville and District Chamber of Commerce started the New Year off by unveiling the business organization’s new logo. A softer script and softer look now replace the bold shadowed font that has identified the Chamber in the region for many years. But while the softer logo will adorn Chamber business cards, stationery and other branding and marketing pieces, the new design represents but one component of a new image for the Chamber in the community, one that is anything but softer like their new logo.
“It’s a process of evolution,” said Chamber Vice President Sheldon Fingler of the new logo and work currently being done by the Morinville and District Chamber of Commerce. “We’re not who we once were. We’re changing. We’re going bigger, better, constantly striving to be different and new.”
It is a sentiment Chamber President Heather Folkins agrees with. “We’re going further in the direction of what the Chamber is supposed to be – a voice for business,” she said, noting there has been some misconception in the community as to just what the Chamber of Commerce is and does. “Many people think the Chamber is a service club. They’ll compare it to Rotary or Lions, something like that. The Chamber is not that. It is an advocate for business and a voice for business.”
The Chamber has been expanding its role in that regard of late, building on the work of previous boards and committees. Folkins said the board recently worked with the Town of Morinville to provide input for the new business licence bylaw. “They’ve asked our opinion and we’ve given our opinion,” she said, noting some significant changes were made to the bylaw based on the Chamber’s input and recommendations. Additionally, the Chamber recently took a public stance during 2011 budget talks regarding economic development and offered its support in future economic development talks and initiatives.
The new logo is simply a visual confirmation of the work the Chamber is engaged in on behalf of its member businesses and organizations.
Last fall the Chamber’s new board of directors took a look at what the Town of Morinville had done with its new branding and decided to follow suit in order to put a visual touch to the work the Chamber was doing. Several designs were considered, including a few that were updates of the logo the Chamber had been using for years. The board opted for something completely new.
“When you use the same old logo for years and years and years, everybody stops looking, stops noticing.” said Chamber Director Paula Hittinger, adding she believes the change in imagery will make more people take notice of the Chamber and what it is doing.
Although they are becoming even more active in their advocacy role for businesses, the Chamber is committed to continuing their major initiatives, including the annual business directory, trade show and awards evening. The new logo is a pictorial representation of the Chamber’s strengthening long-standing initiatives while adding new. The annual business directory is in the final design stages, and planning for the 2012 trade show, set to take place in April, are well underway.