Identity

Residents respond to Halifax-Dartmouth logo debate

Municipal staff looking into Halifax branding in other communities

Some Dartmouth residents are advocating to remove the Halifax logo from signage, flagpoles and landmarks
Some Dartmouth residents are advocating to remove the Halifax logo from signage, flagpoles and landmarks.   Alex Cooke

A motion concerning the application of Halifax branding in other communities is stirring up strong opinions.

On Tuesday, regional council approved a revised motion to have a staff report made regarding the use of the Halifax logo on the other side of the bridge. The original motion asked for the report to outline the implications of removing the branding altogether.

But many people in Dartmouth have been opposed to Halifax branding in the community for a long time.

A change.org petition titled “Restore the name ‘Dartmouth‘” has gotten well over 2,000 signatures since it was created nine months ago, and Facebook groups such as We Love Dartmouth Nova Scotia have an active following discussing this issue.

Members from the We Love Dartmouth Nova Scotia Facebook group respond to a CBC article titled "Should the Halifax logo signs and flags be removed from Dartmouth?"
Members from the We Love Dartmouth Nova Scotia Facebook group respond to a CBC article titled “Should the Halifax logo signs and flags be removed from Dartmouth?”   Alex Cooke

Warren Wesson, who’s lived in Dartmouth since the 1970s, created the Facebook group Coalition to Promote Harbour East – Marine Drive Communities in October. It opposes the use of the Halifax logo in Dartmouth. The coalition consists of a few other Facebook groups, which collectively have around 4,500 members.

Wesson had been advocating for the logo removal at community council meetings for about a year before Dartmouth Centre Coun. Gloria McCluskey put forward the motion calling for a staff report.

“They were tired of looking at me, that’s basically what it was,” said Wesson. “They’ve looked at me enough, they heard my spiel … so they decided to push it up to the big house.”

He said he’s very pleased with the outcome of Tuesday’s regional council meeting, as he was concerned the motion would “die on the floor.”

“Everyone had something to say, but at the end of the day everybody seemed to respect the issue, some getting it more than others,” he said.

“Even people that were opposed, or didn’t want to hear from us, even those guys had something to offer.”

Wesson says he has no issues with using the logo for international and national promotions, but that it has no place in Dartmouth communities.

Some are concerned about a loss of community identity.
Some are concerned about a loss of community identity.   Alex Cooke

Jess Wilson, a proud third-generation Dartmouthian, agrees. She likes the way the logo looks, but said branding Dartmouth signs, flagpoles and landmarks with the Halifax logo can hurt the community’s identity.

“A lot of Dartmouthians are working really hard to establish Dartmouth as its own place to come and visit,” she said. “They’re revamping downtown, they’re working to get all sorts of local and trendy small businesses that will bring in tourism to Dartmouth.

“We are part of the Halifax Regional Municipality, but we are still our own area.”

Others think it’s a non-issue.

Aaron Belanger, 21, has lived in Dartmouth his whole life. He doesn’t think the logos make a difference.

“People are saying that having them up will take away Dartmouth identity, and I don’t think that’s really the case,” he said. “Having a different sign is not going to change how people act and how the communities interact with each other.”

After the city spent around $300,000 creating the new Halifax logo and promoting the brand in April 2014, some have been frustrated with the attention this issue is getting.

It’s currently unclear what kind of financial implications changing the logos could have.

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