Motorists getting ‘real’ Winnipeg welcome New slogan, logo, treaty acknowledgement on road signs entering city

The signs are made from what’s real — aluminum composite panel — and they’re about to appear across Winnipeg.

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The signs are made from what’s real — aluminum composite panel — and they’re about to appear across Winnipeg.

The first of 10 red-and-white “Welcome to Winnipeg” billboards going up this month was installed Thursday on Brookside Boulevard, proclaiming — via a new logo and slogan — that the city is “Made from what’s real.”

“We’re excited to see them pop up all over the entryways to our city,” said Economic Development Winnipeg president Dayna Spiring.

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The billboards, which measure nearly two metres by five metres and cost approximately $70,000, are replacing the current “Welcome to Winnipeg — Heart of the Continent” signs that have been in place since the fall of 2008.

The billboards, which measure nearly two metres by five metres and cost approximately $70,000, are replacing the current “Welcome to Winnipeg — Heart of the Continent” signs that have been in place since the fall of 2008. They supplanted the often-maligned “Winnipeg welcome — one great city!” markers installed in 1990.

City crews should finish installing the billboards by October’s end, Spiring said.

Branding on the new signs comes from a marketing initiative to, in part, attract visitors and highlight how “real” the city is. Spiring helped launch the city’s logo and slogan in June.

At the time, the campaign sparked a wave of comments — both positive and negative — from Winnipeggers.

“We heard from a lot of people initially, and we heard some very loud voices that didn’t think they liked it,” she said Thursday. “I think that more people like it than dislike it, and I’m still really proud of the way it looks.”

“I think that more people like it than dislike it, and I’m still really proud of the way it looks.”–Dayna Spiring

The bottom of each sign acknowledges that Winnipeg is on Treaty 1 Territory. Spiring said Winnipeg is among the first cities in Canada to have such a notice.

“That’s part of our process of reconciliation,” she said.

SRS Signs & Services has worked on the roadside visuals for about a month, said Shane Storie, the company’s president.

His business was also involved in creating the Winnipeg sign at The Forks and the Garbage Hill marker.

“We’re very excited to be part of this, as well,” he said. “We just continue to keep making iconic signs that become the backdrop of people’s photos and memories.”

These particular backdrops are red to represent vibrancy, Spiring said.

“We think it reflects a lot of excitement in the city of Winnipeg, and we think it’s a very modern colour,” she said.

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

“We’re excited to see them pop up all over the entryways to our city,” said Economic Development Winnipeg president Dayna Spiring.

Esplanade Riel and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights are featured in the background.

In addition to the Brookside Boulevard (Route 90) at Farmer Road sign, they will be installed at: McPhillips Street and Emes Road; Main Street and Benn Avenue; Lagimodiere Boulevard and Headmaster Row; Dugald Road and Highway 207; Fermor Avenue and Plessis Road; Highway 59 and Prairie Grove Road; Highway 75 and Perreault Avenue; McGillivray Boulevard and Brady Road; and Portage Avenue and Blumberg Trail.

“Made from what’s real” merchandise has been for sale and circulating throughout the summer. Winnipeg-based Far From Ordinary designed clothing; Kilter Brewing Co. created a Made from what’s real beer.

New merchandise will be released later this year, said Economic Development Winnipeg spokeswoman Eleanor Coopsammy.

gabrielle.piche@winnipegfreepress.com

Gabrielle Piché

Gabrielle Piché
Reporter

Gabby is a big fan of people, writing and learning. She graduated from Red River College’s Creative Communications program in the spring of 2020.

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