Thursday, September 27, 2012
Further to my last post on Branding, I want to share some of my thoughts on where I think we should be going, and in time, where I hope to lead us.
Last night's get-together made me recognize that my blanket statement here on this blog in posts past of being against pumping more money into Heritage as being a colossal waste of not only money, but energy, time, and effort as well, that has produced little in the way of tangible results, may have been misinterpreted? I should have been more specific in that Heritage encompasses a lot, whereas I specifically and exclusively meant our 'Mining' heritage. Mining heritage has in my opinion been overdone here. We don't need to be preserving more buildings and former mine sites when there is an overabundance of these in so many other communities on both sides of our provincial borders, and in the U.S. as well.
Heritage per se on the other hand is definitely something I support wholeheartedly. I'm proud of certain aspects of our heritage here and I believe we'd be fools not to capitalize on them.
In fact, in this regard, if I had my way we would rename 20th Ave. in Blairmore back to its former name of Tim Buck Ave. in recognition of our past worker/union and leftist (communist) leanings. The fact that in the thirties we had Canada's only democratically elected 'communist' municipal council attests to the fact that our community of communities has been both different and unique. Add Rum Running, Emperor Pic (Filumena Opera), labour unrest and activism, union strikes (scabs), disasters, adversity, resiliency, courage, audacity tempered (or enhanced) by a people that at times were not only rebellious, spirited and wild, but with Thunder in the Valley, as an example, still knew how to celebrate life... no matter what it threw at them. Brave, hearty people who stood their ground, never giving an inch, asking for no quarter but to be left alone to earn an honest living in order to provide for them and their families, and to lead a simple life with honour and dignity that comes from doing an honest, hard days work. There is a bonanza of marketability here!
In my opinion, from a marketing point of view what we have is nothing less than 'manna from heaven'. Change our street names, change the facade on some of our buildings to better reflect an earlier time when the working man and socialism ruled. Where people cared and took care of one another through thick and thin, sharing their diversity while also staying close and true to their own culture, customs and ethnicity, having a common bond with their brothers and sisters, while at the same time maintaining a spirited rivalry between communities that in time has only brought us closer, rather than allowing physicality to keep us apart.
Add to the above, as the couple next to me last night pointed out, we have all sorts of talented and creative people living here. From: musicians, singers, choirs, writers, crafts people, painters, etc., etc., the list goes on and on. And probably one of the most ethnic diversities of people anywhere in North America. This alone could be capitalized on, if handled right. Needing only a central location and a coordinator to schedule events, promote entertainments, concerts, plays, etc., etc., showcasing the talents of our people, and our diversity. Add to this ethnic food fairs with period costumes, store fronts and businesses in like-manner, and the possibilities are endless... Heck, maybe we'll even have a union protest march down Tim Buck Boulevard now and then, followed by a meeting at Gazebo Park (Red Square) with local rabble-rousers (like in London's Piccadilly Square) stirring up the people to hang a banker or two. :-) Great fun - great entertainment! :-)
We have Heritage galore, lacking only a plan and a coordinator ('catalyst') to take action in making things come together, once we receive our 'branding' and marketing plan.
The strength of our future lies in our past. What we do in the present, will determine what we make of it. Let's hope we make the right decisions. Taking advantage and capitalizing on our past, I think, is an option, one of many out there, but one which I think in time will prove to be the right one.
Note: The above, like my idea of a Hotel/Casino Convention Centre for the CLC, are ideas that I have shared with you my readers with the primary intention of getting people to think and talk about their ideas and suggestions. The more people that get involved the better and more options we as a community will have to choose from. So don't be afraid to share what you think. Because you never know, it may very well be one whose time is yet to come, as we move our community forward towards the twenty-first century, by way of recreating our proud past in the twentieth.
In our past lies our future. By our own hands and decisions we will be damned and we will be saved.