Oak Bay puts a friendly face on tourism

Oak Bay Tourism session looks at branding opportunities

Coun. Tom Croft at a trail head straight off Oak Bay Avenue. Stakeholders at a recent branding session suggested Oak Bay needs more signage or other measures to help people find the waterfront from the village.

Coun. Tom Croft at a trail head straight off Oak Bay Avenue. Stakeholders at a recent branding session suggested Oak Bay needs more signage or other measures to help people find the waterfront from the village.

Friendly. That’s the word that won out after a vote from about 50 stakeholders representing all walks of business and residents at the latest branding session hosted by the Oak Bay Tourism Committee.

The vote was in response to the question: “If you could only choose three words to describe Oak Bay what would they be?” That was one of many thought-provoking questions put forward to the group at the March 2 meeting.

“It was a really good session, we got a lot of excellent feedback,” said Coun. Tom Croft, council liaison to the Oak Bay Tourism Committee. “We’ve got a clear understanding of what people see the current brand of Oak Bay is and where they would like to see the brand move to.”

Oak Bay Tourism made a short presentation to council recently to recap highlights from 2014 and offer an overview of the 2015 plan and priorities.

As part of their stakeholder engagement, Oak Bay Tourism budgeted $7,000 this year for brand foundation workshops such as the session at municipal hall last week.

“Overall we seemed to repeat the same things that have been repeated in the past, but I think we have to deliver. What I’m getting from people is we need to deliver on the promise that you have a unique experience in Oak Bay … Are we delivering to the degree that we would like to?” Croft said. “A lot of that is not just marketing but destination development.”

For example, things to draw people to the community, and provide things like boat rentals at the shoreline.

Oak Bay Marina, for example, has plans to bring back fishing vessel rentals, providing an option for visitors.

But a part of the issue identified is getting guests, and new residents, from the village to the water.

“We seem to be missing the usage of our waterfront so there’s a lot of ideas there,” Croft said. “We don’t have that way-finding from the village, it’s a direct line, but we don’t have that way-finding.”

The question: “What would you like to see as a result of this branding process?” got a few contradictory statements such as bury the Tweed image and build on traditions.

Build and bury isn’t a new concept, said Croft.

“We’ve been through bury the Tweed to embrace the Tweed. From tourism’s point of view we want to build on the Tweed but the new Tweed, not stiff British,” said Croft.

He was a part of the committee for three years prior to being elected to council last fall and part of the original branding strategies.

“We know that we’re moving away from it (old Tweed) with the young people and the demand for more walking, more cycling and more community activities,” Croft said.

This year the annual Tweed Ride moves into Oak Bay on Aug. 8, providing the kick-off event to arts and culture week that will include the annual car show on Oak Bay Avenue and wrap with Bowker Brush up. Both are fairly lengthy traditions in Oak Bay.

Those types of activities could create some linkage to another area of concern heard at the branding session, geographical connection.

“The other thing I heard … the community is fragmented,” Croft said. “The community is saying they want more collaboration with more communities (within) Oak Bay.”

Consultant Dan Dagg of Hot House Marketing is expected to report on the findings from the two-hour session in about three months.





Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A pinniped was attacked by an unseen predator off the shores of Dallas Road Monday night. (Courtesy of Steffani Cameron)
VIDEO: Seal hunting, not being hunted in video shot off Dallas Road

Victoria woman captures footage of pinniped activity off Dallas Road

Muddy Valley Farm in rural Saanich is calling for witnesses after its large metal gate was stolen overnight on Monday, Jan. 18. (Muddy Valley Farm/Facebook)
Rural Saanich farm reports large metal gate stolen

Muddy Valley Farm gate stolen overnight by ‘at least two people’

In January, six flights with cases of COVID-19 onboard have landed at the Victoria International Airport so far. (Black Press Media file photo)
Two new COVID-19 exposures reported on flights to Victoria

A Jan. 10 flight from Toronto and Jan. 11 flight from Calgary were affected

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

A mattress on fire gutted the second floor hallway at Town Park Apartments C-block Jan. 17. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue images)
‘Suspicious’ Port Hardy apartment fire could keep tenants out of their homes for months

A burning mattress created smoke and heat, causing several tenants to jump from windows

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

A new video from NCCIH and BC Northern Health titled ‘Healing in Pandemic Times: Indigenous Peoples, Stigma and COVID-19’ was animated by Joanne Gervais. (Photo Provided By: NCCIH Archives)
VIDEO: Stigma against Indigenous people is a ‘social sickness’

A new short animated video is aiming to educate the public on the stigmatization

Nanaimo RCMP are investigating after a threat was made at Woodgrove Centre on Tuesday, Jan. 19. (News Bulletin file photo)
Threat directed at Nanaimo mall, RCMP investigating

Police have searched areas of Woodgrove Centre accessible to shoppers and have deemed it safe

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau vows to keep up the fight to sway U.S. on merits of Keystone XL pipeline

Canada’s pitch to the Biden team has framed Keystone XL as a more environmentally friendly project than original

The British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA) sent out a sharply worded release late last week, in which it noted that the Tourism Industry Association of BC recently obtained a ‘legal opinion’ on the matter (Alex Passini photo)
Hotel associations push back against any potential ban on inter-provincial, non-essential travel restrictions

B.C. Premier John Horgan is seeking legal advice on banning non-essential travel

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
COVID rapid tests in long-term care key during vaccine rollout: B.C. care providers

‘Getting kits into the hands of care providers should be a top priority,’ says former Health Minister

Most Read