A series of 15 billboards touting Edmonton as a “city of champions” began popping up through the city Tuesday afternoon.
They’ve been bought through a group of volunteers, who are intent on preserving the slogan.
“The first one went up today,” spokesman Wilf Brooks said. “The billboards were put up by a friend of the city of champions [group] who reached out to his industry and people said yeah, we like this, we agree with it and we’ll run these.”
— A City Of Champions (@YegCityOfChamps) May 16, 2017
He said the Edmonton Oilers playoff run helped, but this campaign is as much about other aspects of life in Edmonton as it is with sports.
“It’s a big part of our past. It’s current and I hope it’s a big part of our future for the sake of the younger generations coming up,” Brooks said.
“It’s something to be proud of.”
The Facebook page points to things Edmonton is proud of that has nothing to do with sports, like the region’s ethnic mix that’s celebrated with the Heritage Festival, the ribbon of green that is the river valley and how everyone took up the recycling program when landfill troubles loomed in 1998.
“People never knew why they took [the slogan signs] down,” Brooks said. “The strategy was to put it in front of the people and to ask why they went away and see if we could get council’s attention.”
“The issue was they shouldn’t have been taken down until they had something to replace them with.”
Brooks said they’ll gauge public opinion through the end of the month and collect other examples of why the slogan still fits Edmonton. If they’re wrong and the slogan isn’t as fitting as the group thinks it is, “it’ll die a natural death.”
The issue will be before city council May 30.