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Niagara Falls
Sunday, April 14, 2024
Letter to the editor: Don’t fear new ideas, like corporate branding


Dear editor:

Re: Glenn Young’s letter, “NOTL could reap millions by working with corporate brands,” The Lake Report, June 6.

How interesting to notice in the Globe and Mail last week, a full-colour picture of an extremely generous couple donating $ 5 million to the Stratford Festival. 

But much more interesting was the accompanying text explaining that there would be a dedicated space in the theatre centre – renamed in their honour.

Thankfully, there are those of us who can listen confidently to people with positive ideas and understand that not everything needs to be viewed using the “slippery slope” theory. Corporations and individuals can, and are, generous contributors to society. They do not always have nefarious, ulterior motives.

In a day and age where town council was trying to balance a budget by discussing how much the annual increase to parking fees to tourists should be, perhaps we need to think outside that proverbial box and be more open to examining new ideas in our community.

Having lived in Whistler during the 1990s, I watched as a small, Canadian, ski resort town evolved from competing locally with Banff and Tremblant, into an international world-class ski resort, on par with the likes of Vail, Aspen, Val-d’Isere and countless other world-renowned European resorts. 

This change was accomplished with the unique combination of all the big players working together: Whistler Blackcomb Mountain, the Town of Whistler and the Chamber of Commerce/Tourism Whistler.

This group opened themselves to the world and marketed their brand, understanding fully the uniqueness of their product, never underestimating the required control. They used strong control, never wavering from their plan, resisting the compromising deal makers.

On a more personal note, as an original volunteer on the Whistler Cup in 1993 (still going now after 27 years), our ski club began an annual event that brought many future Olympians, who were 12 to 15 years old at the time, to their first international event.

Without branding and sponsorships, with event budgets today in excess of $1 million, this event would have no chance of surviving.

The town extends open arms to this and many other branded events, understanding that to remain current in world events this is the only way to succeed. 

Corporate sponsors have marketing budgets to spend. These companies want to support worthy causes, be they sports, the arts or individual communities. This money will find a home.

Why not here? NOTL needs to participate. 

With control and without fear.

John Jacques


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