Edmonton will not be called the City of Champions again.
The City’s Council voted today on bringing back the slogan to the ‘Welcome to Edmonton’ signs on the outskirts of the city. As Elise Stolte of Postmedia reports, bringing back the slogan was voted down, with five votes for ‘Yes’, seven votes for ‘No’, and one undecided. Mayor Don Iveson was among one of the ‘No’ votes.
City of Champions was removed from Edmonton signs back in April 2015. Iveson claimed his rationale was that “we are in a post-tagline era” and that he wanted to move Edmonton into a new era. Instead, the sign now reads ‘Welcome to Edmonton, Alberta’s Capital City.
The issue was resurrected this year by a group called ‘Friends of Edmonton A City of Champions.’ The goal was to bring back the slogan and add City of Champions to the sign again. It didn’t happen, and Iveson had a similar stance on the topic two years later.
Iveson said that of the problem is there’s not consensus on what City of Champions means. “(It) proves the point that it’s hard to tether a civic identity to something that has that ambiguity for people.”
Councillor Michael Oshry echoed the sentiments, saying Slogans are out of date and they don’t work … at the end of the day the city means different things to different people and you can’t encompass what it means to everybody by a slogan.”
There seems to be a lot of confusion around the slogan. Many believe it was coined because of the great success the Oilers and Eskimos had in the 1980’s. In reality, it was because of the city’s response to the devastating Tornado in 1987.
“On July 31, 1987, a devastating tornado (ranked F4 on the Fujita scale) hit the city and killed 27 people. The storm hit the areas of Beaumont, Mill Woods, Bannerman, Fraser, and Evergreen. The day became known as “Black Friday.” Then-mayor Laurence Decore cited the community’s response to the tornado as evidence that Edmonton was a “city of champions,” which popularized the city’s unofficial slogan originally coined in 1984 to promote Edmonton. It was further popularized in a sporting context later in 1987 upon the Edmonton Eskimos winning the Grey Cup after the Edmonton Oilers won the Stanley Cup earlier in the year.” History of Edmonton on Wikipedia.
Well, Oilersnation, what are your thoughts? Who cares? Happy the talk is over with? Or did Council mess up here? Are they lacking in awareness? Or is Iveson right in saying slogans are outdated? I personally thought it was odd they felt the need to get rid of something in 2015, and most people I’ve talked to seemed to identify with it.