Letters: On branding Port Renfrew

Port Renfrew needs its own brand, not a copy of another town

It is true that there have been many interests in developing Port Renfrew. It has long been known that the area is rich is resources including massive fish runs, trees big enough to build a whole house from, and precious minerals hidden in the hillsides. The stoic Port San Juan invited all inside to rest from the fierce storms barrelling the Graveyard of the Pacific.

Now there are a new assemblage of investment firms, and entrepreneurs that seek to provide the town the credit it deserves. We would all like to see job creation, increased tourist capacity, more available housing for renting/buying, and thriving amenities. Let us take time to review the Official Community Plan and make priorities with the various development corporations to understand the long term plan together. We are not planning to be the next Tofino, we are planning to be the best Port Renfrew today.

Can we start by having the existing local residents buy into the new branding, and be included in the decision making process? If there is to be a card lock gas station, lets talk about the potential to create another job there, or if the water and sewage treatment are at capacity then there is opportunity to make the ultimately necessary plans towards developing a solution.

At the chamber of commerce meeting last week, a local business owner was astonished to see the proposed new Port Renfrew welcome sign displayed by a man wearing a Tall Tree Music festival hoodie; both images identical in logo, in font, and word choice.  The Tall Tree Capital was the slogan. Our town could also be called the “Save on Memorial Park of Port Renfrew,” home to the highly acclaimed Tall Tree Music Festival… We can do better than that. This community does not want to have the identity of your boutique music festival!

We would like to schedule a community meeting in May. We need to talk about the 2003 Official Community Plan, and integrate all of this recent change. It could be positive, and it’s true we do want to keep our kids in the school here, and share how grateful we are to live here. But we need to maintain a unilateral integrity with the lands, waters, culture, and people of the area.

Port Renfrew’s people must be heard and included into the rapid expansion of our some what sleepy town – we may be slow, but we are definitely not stupid.

Kristine Pearson

Port Renfrew