News Local

'Island on the Prairies' goes national

By Aaron Wilgosh, The Graphic

The 'Island on the Prairies' logo. (supplied photo)

The 'Island on the Prairies' logo. (supplied photo)

Portage la Prairie was recently in the national spotlight thanks to the Mixed Doubles Curling Trials held at Stride Place, and the new tourism slogan ‘Island on the Prairies’ took centre stage as a part of each sheet displayed during each draw of the event.

“I was very excited to learn that when the branding opportunity for the ice came up they decided to use the tourism brand instead of the city slogan,” says Portage Regional Economic Development (PRED) executive director, Vern May. “Travel Manitoba is going to be tickled to see how well we’ve embraced the brand and how it’s being launched. I’m looking forward to the partnerships between the city, the RM, and Travel Manitoba.”

The RM of Portage council members all agreed it was a great slogan for the tourism brand for Portage la Prairie. The city has yet to approve the slogan but it was discussed at their most recent council meeting and should be approved in a couple of weeks. The city and RM struggled with tourism partnerships prior to May’s arrival, and not too long ago there was a tourism website that the city operated but any social media platforms were separate entities. 

“It’s nice to have a brand that ties the city and RM together when it relates to tourism, and that was something we were missing and we now have,” adds RM of Portage Reeve, Kam Blight. “We have two amazing municipalities with a lot of great attractions to offer to people and it’s nice to have a brand that ties it all together.”

The tourism brand is moving ahead very quickly, as the Island on the Prairies is committed to an ad in Travel Manitoba’s print guide which comes out January 27. Right now the website for Island on the Prairies isn’t yet active but will be printed in the ad. May says they’re focusing on getting it up and running quickly. 

“We have some organizations that are feeling underrepresented or not reflected by our efforts with tourism, particularly with the RM,” adds May. “We’ve had a number of assets related to hunting and fishing that are very attractive to people from the United States. We need to be collaborative and immersive in everything we have to offer and sell it in a way that makes the city and RM more attractive.”

After the print ad in Travel Manitoba, PRED plans to offer up a Portage la Prairie colouring book, then try and merchandise some of the new Island on the Prairies logo and have it sold in stores around town.


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