By Heather Ramsay–As the buildings at Second Beach transform into their final shapes, so has the name.
The centre will now be called the Haida Heritage Centre at Qay’llnagaay or Haida Heritage Centre for short, says John Murray of Meadfield Consulting, the marketing firm tasked with introducing the centre to the world.
He said concerns about saying and spelling the name, brought the Qay’llnagaay Heritage Centre management team to this decision. It was also a matter of bringing the word, Haida, front and centre.
“Haida is almost like its own brand on the international market,” he said.
Qay’llnagaay, the Haida word for Sea Lion Town, remains. “It adds an air of authenticity to the name,” he says.
And so the marketing campaign for the Haida Heritage Centre at Qay’llnagaay has been launched.
Mr. Murray says the team is still working on the official visual identity of the centre, including the logo or wordmark. They hope to have this complete by summer. There is still discussion about whether this will be created as an original piece of Haida art.
In the meantime, ads are being placed to create awareness about the centre, but they are trying to target specialized markets.
“You can’t just start blowing a whole tonne of money on advertising,” he said.
So far, the Haida Heritage Centre is being promoted in Frommers, BC Magazine, Canadian Geographic, Northword, Guide to the Queen Charlotte Islands, the Guide to the Yellowhead Highway, and a few more select places.
People who have an interest in cultural tourism and heritage tourism are part of a growing market, but spending advertising dollars in mainstream media like the Vancouver Sun may not zero in on these potential customers. Eighty to 90-percent of the mainstream audience may not be interested in Haida culture, he says.
Canadians are still the main market for the Centre initially, he said, considering the value of the dollar and now the need for passports to travel between the US and Canada. He also said 9/11 is still having an impact on tourism.
His firm is also working to initiate contact with tour operators in Canada and internationally, to encourage them to extend or develop new itineraries in BC.
“In order to bring in groups for 2007, we need to start talking to them now,” he says.
Mr. Murray says a press release is being prepared to interest international media, especially those who have written stories about the islands before.
Included in the media blitz is a brochure about Qay’llnagaay, which will be available at the Vancouver Art Gallery throughout the summer. Mr. Murray said the society wanted to tap into the ready market of people looking at the Haida exhibition, Raven Travelling: Two Centuries of Haida Art.
Qay Centre CEO Robert Dudoward said members of the Vancouver-based marketing team were recently on island and had the chance to meet with the exhibit design team and the architect who were also on island.
He said the website is now live and can be viewed at www.haidaheritagecentre.com.
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