It was with some trepidation, as well as much excitement and enthusiasm, that members of our Brand Image Committee met on the grey morning of 24 November for the first time, in the cozy Café Chez l’Éditeur at the Montreal offices of publisher Québec-Amérique.
The committee is made up of eight members from widely varied backgrounds and all parts of the country. Coming together and meeting one another for the first time were contemporary artist Michael Nicoll Yagulhanaas from British Columbia; writer Harold Johnson, Saskatchewan; Wendy Whitebear of the University of Regina Press, Saskatchewan; Chélanie Beaudin-Quintin of Les Éditions Michel Quintin, Quebec; Caroline Fortin of Les Éditions Québec-Amérique, Quebec; Antoine Tanguay of Les Éditions Alto, Quebec; literary agent Marilyn Biderman, Ontario; and Judy Brunsek of Owlkids, Ontario.
De g. à d. : Chélanie, Harold, Marilyn, Wendy, Michael, Judy, Caroline et Antoine.
The meeting, which generated a lively dialogue, was organized as a brainstorming session and led by Hanneke Ronken and Anne-Laure Mathieu, two social and cultural innovation strategists with The Art of Connexion. Theirs was a worthy challenge: in the course of the morning, committee members had to come up with a vision, values and a goal based on our Canadian identity.
Different Canadian images were quickly singled out for their relative strengths and weaknesses and the associations they have for other cultures. Little by little, as the discussion ranged beyond ideas of nature, easy-going Canadians, hockey and maple leaves, the deeper, more authentic values started to emerge, together with the trends and contrasts that will guide the design firm assigned to create Canada’s slogan and logo for the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2020.
We expect that out of this meeting will come a highly original and very memorable concept, in what is definitely a process to follow!
Photos: Judy Brunsek et Isabelle Gauvin