Out-of-town businesses selected for community branding initiative

Only one Summerland photographer chosen for tourism branding project.

Dear Editor:

While the Summerland Chamber of Economic Development and Tourism verbally promotes shopping locally, it appears their talk has little to do with their actions.

This fall SCEDT had a budget of $16,000 for creating a new marketing look for the town of Summerland.

This re-branding project required the services of photographers and a graphic designer.

Out of the $16,000, less than 15 per cent was spent locally in Summerland.

As a chamber member and a graphic designer and photographer, I find it hard to believe that local talent couldn’t have been employed for the job.

I also find it disconcerting that our local businesses who formed the Tourism Advisory Committee weren’t more vocal about hiring from Summerland’s pool of talented graphic designers and photographers.

The photography portion of the re-branding was awarded to three photography businesses.

Only one of them was from Summerland – receiving one third of the $6,000 photography budget.

The other two photographers, and the graphic designer were from Kamloops, Okanagan North/Shuswap and Vernon.

Their local businesses will be thanking the Summerland Chamber considering they’ve just added more disposable dollars to their communities.

Shopping locally? Business friendly? I don’t think so. SCEDT consistently farms out branding and marketing projects to outside agencies.

The current Chamber of Commerce president, Arlene Fenrich, is quoted from a 2011 Daybreak interview: “We’ve seen businesses come and go for one thing, we’ve seen businesses shut their doors completely, we’ve also seen businesses relocate to more vibrant communities and we’ve seen a number of significant job losses.”

No wonder.

Stephanie Seaton

Unlimited Vision

Summerland