A capital C — or perhaps a more stylized letter. Those were suggestions from several Champlain Township councillors after they looked at three logos as part of the initial steps to rebrand the municipality. Three modified logos were considered at the township’s special meeting on March 22, 2023.
West Hawkesbury Ward Councillor Sarah Bigelow suggested adding a capital C to the logo using a sans-serif font and discussion ensued about ensuring the C stood out in some way, similar to the ‘H’ that the Town of Hawkesbury often uses as a standalone logo. Bigelow added that after her initial view at the first logo presentation session, she agreed that a second look did make a difference. Bigelow had admitted that she did not like any of the logos when four logos were presented to council.
Vankleek Hill Ward Councillor Peter Barton said that his comments might not be that positive. “I viewed the video (of the meeting at which the logos were presented) and I realize that there is a specific language and that this is a reflection of the interpretation of a strategic plan,” Barton said.
Pointing out that the consulting firm (Cundari) pointed out the need to differentiate Champlain Township from other municipalities, Barton said that he found the logo to be generic. “This could fit any community, any time,” Barton said. “I realize they (the consultants) outlined a number of reasons for doing this, it being part of a greater plan and part of messaging for staff,” Barton continued. But the name itself may be a problem, Barton suggested.
“Everybody is either from L’Orignal or Vankleek Hill,” Barton said, acknnowledging that council had debated the colours and the logos at length previously. “I can live with the first one one, with a bigger ‘C’,” Barton said. “If and when we move forward, I would like to see signs, etc replaced by attrition; I don’t want to see a layout of a whole lot of money,” Barton said.
“I get that rebranding is needed; we need to be new,” Barton commented. But a logo can only do so much.
Communications Specialist Zoe Fortin explained that Cundari had looked at the logos of other municipalities and was trying to avoid the pitfalls of icons common to other municipalities, such as tractor wheels, trees and wheat.
Barton said that he appreciated what was presented but that at first blush, “It doesn’t hit all the points with me. We have Vankleek Hill, the Gingerbread Capital of Ontario and L’Orignal, which is known for its beautiful beach and I just don’t see that here. But I realize we have to move forward, so drive on,” Barton said.
Mayor Normand Riopel said that the use of the logo could include understanding of the history of Vankleek Hill, for example. “That might be a way to look at it,” Riopel said, pointing out that the old logo is very similar to the new one — adding that it is just the font that changes and that three dots were added and that the ‘parentheses’ at each side of Champlain Township were removed.
West Hawkesbury Ward Councillor Gerry Miner suggested that if and when the municipality decides to re-do signs, that it emulate the model used in Grenville-sur-la-Rouge, which names the community underneath the name of the municipality.
“I don’t think the idea was to get away from our communities. My address is Hawkesbury. I’m not from L’Orignal or Vankleek Hill. My roots are in West Hawkesbury. It has an identity. It’s easy enough to keep those names.
Bigelow had a further question about the use of the logo, asking if it would become universal. Fortin replied that there would be a variation of the logo which would be adapted for municipal departments.
In the end, councillors voted for option one, with a capital ‘C’, possibly designed to stand out on its own.