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Public asked to help define Mission’s ‘brand’

“Friendly,” “locally strong,” and “lots of outside stuff” are just a few phrases being used to describe Mission.

What other words come to mind?

The Mission Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Mission Community Services Society (MCSS) and Community Futures North Fraser (CFNF) to develop a brand for this community.

“Mission doesn’t have a logo or brand,” said Manrose Mann, who is working on the project with the chamber. “We’re trying to define Mission.”

To do that, organizers are asking for stories and photos to describe who lives here and why. Representatives are canvassing the community and have created a Facebook page called Mission’s Brand to collect the information. There’s a different question each week to stimulate conversation.

The district’s economic development office is also supporting the exercise.

“I’m not sure if we will have a brand at the end of this, but there is … enough interest in pursuing how Mission is perceived,” said Stacey Crawford, economic development officer, explaining that branding is the impression a community leaves or evokes.

Externally, there isn’t a “particularly positive perception” of Mission, said Crawford, and “sometimes we fall into the trap locally, too.”

Those involved in the project are trying to create a positive message around Mission to help with growth in the community, particularly in the downtown and waterfront developments.

There is a lot to work with and Mission has so much to offer, noted Crawford, who plans to use the brand to better promote the community.

“We just need to better tell our story, both in the community and externally.”

In addition to looking at Mission to attract businesses and investors, the social aspect of the community also has to be considered, said MCSS executive director Sanjay Gulati.

“Mission is a mixed society,” said Gulati. “Social is a key component … through us, we will bring it into the mix. We can be inclusive and be respectful of everyone.”

MCSS is reaching out to clients through social media and engaging staff to join the discussion. People will come to Mission if the brand is strong and the community is inclusive, regardless of a person’s background or condition, Gulati explained.

CFNF executive director Allan Main is on holidays and could not be reached for comment on how his organization is involved and how it will help define Mission.

Stories and submissions will be explored throughout the summer. The project will end with a workshop to define Mission on Sept. 25. Bob Rennie of Rennie and Associates Realty will be the keynote speaker for the free public event at the Clarke Theatre from 7 to 9 p.m. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

For more information call the Chamber of Commerce at 604-826-6914 or visit missionchamber.bc.ca.

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