Bland tourism slogan draws unexpected but welcome attention to Alberta town

Officials in a southern Alberta town are laughing all the way to the bank over a bland tourism tagline that has fired the imaginations and tickled the funny bones of social media users.

OKOTOKS — Officials in a southern Alberta town are laughing all the way to the bank over a bland tourism tagline that has fired the imaginations and tickled the funny bones of social media users.

The slogan “There are a number of things to do in Okotoks” was photographed on a Calgary transit train and mocked on the Internet this week.

Shane Olson, economic development manager for the community just south of Calgary, isn’t at all offended by the attention.

He says the line was part of a bigger ad that started running on Calgary Transit during the Stampede last July.

The actual catchphrase is “Let your summer unfold in Okotoks” and the “number of things” was meant to draw attention to tourism sites and festivals. There were other segments from the ad inside transit trains which actually did outline “things to do in Okotoks.”

“Hindsight is always 20-20, but we’re having fun with this, and now it’s gone viral and we’re getting a lot of attention for the community,” Olson said Friday.

“We’re highlighting the things that are awesome to do in Okotoks and we’ve created a hashtag .thingstodoinokotoks.”

Social media is playing along with the hashtag and suggesting other slogans.

“Taber may have corn, but you can swear and spit in Okotoks,” writes Giant Blue Ring in reference to a bylaw in Taber, another southern Alberta town, that bans swearing and spitting on the sidewalk.

And in reference to the local tourism attraction known as the “Big Rock,” transported far from its place of origin by glacial ice: “Okotoks we have a rock that can beat paper and scissors,” tweeted Angelo Rinaldi.

Community slogans have been in the news before.

The town of Tisdale, Sask., is considering changing the slogan it has used for 60 years: “Land of Rape and Honey.”

Rape in the slogan refers to rapeseed, which has a number of varieties, including canola.

The entire cost of the Okotoks campaign was $5,000, said Olson, so the community of 25,000 is getting its money’s worth.

“Our whole goal here all along is how do we get Calgarians, being those day-trip visitors that they are, to shop and dine in Okotoks? And now this has gone all over Canada and people are talking about it.”

Added Olson: “We say any town with two OKs in its name must have a sense of humour.”

Just Posted

RCMP looking for these two suspects
Police looking for suspects who stole truck in central Alberta

A Ford F350 was stolen out of Blackfalds on June 9. Two… Continue reading

An excavator is tearing up old parking lots at the Michener Centre north site. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Demolition gets underway at Michener Centre’s north site

Some people are nostaligic, but not everyone is sad to see it go

The Red Deer Indian Industrial school stood off Burnt Lake Trail and across the Red Deer River from Fort Normandeau. The residential school is known to have lost at least 70 students through illness, poor sanitation and nutrition. (Advocate file photo)
Some Indigenous leaders say SNC-Lavalin can’t make up to First Nations people with offer of help

Quebec company is connected to MP Jody Wilson-Raybould allegations

RCMP are looking for this 30-year-old missing woman.
Red Deer RCMP looking for missing woman

The Red Deer RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance to locate… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

(Photo contributed)
Red Deer’s Ernco Braves go 4-0 in opening weekend games

Braves shot out Edmonton Padres in four straight games

Love it or hate it, tequila conjures up strong feelings in many drinkers. For some, there are bad memories. But today’s premium tequilas are changing some of those perceptions. (Photo by The Associated Press)
Rethinking tequila: Premium brands aim to change perceptions

LONDON — Love it or hate it, tequila conjures up strong feelings… Continue reading

This image provided by Glenorangie shows Glenorangie's Giraffe Tin. To enjoy the occasional beverage and also help wildlife, consider Glenorangie's Giraffe Tin. The Highland Scotch maker's stills are the tallest in Scotland, as tall as a giraffe, and the collectible tin is patterned like the animal's coat. Each purchase supports the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. (Glenorangie via AP)
Father’s Day gifts that celebrate interests old and new

After a pandemic year in which the shape of work and play… Continue reading

Pumpjacks are shown pumping crude oil near Halkirk, Alta., on June 20, 2007.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Canada’s crude oil exports have increased 15-fold in 30 years: report

HALIFAX — The value of crude oil exports from Canada has increased… Continue reading

Everlasting Wind, aka Dawn Goodwin, joins others by raising her fist in the Mississippi River near an Enbridge pipeline construction site, on Monday, June 7, 2021, in Clearwater County, Minn., to protest the construction of Enbridge Line 3. Goodwin is a co-founder of RISE Coalition. More than 2,000 Indigenous leaders and "water protectors" gathered in Clearwater County from around the country. The day started with a prayer circle and moved on to a march to the Mississippi headwaters where the oil pipeline is proposed to be built. (Alex Kormann/Star Tribune via AP)
Minnesota court affirms approval of Line 3 oil pipeline

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Court of Appeals on Monday affirmed… Continue reading

Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, speaks during a news conference held by the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable, a coalition of airports, airlines, hotels, boards of trade and chambers of commerce, to urge the federal government to implement a reopening plan for travel and tourism, at the Ottawa Airport in Ottawa, on Monday, June 14, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Canadian business leaders demand plan to reopen borders, economy now

OTTAWA — Business leaders are calling on Ottawa to immediately lay out… Continue reading

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021.  The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

The national spotlight on residential schools is also highlighting a difficult question… Continue reading

Deputy Prime Minister, not shown, and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland joins Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as they participate in a virtual discussion from Ottawa on Monday, May 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberals move to cut debate, force vote on bill to implement 2021 budget

OTTAWA — The Trudeau Liberals moved on Monday to force an end… Continue reading

Most Read