Red Deer’s welcome sign, located at the entrance into the city from the Gaetz Avenue Interchange, has a second component featuring stylized antlers. (Advocate file photo.)

Contemporary, contentious ‘Welcome to Red Deer’ sign is award winning

National BOCSIes honour city’s entrance sign

Whether you love it or hate it, Red Deer’s new entrance sign has won a national award.

The ‘Welcome to Red Deer’ sign that was installed at the south end of the city earlier this year was recognized by the Sign Association of Canada and Sign Media Canada.

It won two awards — Best Freestanding Sign and Best in Show — at the 2019 BOCSIes (Best of Canada’s Sign Industry awards).

“The design of the sign represents the urban vibrant centre Red Deer is and we are humbled that the sign is award-winning by the Sign Association of Canada and Sign Media Canada,” said Julia Harvie-Shemko, director of communications and strategic planning.

The two-part sign resembles an abstract deer and features a contemporary design that incorporates the words Welcome and Bienvenue. Using metal beams and a curved metal ‘ribbon,’ it was designed to guide motorists from the QE2 onto Gaetz Avenue.

According to the City of Red Deer, the ribbons represent Red Deer’s connection to the river that flows through the community. The metal beams symbolize trees and nature.

“The sign helps raise Red Deer’s profile while welcoming residents and visitors,” added Harvie-Shemko, who noted this community is increasingly a destination for large scale events such as the 2019 Canada Winter Games, Canadian Finals Rodeo, Hlinka Gretzky Cup and the 2021 World Juniors.”

While some people have complained of the sign’s cost, Harvie-Shemko said the $746,200 total was actually 30 per cent lower than the budgeted amount of $1.06 million.

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