Mayor Morris Flewwelling helps launch the City of Red Deer's Identity Project on Tuesday.

Identity Project to uncover what city is about

The City of Red Deer is on the lookout for what makes Red Deer special.

The City of Red Deer is on the lookout for what makes Red Deer special.

And it wants the community to help.

On Tuesday, civic leaders announced the Identity Project, which will aim to uncover what Red Deer is all about.

“Red Deer has a personality — we just need your help to articulate it,” says a flashy comic-style postcard.

The $85,000 council-endorsed project will last over the next two years. Creating a formal identity will then be used to better promote the city on the benefits of living, playing and doing business here.

Mayor Morris Flewwelling said the project arose shortly after the municipal election in 2010. The newly elected leaders shared what the community was telling them during the campaigning. As a result, the city crafted the Identity charter, one of six work plans the city would devise.

“Every day, Paris, Vancouver and Edmonton tell the world about their buildings, logos, tag lines — and we immediately know,” said Flewwelling during the launching inside the G.H. Dawe Community Centre.

For Red Deer, one of its most iconic features is the pale green water tower in town, Flewwelling said in reference to the Horton Spheroid standing 40 metres tall in the Mountview area. It also stores 2.27 million litres or 500,000 gallons of water.

Flewwelling later told reporters that he sees Red Deer being a number of things — a caring community, emerging from a small to a big city, plus it’s becoming more cosmopolitan. It’s also known for its natural beauty, its parks. It’s also big on nature conservation.

The key element, though, is what people think makes Red Deer tick. Even Calgary and Edmonton feedback will be included.

The project will be done in three phases:

l Uncovering — asking the public about who we are and compiling data

l Validating — revisiting the public to ensure what we heard is accurate

l Revealing — sharing Red Deer’s authentic story.

Julia Harvie-Shemko, director of Communications and Strategic Planning, said that city staff will attend a number of events and visit establishments to talk to a wide range of people.

People can submit input online at

“Once we analyze the data, we’ll come up with a narrative and it may only be a few sentences,” Harvie-Shemko said. “Then we’ll take that back to the community and ask what you think to see if we actually got it right.”

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