The Strathcona Gardens Commission has approved adding another promotional banner on the fence in front of Strathcona Gardens despite claims from its staff that the signs are not effective.
At last week’s commission meeting, members gave Campbell River Minor Lacrosse the go-ahead to add its banner to the chainlink fence that already holds banners promoting the recreation complex, Campbell River Storm and the Strathcona Regional District.
Danielle Bell, 2nd vice-chair of the Campbell River Minor Lacrosse, said the intention behind the banner is to raise awareness of the sport and bring more spectators to Campbell River Ravens games.
“We are always looking for new ways to increase public awareness of the sport and felt that signage at the arena where many of our practices and all of our games are held would be a great start,” Bell told the Mirror. “We are very grateful to Strathcona Gardens and to the Strathcona Regional District for their many years of support and assistance in helping the sport of lacrosse and the Campbell River Minor Lacrosse Association grow.”
But Strathcona Gardens staff say they’re not too sure the banners are the right answer.
“Staff believe inserting signage on the front entrance fence from various community groups and program promotion provides little to no effectiveness to passersby,” wrote Susan Bullock, program manager, and Yves Bienvenu, facility manager, in a report to the Strathcona Gardens Commission. “There is no evidence to date that indicates the Strathcona Gardens promotional banner presently on the fence has increased participation in programs or services.”
Staff also wrote that the banners potentially pose safety concerns.
“Furthermore, drivers of vehicles on Dogwood Street need to turn their heads to get a good view of the banners,” Bullock and Bienvenu wrote. “This becomes a distraction to drivers which in itself could be a potential safety hazard. The present signage should be removed and replaced with a custom design fence that is appealing and non- distracting.”
They did acknowledge, however, that there is some merit in having the banners where they are in order to hide the “unattractive site of the recycling bins” in front of the parking lot.
Nevertheless, the commission, upon receiving the staff report, voted to have staff draft a signage policy for Strathcona Gardens in order to provide some consistency and guidance when it comes to promotion.
Staff said as it stands now, there’s much left to be desired.
“As users approach the Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex facility via Dogwood Street entrance they are immediately struck by the unpleasant sight of recycling canisters and inconsistent signage attempting to camouflage the unattractive view,” Bullock and Bienvenu wrote. “Existing promotional banners should be placed on the outside of Arena 2 as you enter the driveway leading to Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex.”