Prince George might be undermining itself with this one weird word
“That word (or its variation) is “Northern” or “North”. I’m not sure when this word started to creep in and entered almost all of our efforts in the marketing or description of Prince George but it’s really not the truth… Located at N53 54’ on the globe we are basically on the same parallel as Edmonton, Saskatoon, Kingscourt Ireland and Manchester England. When you look up the promotion or description of these cities no where do they describe themselves as Northern or in the North.”
So why does it matter?
“For the past year during the course of my career I have asked when talking to people in other major centers like Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and from out of country if they had a choice to live in the South, Central or North of somewhere what would they choose, given no more explanation than just that. The choice is almost always South and Central and rarely North.”
Every once in a while at CBC, I’ll get an angry email from somebody in Dawson Creek or Smithers telling me that Prince George is not really “north” and we should stop saying we are. It never occurred to me that abandoning the word might be good marketing.
Update: Ken Coates, founding vice-president of the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George responds.
Update two: So does former Prince George mayor John Backhouse.