Motorists cruising Black Diamond’s busiest streets have been directing their gaze upwards.
On June 18, 16 diamond-shaped black metal cut-out banners boasting five different images have replaced more than half a dozen canvas banners along Government Road and Centre Avenue that took a beating from the weather the past three years. Some of the old, undamaged banners, which bear the Town’s new logo, still remain on some of the light standards.
Black Diamond special events co-ordinator Kelly Tuck said within a year of the 12 canvas banners going up, staff realized they had a problem.
“The banners were an issue because they kept coming down and it cost money to have someone continually put them back,” she said. “It’s so windy in the area that trying to keep anything secured is crazy.”
Tuck said the banners were getting tattered and wrecked from the weather.
“They kept blowing down and we would find them throughout the community or people would drop them off,” she said. “One day there was six of them on my desk that had been brought in.”
In her search to find a solution, Tuck came up with the idea of metal banners.
Through consultation with staff, council and members of the public, it was decided that each banner would feature one of five images representative of Black Diamond: a coal cart, the arts, horses and the mountains, the foothills landscape and wildlife.
“The new metal banners speak to all of the elements that are in the community and each one mirrors our economic development logo,” she said. “If you look inside each one of the diamonds, you will see those things.”
Tuck said the banners tell a story of Black Diamond’s past and present.
“When they look at each one of those as they continue on into the community it speaks to where Black Diamond has started and where Black Diamond has headed along the way,” she said. “This project has been a long time coming because obviously the other banners weren’t working. It complements our community.”
Five banners were placed on Government Road, nine on Centre Avenue and two at the municipal office. Each banner cost $545, said Tuck.
“People are just loving them,” she said. “We’re getting lots of positive comments.”
While the new metal banners will last decades, Tuck said they will require resurfacing once every 12 years or so.
Tuck said the banners are just one component of council’s strategic plan in the areas of economic development and beautification.
One of the goals of the strategic plan, Tuck said, is to communicate and engage with the public by finding events and projects that showcase the community. She said the banners fit that goal.
Tuck said she would like to see more metal banners placed on light standards along the town’s two busy streets, which will occur when grants and budgets allow, yet the Town is faced with some limitations.
“Fortis Alberta has guidelines they have to abide by,” she said. “The Town has an agreement with Fortis for what is allowed on the poles and on what poles.”
Some poles are secured by cement while others are breakaway, meaning if they’re struck by a vehicle they’re designed to fall a certain way so as to not injure the people in the vehicle, Tuck said, adding these latter light standards cannot have anything secured to them.
As for the canvas banners, Tuck has other plans for them.
“Over the next little while I would like to see the canvas banners placed in some of our parks and arenas," she said. "We would still like to utilize the ones that are in good shape and just place them in areas out of the wind."