Local Calgary business owners join forces to create community-building signage for business windows that communicates to Calgarians – “this is temporary, we will be back!
[ APRIL 8, 2020 ] CALGARY, AB - Project #TogetherYYC is a ground level initiative for Calgarians, by Calgarians, founded by Lisa Shelley CEO of Neal’s Yard Remedies and Jennifer Rempel owner of Urban Productions Group. Together they have launched a series of future-focused, positive, and accessible signage for business windows that works to tell a story, inform consumers, and spread a message of solidarity, while shifting the conversation and bringing Calgarians together - by being apart.
The project features four unique window posters, that are colour-coded to communicate directly with Calgarians one of four messages:
- Red: We’ll be back
- Orange: Shop / order online
- Teal: Open for take-out
- Purple: Curbside pick-up
The posters, designed by local freelance designer Jennie Price, can be accessed (for free) through the website, easily downloaded and printed on a standard 8.5x11 poster paper. Working together they have set a goal to see a poster in every business window to convey the message that we stand together, we can do this, and we WILL be back.
For insurance purposes, all brick-and-mortar locations must be checked on every few days. It’s during this time that business owners are encouraged to hang their signs so as to not leave their homes unnecessarily.
HOW PROJECT #TOGETHERYYC CAME TO BE
Anyone who has ventured out on Calgary’s streets anytime since March 13 knows all too well the sad sight of shuttered doors and windows of local businesses, closing directly as a result of COVID-19, impacting our city in more ways than we can count. Hastily taped to many doors, are signs of closure with meek messaging and narratives conveying uncertainty for the future. In passing talks about Calgary’s current state, the duo agreed that it was time to shift the conversation to a more proactive and positive dialogue.
“As Calgarians, we face adversity by coming together. As a flood victim in 2013, my family was fortunate to benefit from the Calgary community spirit first-hand. We had volunteers delivering sandwiches, helping remove furniture from basements and delivering fuel for generators. We surpassed that very difficult time by coming together, says Shelley. “In the face of COVID-19, we understand the importance of staying apart, but that doesn’t mean we can’t come together in solidarity, we just have to be creative about it.”
“When Lisa mentioned how negative all the closed signs were and her dream of changing this narrative, I immediately jumped on board and said ‘let’s do it!’ says Rempel. “I wanted to find a way to help, and with my years of experience working on events in Calgary and connecting the local community I knew that if we all joined together we could bring this dream to life.”
The duo has plans to launch a residential version for families to spread this positive message with their neighbours, along with a community-building platform to demonstrate the hard work local Calgarians are doing to support each other.
Download your free sign for your business window here.
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Project #TogetherYYC is a ground-level initiative for Calgarians, by Calgarians. Our goal is to spread a message of solidarity throughout the city by providing future-focused, positive, and accessible resources for businesses, individuals, and communities to shift the conversation and bring Calgarians together – by being apart.
It’s also important to note that this is a collaborative project that has been made possible through the efforts of various community partners throughout the city, including:
- Curiocity Calgary, - Headline Media Sponsor
- Kristy Archibald, Pedestrian Agency - Media + Communications Support
- Jennie Price, Freelance Graphic Design Support
- Phoebe Fung, Founder of Vin Room
ABOUT THE TEAM
Lisa Shelley – CEO of Neal’s Yard Remedies
As a University of Calgary graduate and designated Chartered Accountant formerly with EY, Lisa grew her career in London, England providing leadership, strategic and operational advice to multi-national and SME’s on four continents. This experience allowed her to combine her passion for business, health and wellness with entrepreneurship by building Neal’s Yard Remedies – a British-founded wellness brand focusing on award-winning organic skincare – across Canada. With her diverse background, she is conscious about giving back and mentoring emerging entrepreneurs through her other position as Managing Director of Citrus Capital Partners, where she provides strategic and financial advice to small and medium business in Western Canada. She is also currently the Chair of the Board of the 4thStreet BIA and on the board for the YWCA Calgary.
Jennifer Rempel – Owner Urban Productions Group
Jennifer has been running event production with small businesses, local restaurants, and various festivals around the city since 2000. Most notably her first major step into the industry was leading the event logistics for the 4th Street Lilac Festival and working as the Executive Director of the 4thStreet Business Improvement Area (BIA). Now, 20 years later, she has not only grown Lilac Festival into one of Calgary’s highest attended festivals year-after-year, but she continues to produce and create her own festivals that light up the city and connect the community through her own event production company, Urban Productions Group. Taste of Calgary, The Inglewood Night Market, Fiestaval Latin Festival, Canada Day at Eau Claire, Mexifest and more, are just a few of the notable events on her yearly roster.
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P: 403 837 4310