Promotional - Items | Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands
Purpose of Project
The Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands (TLTI) pulled out all the stops for its Canada 150 Celebrations throughout 2017. The goal was to instill a sense of pride in the community; and to connect residents and tourists with the country. To this end, staff spearheaded a range of activities that include: connecting Canadian content with community events; raffling off a heritage school playhouse; generating and sharing 365 social media posts about our community culture and heritage; installation of 150 Canada Maple Leaf stepping stones in our municipal parks and other public lands; and of course the Paint Your Paddle event to allow artists to showcase their talent.
Due to the overwhelming feedback, images of the paddles are now being used in corporate marketing and communication materials (see Annual Report and Banner, attached electronically). Residents are also excited to see the paddles permanently displayed and the revitalized Lansdowne Community Hall (rendering attached). Via social media communications total engagement from Jul 1 – Dec 31, 2017 reached over 17,000 Facebook users, including one paddle post with a 4,500 user reach.
Challenges and Changes Made
The demand on staff required to manage Paint Your Paddle was more than anticipated; from coordinating distribution and ensuring paddles were returned was a difficult task. Let alone the muscle required to transport paddles and ensure they were displayed at various events for all to see. As mentioned, based on the overwhelming positive feedback from community, staff are now incorporating the paddles into communications materials.
The Paint Your Paddle event was open to all that live or recreate in the Township; special attention was made to ensure elementary schools, secondary schools and seniors were included.
The interest and excitement generated by the Paint Your Paddle initiative was powerful! Participants collected their paddle from the Township office in April and returned decorated paddles ahead of July 1st. The paddles were then brought to each community event (no easy feat for staff to haul 150 full-size canoe paddles and display them properly). From painted, to wood burning, iron work, crochet covers and mosaic tile… the talent witness was amazing. Pictures of the paddles were posted to social media and the public was invited to vote for their favourite. At the final event of the year, the winning paddles were acknowledged. These paddles will be used in the lobby of the renovated community hall as a legacy for the entire community. Paddles can be viewed at: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Twp.Leeds1000Islands/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1180648135385478