'Active by Nature'

Kelowna's mayor was unable to temper his enthusiasm for a rebranding of the city.

'Active by Nature' was unveiled Monday. It is described as a program that will promote and connect residents to many of the city's assets.

It's designed to support existing programs such as the pedestrian and bicycle master plan, healthy city strategy and strong neighbourhoods program.

"This is how council believes we should be branding our community, as a great place for healthy and active living," an enthusiastic Mayor Colin Basran said.

"This is how we should be promoting ourselves. We have so many beautiful, natural assets. We've done a pretty good job of promoting them, but this just brings it to a whole different level."

The city has spent millions of dollars building an active transportation network and, while Basran said the city plans to continue that growth, promoting those assets is just as important.

Development of the program began a year ago with a $100,000 BikeBC grant to construct wayfinding signage and was boosted by council's decision to add ongoing funding of $20,000 through the 2015 budget.

Signs will be installed throughout Phases 1 and 2 of the Rails with Trails corridor, and along key active transportation links to the corridor in the city's active transportation network. Prototype signs are being developed, and installation will occur throughout June and July.

Along with signage, the city has developed an interactive online map and video that shows tourists and residents alike where to find Kelowna's active transportation network.

Communications consultant Janine Taylor said the program highlights the city's many bike paths, running routes, paddling routes and swimming opportunities.

"We wanted to bring those visuals forward, to brag about it a little. This is a great place to get out and get active," said Taylor.

"While people in Kelowna are Active by Nature, we're also active because of the nature around us, and that's why we felt 'Active by Nature' was such a great name."

Basran added the program is essential to the city's brand, moving forward.

"This is how we are going to tell our story to the world. This is how we are going to attract and retain the young people we talk about attracting and retaining," said Basran.

"As someone who has just returned from a trip to Boulder (Colorado), where they are doing exactly this and having great success, this is huge. I don't think we can understate just how valuable this (is)."

Contributed City of Kelowna 'Active by Nature' video

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