Edmonton·Audio

Sealed with squirrels: Edson, Alta., has a forestry-themed new coat of arms

With paws resting on a blue and white shield, two red squirrels — each holding a pine cone and standing on a log — grace the Town of Edson's new coat of arms.

'Some people think it was a really dumb idea,' mayor admits

The Town of Edson's new coat of arms was unveiled on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. (Town of Edson)

With paws resting on a blue and white shield, two red squirrels — each holding a pine cone and standing on a log — grace the Town of Edson's new coat of arms.

The Alberta town, located about 200 kilometres west of Edmonton, unveiled its new heraldic emblem on Thursday. 

"It really represents how the community was formed and what it was built around — forestry, oil and gas, the coal industry, the railway and of course, we have the two squirrels which represent Eddie the Squirrel which is our town mascot," Edson Mayor Kevin Zahara said in an interview on CBC Edmonton's Radio Active Friday.  

The town of Edson has a brand new coat of arms.. featuring two very prominent rodents. Kevin Zahara, Mayor of Edson, talks about the new town emblem. 7:51

"Up until this point, all of our documentation had different branding from different eras and hasn't been really standardized. So this would be able to bring things to look a little bit more official for the community."

Other details in the emblem include white diamonds representing the baseball diamonds at Edson's Vision Park; a great grey owl, another local species, on the crest; and drops and flames representing the oil and gas industries of the region.

The coat of arms has been made official by the Canadian Heraldic Authority, the government service that creates coats of arms, flags and badges.

It will be used for official town documents such as letters from the mayor's office, bylaws, agendas, and other town business for years to come, Zahara said.

But not everyone on the town's Facebook page is singing the design's praises. 

Eddie the Squirrel

Some critics of the coat of arms, featuring the prominent Edson rodent who is also honoured with a 12-foot statue in Edson's RCMP Centennial Park, say creating the emblem was a waste of town money. 

"Some people think it was a really dumb idea but really it's our mascot and we got to embrace it and love it for what it is and it's really a way to promote Edson," Zahara said.  

According to the town, The total cost of this project, including application fee, artist fees through the Canadian Heraldic Authority, and calligraphy on the final documents, came out to around $4,500 over the last three years.

About the Author

Thandiwe Konguavi

Reporter/editor

Thandiwe Konguavi is an award-winning journalist, born in Zimbabwe. She is a reporter/editor at CBC Edmonton. Reach her at thandiwe.konguavi@cbc.ca. Follow her on Twitter @cbcthandiwe.

With files from Madeleine Cummings and Julia Lipscombe

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