PEI

Summerside rebranding its downtown core

It is a period of change for the city of Summerside, P.E.I.

Banners and trivia game aim to engage citizens with city history

These banners will be placed throughout the downtown area in Summerside, P.E.I., to try to inform and engage residents, says Lydia Potter, executive director of Downtown Summerside Inc. (Submitted by Lydia Potter)

There are some changes coming to Summerside, P.E.I., that are aimed at engaging residents.

Downtown Summerside Inc. elected a new board and now the city is rebranding its downtown core, said Lydia Potter, the executive director.

The organization is a non-profit group of local business owners, landlords, tenants and stakeholders formed to promote, develop and enhance Summerside's downtown core.

"We all sat down and kind of said, 'Where do we want to be with our downtown?'" said Potter.

"We came up with the idea to say, 'What we really want to be is environment makers.'"

The initiative is about creating engagement, encouraging residents to get downtown and recreate a historic gathering place where people can come together, Potter said.

The plan is to place colour-coded banners in specific areas in the city like the boardwalk and the wharf, where people can learn facts about the city with interactive activities such as trivia, Potter said.

"Downtown is where you met people and it was where things happened. So we're trying to recreate that in downtown Summerside."

Interactive learning

"We've got kind of a trivia game planned where, with all of our banners that we have through town and all down the boardwalk, they are intended to highlight things about Summerside," Potter said.

One of the questions featured is, "Credit Union Place allows you to play this sport in the dark," Potter said.

"It will tell you to take 300 steps and when you go 300 steps you are going to find a banner that is going to tell you that the answer to that is bowling."

The initiative will offer people new information they can carry through the city, says Potter. (Submitted by Lydia Potter)

On top of promoting being active and engaged with Summerside history, the organization is also trying to draw attention to the art and artists in the city, Potter said.

"It's really about getting people to think about things like that. And then in different areas it might be a question that is related to the history, you know, 'What was the year of the first Lobster Carnival?'"

Become part of Summerside history

Walking the city and finding out something new will hopefully make people want to be engaged and the initiative aims to offer people new information they can carry through the city, Potter said.

"You might not think you can get shampoo in downtown Summerside, but we do have a pharmacy. And so you know encouraging people to think about shopping local, supporting local, the local business community is a huge driver for economic development," Potter said.

Banners will be up by the end of June and hopefully stay around the city for a few years Potter said. Along with the banners there will be a program launched allowing businesses to rejuvenate storefronts adding more vibrancy to downtown.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Angela Walker

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