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Airdrie's new multi-use and library facility remains nameless

Council was asked to pick a name for the AMULF from a list of top five names presented at the March 4 council meeting, but council said it missed the mark.

Airdrie will have to wait a little bit longer to find out what the name of the future Airdrie Multi-Use and Library Facility (AMULF) will be.

Council was asked to pick a name for the AMULF from a list of top five names presented at the March 4 council meeting, but council said it missed the mark.

In fact, Coun. Heather Spearman said the list included names which council specifically did not want to see move forward following a November workshop.

“Some of the ones we specifically as a group said that we liked, did not come forward,” Spearman said. “I was a little bit curious as to where the communication broke down between that workshop and this presentation.” 

Instead, another workshop to brainstorm names for the facility will be scheduled in the future with notes from the previous workshop.

Administration said naming the facility is critical for other projects to move forward including the creation of branding and wayfinding signage.

Coun. Tina Petrow stated that brand development is usually done through numerous rounds of workshopping and shortlisting and said the process had missed a step.

“I do not believe this is the correct arena to be having this discussion today because from the impression I just kind of got… we’re not here yet,” Petrow said, noting they shouldn’t be deciding on a name yet.

Coun. Al Jones added that the names presented don’t speak to what the facility is, which is a library and cultural centre.

Other councilors also voiced their surprise at seeing this item and list on the agenda.

Although no one name stood out for everyone at the November workshop, it was clear that a very abstract name was not ideal and nor was a very literal name. 

The top five names presented by administration included the LINK, Centre for Enrichment, Ascension Gate, The Collective, and Connection Station.

Council said they were not necessarily going to ask for public input on the task of naming the facility, but they did state that a few top options could potentially be brought to the public in the future.

The LINK is an acronym for Location, Inspiration, Neighbours, and Knowledge, which speaks to how it will connect the community to each other, to knowledge, to the arts and to the outdoor space and Nose Creek Corridor, administration noted.

Centre for Enrichment was presented as a straightforward name speaking to the enrichment of knowledge, of connecting with other people and the enrichment of the arts.

Ascension Gate was a nod to both Airdrie’s altitude and to the facility being the gateway into downtown.

The Collective was a play on the multi-use element of the facility, the whole community coming together and living collectively, as well as the collections of arts & culture, and collections of a library.

Connection Station spoke to the way the facility will bring people together, bring individuals together with knowledge and learning and connecting to arts and culture opportunities, while Station was a nod to both Airdrie’s railway history and that it sits on the old fire station location.

According to best practice for the anchor name of a facility, a name should be the basis for the branding, reflect the community and connect with them, provide continuity through sponsorship changes, and set expectations for its purpose or vision. 

Sponsorship of the AMULF is something the City will pursue and all names on the list could have worked together with a sponsor name. A sponsorship consultant will be presenting a draft policy and asset evaluation for Council’s consideration in March.

Masha Scheele

About the Author: Masha Scheele

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