Red Deer’s Warm Welcome: Gateway signage project reflects city’s refined brand image

Installation

The hollow structural sections (HSS) were hoisted in place for installation. The installation crew were required to be tied off while working on the concrete pad due to the significant slope of the surrounding area.

The hollow structural sections (HSS) were hoisted in place for installation. The installation crew were required to be tied off while working on the concrete pad due to the significant slope of the surrounding area.

With the deadline fast approaching, as soon as the concrete set, crews transported the signage elements to the site and began erecting the structures. First up were the columns for the ‘Gateway Sign.’ The installation team started here as it allowed the electrical contractor to pull the power up the pole to complete the final connection. The crew concluded with the ‘Elk’ component.

As the installation took place in February, weather was an ongoing concern; however, the team was extremely fortunate to have favourable conditions. Despite some of the coldest weather conditions in years, there were no severe storms or winds that would have shut down the project site. Ultimately, the signage installation was completed ahead of schedule. In fact, both displays were fully commissioned and operational a few days prior to the deadline, in time to welcome visitors, athletes, and residents to the Canada Winter Games.

Landscaping was the final step in the process. It was completed slightly later than expected in the summer of 2019 as a result of the unseasonably wet spring; however, it was still on budget.

Reception to the finished project could not have been more positive, with the city’s director of communications and strategic planning, Julia Harvie-Shemko, quoted in the Red Deer Express stating, “It symbolizes Red Deerian residents’ connection to each other, to nature, and the river that connects the city.”

Taylor Blanchett-O’Donnell is part of the fourth generation to work at Blanchett Neon, a family-owned and operated custom sign company in Western Canada. In her role as corporate services manager, she is responsible for business development, health and safety, brand presence, strategic direction, and works alongside senior management and the ownership group to develop, demonstrate, and execute the company’s vision of excellence. Blanchett-O’Donnell, named to the International Sign Association (ISA) Elite class of 2018, is one of the founding members of the Young Professionals Network (YPN) and serves as the group’s vice-president. She is also an active member in both the Alberta and national sign association. She can be reached via email at tblanchett@blanchettneon.com.

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