In celebration of Dorval’s 125th anniversary, the city held a contest to name its new mascot. While the city's mascot contest is now closed for submissions, three finalists will be voted on by citizens. The name of the mascot will be revealed onstage during celebrations on June 24 at Millennium Park. (photo courtesy city of Dorval) -
So, in celebration of Dorval’s 125th anniversary, the city had a contest to name its new mascot.
“New” may be a bit perfunctory as I am not aware of an old one. However, it is this kind of West Island pleasantry that offers the shaded respite of an oasis in a sandy expanse of predominating news like promises of north/south traffic corridors broken or land disputes (coyote sightings notwithstanding.)
After much multi-layered and time-consuming research (Translation: Wikipedia – 12 seconds), I have learned that the word ‘mascot’ comes from the French term ‘mascotte’ meaning lucky charm. Mascots thrive in a smorgasbord of sectors such as business, schools and sports teams. It surprises me that these brand-enforcing spokes-creatures are not a staple in every West island town. These prospective low overhead mobile logos (rentals who don’t demand pay increases or benefit packages) can help to build cohesion between citizens and their home towns. And frankly, as cavorting costumed entities bouncing about local events (as witnessed by their counterparts at sports games) they can be quite entertaining and crowd rallying. What’s wrong with that? In terms of town marketing, it’s low hanging fruit. Their recognition and attachment value is a great bang for the municipal buck, way more identifiable than a dry logo and a pseudo-coat-of-arms based flag that is standard procedure. Boring. When is the last time you were inspired to cheer for your town just by looking at its flag?
So, why not have permanent mascots for each West Island city? It brings people together from the get-go with naming contests and referendums (sorry, dirty word) – uhm, voting on the best submission.
Of course, there are only two criteria for such a customized being:
The animal-ish talisman should be emblematic of the city’s innate culture.
It should not be a clown. (Amazingly, too many people are creeped out by them.)
Here are some of my suggestions only to wet your whistle. (Note that all have funny cartoon faces):
Baie-d’Urfé: Despite this being the preeminent lakeside, pastoral jewel of the West Island, I have one runaway choice for mascot, seeing as I once lived there: A raccoon, symbol of the town’s unofficially most active quadruped. Obvious name: Rocky.
Beaconsfield: A symbol of the city’s biggest obsession: A noisy sound wall (in boots.) Call it Wally or Wall-eeee.
Dollard-des-Ormeaux: With Dollard, I immediately think of Marché du l’Óuest. So, a farmer character in overalls and a straw hat. There is a lot that you can do with this.
Dorval: Okay, good job with coming up with a mascot ahead of everyone else, But it looks like Youppi! with a sky blue dye job wearing a cheap pair of pilot’s googles; a cop-out. Why do so many designers opt for cloning creatures that look like unoriginal versions of Muppets? If the theme is supposed to be aviation, try some kind of looney bird like a seagull or a heron. While the city’s mascot contest is now closed for submissions, three finalists will be voted on by citizens. The winning name suggestion will then be announced June 24.
Ile-Bizard-Ste-Geneviève: The territory with the highest percentage of golf courses; so, a golfer as a mascot. And typical duffer’s clothing is already ridiculously colourful enough.
Kirkland: Canada’s record holder for most traffic-slowing/aggravating experiments per capita like wavy cement islands, jaw-jarring speed bumps and nonsense no-turn signs. Their mascot: a traffic cone named Coney.
Pierrefonds-Roxboro: You voted to be remain a borough of Montreal, so I pass.
Pointe-Claire: Famous for supplying Canada with Olympic caliber swimmers, how about a cartoonish aquanaut (“Aqua-nut”)? My second choice is a windmill (called Windy) on legs with a funny face. Hey, it works in Beauty and the Beast with clocks and cutlery!
Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue: With this seaside-like village, everything is about water. The town logo is like three different coloured waves, so its mascot should be a fish. My choice for a name: Guppy.
Senneville: The West Island’s nook of estates and mansions, has a castle for a logo. The mascot: a knight. Great opportunity for an assortment of props like styrofoam lances, swords and shields.
Writer’s note: I have excluded Dorval Island because residents keep telling me that they don’t want to be mentioned for privacy reasons. (Personally, I think that Captain Kidd’s treasure is buried there.)
Get cracking, West Island towns. Dorval is way ahead of you.
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