In 1972, after years of campaigning for a dedicated centre for the arts, the Coquitlam Fine Arts Council secured a building when then Mayor Jim Tonn agreed to give the group a six-month trial to run arts programs out of the recently vacated Ryan House.
Our name, Place des Arts, was inspired by founding member Fern Bouvier’s visit to La Place des Arts in Montreal. Reflective of the French roots of Maillardville and the Coquitlam Fine Arts Council’s dream of finding a place where all the arts could converge under one roof, the name fit perfectly.
The salmon image that appeared on the Place des Arts grand opening invitation in 1972 had been previously used by the Coquitlam Fine Arts Council for its annual arts festival. Designed by local Fijian artist Tuk Caldwell, the fish represented the name “Coquitlam,” which comes from the Coast Salish word “Kwikwetlem,” meaning little red fish.
From that point onward, Place des Arts used the fish image as an icon and, throughout the 1980’s, incorporated it into all of our print materials. In the 1990’s, the image carried us through our capital campaign and building expansion.
In 2004, we established our first formal logo, working with local firm Roxy Design to create our current brand. The well-known fish image was incorporated into the new look.
This past year, we worked with award-winning design studio Carter Hales to create our new look.
The decision to rebrand resulted from a review and update of our vision, mission, core value statements and strategic plan. Place des Arts board president Barb Hobson says “As part of the process we had to ask ourselves, does our brand truly convey who we are today and how we want to move towards the future? The answer to that question was that it was time for us to adopt a new brand that effectively tells our story; a brand that is a fresh and inspiring reflection of the unique Place des Arts experience.”
Over the years, we’ve heard many words used to describe the Place des Arts vibe: warm, welcoming, vibrant, inspiring. But chief among them is the word home. “Place des Arts is like home to me” is the phrase we’ve heard more than any other.
It is no surprise, then, that “home” was the word that inspired the development of our new brand. Carter Hales took inspiration from the iconic mansard roofline of our original historic home. Immediately recognizable and relatable, the icon becomes a striking “A” ―the centrepiece of our new logo.
The colourful illustrations playfully convey the variety of artforms that converge at Place des Arts, all under one roof. They also evoke a sense of place and community. And that warm, welcoming feeling so many experience here.
Importantly, the bold but friendly look of the new logo reflects our commitment to increase awareness of the arts, remove barriers to participation and invite more people to explore their creativity in ways that are meaningful and relevant.