Flashback 2011: Celebrate Vancouver 125 – Summer Live – Signage?

Yes signage.

Event signage requires several points of focussed involvement: design, logistics, contracting, vendor relations, negotiations and delivering custom orders to deadline in time for the event. If you’re lucky like I was, you will be a part of an effective team.

In 2011, I was hired as a Planning Assistant in Cultural Services working to support a competent and committed team of event production professionals embedded in the City’s Cultural Services office.

My experience in graphic design and systems, along with my history of meeting deadlines were considered, and I was tasked with developing an event signage program. With only 22 days between the Request For Quotations from signage companies and the event, this job required very focussed involvement.

From the 2011 Report by the Signage Coordinator (me):

Consistency, clarity and visual impact are essential ingredients to any event signage program. For the Summer Live Festival in Stanley Park, one additional factor was key: stamina. This $30,000 signage program created over 500 signs including large-scale stage and info-tower banners; coroplast tents signs; transportation, parking and wayfinding signage; pole signs carried by volunteers; laminated signs for sustainability waste bins; event shuttle signage in metal sandwich board brackets; and didactic signage for artworks on site.



I have always had a penchant for metrics, and compiled them in a fun format for the 2011 Report:

Pritchard’s Index — Total number of signs designed, produced, installed, removed and stored for Summer Live: 544


Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Storyboard Banners

A highlight of the program was the design of the Coast Salish storyboard banners mounted on the info-towers. These banners required considerable thought, care and attention – especially given the need to use first nations fonts. Communication with our Coast Salish partners through the Summer Live first nations liaison was critical to our success. We set aside time to focus specifically on these banners, with cooperation and patience from our Coast Salish partners through the review and approval process. The storyboards were designed without City branding, and are being passed on to each nation for their use.


Summer Live was a terrific, peaceful event in Stanley Park which attracted huge crowds over three days. It was such a success that the mayor suspended the noise by-law — from the stage with his tuba — to keep the party going an extra hour on closing night, proving that the Stanley Cup Riots earlier that year were not a true reflection of Vancouver’s public character.


The Musqueam First Nation banners were on display at the protest where  community members successfully defended their homelands in 2012 in c̓əsnaʔəm.

Summer Live Signage Report, July 2011


Do you have an event that could benefit from consistent, clear signage that makes a positive impact on attendees? 

Could you or your organization use a Signage Coordinator to handle design, logistics, contracting, vendor relations and who can ensure custom orders are delivered on deadline and on budget?

If you have any questions, please get in touch at probono@policyandcompany.com or request a free quote.



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