The West Coast's airport should have a name that's as creative as the destination it serves.

Behest of the West: Bring a little inspiration to the runway

My twin daughters share a crib like Ucluelet and Tofino share a paradise. Calling it ‘Crimson’s Crib,’ would befuddle Clover.

I don’t just fear change; I hate it.

It’s mysterious, unknown and terrifying. Contentment’s kryptonite.

There is good change of course. The types people like Bob Purdy push for. Get healthier. Care more. Be more excellent to the people and environment around you. But, sharing Purdy’s stoke doesn’t mean I don’t flinch when change comes up; even when I know change is needed.

Change can be painful. So can a refusal to accept it.

Regulars to this page read me whine about the time my flip flops broke during the Tofino Lantern Festival, forcing me to call my backup pair off the bench. Those backups blew a tire on me two weeks ago and that, along with winter’s arrival, forced me into shoes. I embraced that change and bought a new pair of loafers—life’s too short for laces—but my foray into change’s embrace was short-lived. My new shoes immediately cut the backs of my feet open due to my stubborn refusal to accept socks into my life. My usual, deceptively quick, saunter changed into the gait of a child walking in high heels for the first time and I grimaced with each step.

My new loafers have since been broken in and transformed from bringers of pain into tools of comfort.

Like breaking in a new pair of shoes, watching our local leaders argue over what to name our airport is going to be painful, though the bloodshed will be metaphorical.

The argument has already started. The airport’s superintendent has recommended ‘Tofino Regional Airport.’ You read about that in your paper last week and you thought the same thing reading it as I did writing it: “There’s no way Ucluelet’s going to go for this.” Mayor St. Jacques proved us both right.

My twin daughters share a crib like Ucluelet and Tofino share a paradise. Calling it ‘Crimson’s Crib,’ would be to Clover’s chagrin.

Our leaders left Oct. 24’s airport meeting without a consensus and seem prepared to take as long as they need to find a name they all agree on. Set your sundials.

St. Jacques was right to rabble-rouse the recommendation. ‘Tofino Regional Airport’ is a terrible name. It’s not just that the word regional does nothing to mask kicking the rest of the region to the curb, it’s an unacceptably boring alias. But, so is the ‘Pacific Rim Regional’ name St. Jacques is pushing for. The gamut of possibilities put forward so far represents an uninspired list of little substance and zero creativity that would be worthy of the mainland, or perhaps Nanaimo, but not us.

The passengers on our planes investigated their vacation options and picked the wild West Coast. They’re here to see insane storms, meet lovely locals, tour unique shops and experience breathtaking landscapes. We have earned the reputation they have come to explore. We are every bit as vibrant, creative, thoughtful and unique as our marketing materials say we are. Yet, somehow we’re home to names like the Tofino Community Hall and Ucluelet Community Centre. Rather than add another yawn-worthy name to the roster, let’s take this opportunity to be bold.

Give me an Emily Carr or, better yet, a Klee Wyck Regional. Give me a Cougar Annie Airport. Give me something that hypes our magically-inspiring surroundings.

Marketing nerds will throw rocks at those names and unleash flocks of buzz words to protect their consultant fees but, Carr and Annie carry the kind of name recognition that’s loved by online analytics and both boast impressive Googleability.

More to the point though, they’re both locally relevant, unique and inspirational.

The locals we share buoy our region’s reputation as a creative and vibrant place to visit. We can’t keep  reducing ourselves to humdrum vernaculars. We’re better than that.

 

 

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