Greater Victoria Harbour Authority keeps Ogden Point in Breakwater branding after public response

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority keeps Ogden Point in Breakwater branding after public response
The east wall of the warehouse at Pier A has been painted with one of the new logos for The Breakwater District at Ogden Point.

The promenade along the waterfront in Victoria officially has its new name, a month after the harbour authority faced backlash about the change.

On Wednesday, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority unveiled the new name for Ogden Point, the harbour area where cruise ships pull into the city, as The Breakwater District at Ogden Point.

While Wednesday’s announcement was the official one for the harbour authority, the name change came out to the public in August. At that point, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority announced Ogden Point would be renamed The Breakwater District. The words, “at Ogden Point,” were not mentioned and there was some backlash from the community.

Briant Cant, manager of communications for the harbour authority said the full identity was not unveiled in August. He added they also listened to feedback from partners and the community before the unveiling.

And according to Cant, the words “Ogden Point” was always going to remain in the area as it is a navigational point.

The harbour authority has been planning the change for over a year and says it’s part of a larger overhaul to the area. Staff worked with Trapeze Communications, a Victoria-based branding and marketing agency, to create the new name.

“The Breakwater District at Ogden Point reflects what the space is meant to be: a place of commerce and a destination for all of Victoria, where locals and visitors have the opportunity to enjoy oceanfront amenities and gather as a community throughout the year,” Ian Robertson, CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, said.

“This space is an extension of the community, both the immediate neighbourhood of James Bay as well as the surrounding region. We’re looking toward the future of these critical employment lands.”

There are 10 variations of The Breakwater District logo, including the iconic Breakwater lighthouse, an ocean-going vessel, anchor, waves, and two Indigenous works of art, all inside a stylized letter “B.”

The Indigenous versions of the logos were created by Songhees Nation artist Butch Dick and Esquimalt Nation artist Darlene Gait. Both also worked on the Unity Wall project along the north side of the Breakwater.

Some of the new logos for The Breakwater District at Ogden Point.

Some of the new logos for The Breakwater District at Ogden Point.

Before Wednesday’s official unveiling, the east wall of the warehouse at Pier A was painted, new markers for cruise visitors were installed and a 75-metre mural between Pier B and the new pedestrian-only gateway was created.

For the unveiling, new entrance signs were put at both the north and south entrances to The Breakwater District at Ogden Point. In the next few weeks, there will be new signage on the Pier A warehouse, flags throughout the terminal, and a series of information guides.

“The Breakwater District at Ogden Point will allow the organization to introduce new signage and visual markers on the property, and an informed and detailed account of Peter Skene Ogden will be introduced on Ogden Point. Ogden’s story will be told within the context of his time, his place in history, and reflections on history today for future generations to consider,” the harbour authority wrote in a release.

Ogden was a Canadian explorer and fur trader who died in 1794. Ogden had a reputation for violence and was charged with murder for allegedly killing a First Nations man during an ugly trade battle.

When the news about the name change spread around last month, Ogden’s great-great-great-great-granddaughter said she did not believe Ogden Point should have been named after her ancestor in the first place.

Over the fall and winter, the remaining walls of the warehouse will be repainted to reflect the new brand along with the installation of new murals on the south side facing the Breakwater.

According to the harbour authority, in 2018, an estimated 400,000 people frequented the Breakwater, and the Victoria Cruise Ship Terminal welcomed more than 640,000 cruise visitors and 250,000 crew members.

The harbour authority says combined with the Friday Nights on the Breakwater Barge, community events such as the Island Equipment Operators Association Truck Light Convoy, and many privately-booked events, the area sees more than 1.5 million visitors each year.

A peer review of the current and future transportation impacts and market-readiness assessments for development of the property is currently underway.

“We continue to be diligent with our development plans. We have one chance to develop the largest section of employment, marine industrial, and community space left in Victoria, so we are ensuring that we walk through the process at the right speed, with the right decision-making criteria in place,” Robertson said. “The development of The Breakwater District at Ogden Point will determine future uses of the site for the next 100 years.”


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