Regina mayor says tourism campaign slogans 'regrettable'

·2 min read

Regina’s mayor says no decision has been made on whether the city will keep the name of its tourism agency after a controversial rebranding rollout.

Experience Regina apologized on the weekend and removed phrases online that seemed to make light of the Saskatchewan capital's name rhyming with vagina.

"Not all can get past it," Sandra Masters said Wednesday.

"But, by and large, people make mistakes. We are human beings. It’s human beings running all these things.”

Masters said council will need to be briefed on what went wrong. She said the intention of the campaign was to promote the city and its people, but that wasn't what happened.

Masters said the negative effects have been unfortunate.

"It's so deeply regrettable," she said.

Last week, Experience Regina launched the rebrand and posted on its social media accounts: "We are the city that rhymes with fun.'' Its website also had "show us your Regina'' written above a block of Instagram posts.

Some people in Regina have said the slogans were unnecessary and took the city backward in advancing women's rights.

Opposition NDP Status of Women critic Jennifer Bowes wrote on Twitter that the tag lines were misogynistic.

Two days later, the organization, previously known as Tourism Regina, apologized and removed the phrases.

Tim Reid, the agency's CEO, said in a statement posted on social media that it "fell short of what is expected from our amazing community with some of the slogans that we used.''

Masters said the tourism agency's board was scheduled to be briefed on the campaign Thursday.

The mayor added she has heard from people calling for Reid's dismissal over the rebranding, but said she thinks there has been accountability for the error.

"I don’t think we dig holes and throw people in them and cover them up because of a mistake.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 23, 2023.

— By Kelly Geraldine Malone in Saskatoon, with files from Jeremy Simes in Regina

The Canadian Press