Creative Action and Connection: Introducing BCF’s new brand


An ever-flowing, ever-moving source of wellbeing and positivity, the Bow River is the central geographical feature that unites and connects the communities of this valley, from Lake Louise to Mînî Thnî. Its channels and patterns are complex, beautiful, powerful. All of us who live here are stewards, collectively responsible and collectively inspired by this river.

In the spring of 2023, Banff Canmore Foundation began the process of updating how our work is presented to community. This coincided with the launch of our new three- year Strategic Plan. It was time to find new ways to amplify, explain and evolve our work through a new brand and new website.

As we began thinking about a refreshed brand and updated approach to engaging more people in our work, we also reflected on how this landscape shapes and inspires. The river showed up time and again as a powerful force and symbol.

Through focus groups, surveys, dialogue with Indigenous partners and knowledge keepers, conversations with community leaders, neighbours, funders and donors, and time on the land, we contemplated and clarified what our work means to community. We understood that this incredible and unique geographical location – on Treaty 7 territory in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, next to the Bow River – is a unifying aspect of life in the Bow Valley. From Lake Louise through Mînî Thnî, our communities live along this river that we share.


In relationship with the river

The Journey of the River report for the Moving Mountains Initiative was completed by Reciprocal Consulting, a renowned Indigenous-led, award-winning firm of leaders in culturally responsive evaluation, research, mentoring, project management and training. The report, which was delivered to BCF and partners in the summer of 2023, highlighted the strong life-giving waters that flow from the high mountains into the Bow River and its role as a metaphor for community.


“The Bow River is sacred for Indigenous peoples who have stewarded these waters and lands since time immemorial, and the river continues to provide resources and materials that support daily life for all the living beings connected to it. Beyond its own life-giving capacity, it is also a waterway that needs continued care, reciprocity and protection so that it can continue to be in relationship with the many living beings that it supports.”

– Journey of the River report

Banff Canmore Foundation supports reciprocity and creative action for community. Like the river, BCF is a connector – between funding and programs, between ideas and actions. Just as the river gathers waters from many tributaries, BCF pools, amplifies and flows resources to community. Responsive to the evolving and dynamic needs of community, BCF weaves a powerful narrative of diversity, responsibility and unity.

The river’s many colours

Once we’d identified the Bow River as a central theme to our brand, we spent many long hours over the summer next to and on the river. Listening and learning. Of course, the river is always different, and we had long discussions about the right colour tones to best reflect the Bow in the brand.


“This project was very close to my heart because I live in the Bow Valley and feel very connected to the land around me and the community that exists here,” says graphic design lead Martha de Santiago. “It was a challenge to represent what the Foundation stands for, as well as this amazing place and the people that call it home. The direction we went with is both peaceful and strong, bold and open-hearted. It feels like the throughline of what the river and mountains inspire us to be like."

There are a number of graphic touchpoints in the logo.

  • The mountains represent the many communities in the Bow Valley as well as the land itself. They position BCF as specific to this unique place.
    • The mountains are represented by the dark greys in our new brand,
      symbolizing strength, groundedness and wisdom.
  • The river is the collector and connector of the valley. It’s the central element of BCF’s brand story, and it’s a reminder of the ever-changing nature of our communities and environment – the ability to adapt and to flow.
    • Our brand palette is led by deep teal and glacier turquoise colours to symbolize change, transparency, connection – a constant flow and adaptability.
  • The sun is a nod to community symbols (the circle) and highlights the inclusion of Indigenous voices at our table via the colour orange. The sun symbolizes a broader perspective under which we aspire to engage with others and with the

    • Our logo features the colour Paintbrush Orange as an accent to symbolize boldness, vitality and solidarity.

Our new brand is inspired by this place, by this river. We see how its ripples, tributaries, eddies and channels touch people’s lives. How it gives life and gains momentum. How it generates and regenerates.
BCF connects resources and opportunities to activate community potential. Like the Bow River, we strive to be a source of belonging and potential, to enhance quality of life.


Yes, we are still a Community Foundation

BCF is a community foundation. The word ‘community’ is crucial to all we do. So why did we change from BCCF to BCF? Well, months of surveys, research and study revealed that a simpler approach works best. In line with best practices at Community Foundations across the country, place comes first.

So, although our name has been simplified and clarified, community will always be at our core. That’s reflected in the story behind our new logo and in the content you’ll find on the BCF website.

We sincerely hope you feel inspired and connected, and that you join our movement of Creative Action for Community.

Christie Pashby
BCF Director of Communications
November 2023

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