Merch design contest aims to spread pride in Prince Albert

The public has until Thursday to vote for one of four merchandise designs by Cindy Peters, Orlanda Flett and Tia Furstenberg. The winner will be announced on Friday. -- City of Prince Albert/Submitted

A merchandise design contest is engaging the public in local artists’ interpretations of what it means to live in Prince Albert.

Cindy Peters, Orlanda Flett and Tia Furstenberg’s designs were selected as the final four contenders for new merchandise at the tourism centre. The public has until Thursday to vote for which design resonates the most with what Prince Albert represents to them.

Two of the designs feature strong, bold lines – one of which incorporates a teepee and a tree into “PA” and the other that shows the river, bridge and trees. A third design incorporates wildlife, such as a moose, bear and fish.

Tia Furstenberg entered a detailed sketch of Little Red River Park.

“It centres around one of the newly beautifully constructed bridges in the park and then behind the bridges is all of these lovely trees and northern lights and then you also have the river kind of sneaking its way underneath the bridge,” she explained.

Furstenberg said she took some photos at Little Red to reference. Then, she digitally sketched the elements together to create the design.

“It’s one of my favourite places within our city limits,” she said.

“When I think of PA, I think of not only the people, but the beautiful park space and greenery and just the things that you can do in and around the city, regardless of the season.”

The city put out a call for submissions on June 1 centering around Prince Albert as Saskatchewan’s playground and the heartbeat of the north. Submissions closed July 10.

Judy MacLeod Campbell, arts and culture coordinator, said a selection committee chose the finalists from 25 designs by 15 different artists.

While it gives up-and-coming artists the opportunity to showcase their work, it also allows the tourism centre to come out with new products.

“It’s all about positivity, right? It’s all about pride in the city that we live in, the community that we live in, work in. That, for sure, was the foremost goal,” she said.

MacLeod Campbell said the contest saw submissions from artists who have entered similar initiatives before. This includes submitting designs for street banners or crosswalks.

This one, however, also brought new artists.

“What does PA represent? That’s going to be unique to each one of us, and that’s where the voting comes in. We wanted to do that, we wanted to engage the public in that final decision.”

As of Monday afternoon, Flett’s design was in the lead with 35.5 per cent of the vote, with Furstenberg’s just behind with 34 per cent. Nearly 10,000 votes had been submitted. The winner will receive $1,000, with each of the remaining finalists given $500.

You can vote on the City of Prince Albert’s website.

The city also held a similar contest in 2018. Gabrielle Giroux from Encore Graphics was commissioned to create a lineup of designs, and the public voted for which one should appear on new merchandise.

Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Peters’ design was in the lead, rather than Flett’s. The Herald apologizes for the error.