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No changes to staff after Experience Regina rebrand controversy; REAL independent review

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No changes to staff after Experience Regina rebrand controversy; REAL independent review
After a controversial tourism rebranding that put Regina in the spotlight across the world, a path forward has been laid out by those responsible – Jul 13, 2023

After a controversial tourism rebranding that put Regina in the spotlight across the world, a path forward has been laid out by those responsible.

The rebranding of Tourism Regina to Experience Regina occurred in March, with slogans like “Show us your Regina” and “The city that rhymes with fun.”

The launch was quickly met with outcry from the public and social advocates, and the name was changed back to Tourism Regina.

An independent review into what they call “The Incident” has been conducted by independent consultant George Cuff.

The review found that no changes of employment at Regina Exhibition Association Limited (REAL) will be required following the Experience Regina rebrand.

This means Tim Reid will maintain his position as president and CEO of REAL after people called for his removal.

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“Recognizing the mistakes made in the Experience Regina brand launch, the REAL Board of Directors is committed to a constructive path forward that best represents our City and our citizens,” said Wayne Morsky, chair of the REAL board of directors.

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In the executive summary that accompanied the report that was released Thursday, Cuff said REAL had a playbook to develop a new brand, but it wasn’t followed.

“The ‘Incident’ happened in large measure because of a lack of managerial oversight, loose procedures, inadequate policy guidance and unavailable senior staff who were knowledgeable about what was expected,” Cuff wrote. “While there were undoubtedly extenuating factors which impacted how the release of unapproved slogans occurred, the lack of adequate supervision was certainly one of them.

“The lack of close attention to administrative processes and procedures due at least in part to the frenetic activity on the 100-acre site seemed to lead quite a number of those interviewed to express a lack of surprise to what happened and more to the fact that it had not happened earlier.”

A total of 51 people were interviewed during the review process.

Moving forward, REAL outlined a number of steps it will take, including:

  • Review board policies and procedures related to governance with the lens of the observations of the report, including committee charters, procurement policies and risk priorities.
  • Define what information is required to be shared with, or presented to, the board as part of committee and board meetings to allow the board to effectively carry out its responsibilities.
  • Direct management to review operational procedures related to internal project management process, external communications and decision-making authority.
  • Review the organizational structure, including capacity and capability, of REAL and Tourism Regina and ensure appropriate mentorship, supervision and accountability.
  • Establish a tourism advisory committee to ensure Tourism Regina is reflective and inclusive of the citizens of our community.

“The completion of the independent review is a critical step in this process, and we want to be transparent with our stakeholders and community members as we move forward,” Morsky said.

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