Tisdale puts controversial slogan to rest

A Saskatchewan town that’s been known for the past 60 years as “The Land of Rape and Honey” is projecting a new image.

Municipal officials at Tisdale, Sask., about 200 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon, unveiled a new town slogan earlier this week, replacing the old slogan that town officials called “confusing and outdated.”

Tisdale’s new slogan is “Opportunity Grows Here.”

“We did (an) … assessment … and we found with the previous slogan, that it was outdated, confusing and could be misunderstood,” said Sean Wallace, the town’s director of economic development.

“(The new brand) is more reflective of Tisdale today and recognizes what we’re really good at here, which is agriculture and supporting the agriculture sector.”

Tisdale’s old town slogan had been generating publicity for the wrong reasons over the past few decades.

Rape, or rapeseed, is an oilseed crop that was once grown widely in the Tisdale area. However, outside observers often attached a different connotation to the word.

Today, most oilseed producers in the Tisdale area grow canola, a derivative of rapeseed that produces a different type of oil used for cooking, baking and frying.

Wallace said the town’s new slogan was chosen after extensive consultations within the community.

In addition to projecting a more positive message, the new slogan also fits well with Tisdale’s efforts to attract foreign investment.

Not long ago, town officials launched a new foreign direct investment initiative called Invest Tisdale.

Over the past year, Invest Tisdale has hosted delegations from Japan, China, India and other Canadian provinces in hopes of attracting new investors to the community.

In the meantime, two road signs that identified Tisdale as “The Land of Rape and Honey” have been removed.

“One is going to the museum and … because of the buzz that this has created, I intend to auction the other one off,” Wallace said.

The sign destined for auction will likely be sold through an online auction site, and the proceeds will be used to pay for new signs.

Town officials unveiled the community’s new slogan Monday.

The announcement sparked a flurry of activity on Tisdale’s website, setting a new record for internet visits in a single day.

“Our website received over 175,000 hits yesterday (Aug. 23) alone,” Wallace said.

“Previously (it) hadn’t had that many hits, period.”

Online visitors came from the United States, Russia, Japan, Great Britain, India and throughout Canada, he added.

Tisdale’s former slogan was also adopted in the late 1980s by British technopunk-industrial rock band The Ministry.

According to Wikipedia, members of the band saw the town’s slogan on a souvenir and used it to name the title track on its third studio album.

The Ministry’s musical rendition of The Land of Rape and Honey can be viewed online here.

Contact brian.cross@producer.com

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