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'More than a tasteless joke': Sexual assault advocates call for action on Experience Regina review


Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan (SASS) has called on the City of Regina to hold a town hall to discuss the effects of the failed Experience Regina rebrand.

In an open letter released on Tuesday, SASS executive director Kerrie Isaac said there must be accountability following the campaign, which attracted international attention in March for slogans such as “Show us your Regina” and “The City that Rhymes with Fun.”

“We are concerned that a municipal government and one of its agencies approved a tourism marketing campaign founded on harmful language that perpetuates a culture of harassment and abuse against women,” she said in the news release.

“Furthermore, beyond a short apology of sorts and cancellation of the brand weeks after the backlash, no one has yet to come forward and explain how the brand was ever approved in the first place.”

“There has been zero accountability thus far.”

The organization went on to describe the rebranding as “more than a tasteless joke,” claiming the campaign re-traumatized survivors of sexual assault.

“Since the campaign launch, survivors have been reaching out to SASS, sexual assault crisis lines, and other supportive community agencies to assist with the re-traumatization this campaign, and what it’s messaging has caused,” Isaac said.

“The City of Regina, Regina Exhibition Association Limited (REAL), Tourism Regina and others involved in the brand need to be transparent with the public about how this brand was developed.”

The Experience Regina brand was eventually abandoned and the organization opted back to the Tourism Regina name in mid April.

In its letter to city administration, SASS requested a town meeting be held so that city officials can hear from the public about the effects of the campaign.

“A town hall meeting would allow residents and those impacted by the brand to express their concerns,” it read.

“We know a third-party report is underway, but that should not stop important conversations and learning from happening now. This is a teachable moment that can’t be lost in the shuffle. Real harm happened because of this, and accountability is required.”


Mayor Sandra Masters and Tim Reid, President and CEO of REAL, took questions from reporters on Tuesday about the ongoing review of the Experience Regina campaign.

“I think that is probably more for the exhibition board but there is a process underway and I think that a report will be coming out later this year, just to see where gaps have happened and [where] corrections can be made for the future,” Masters said, when asked about the review.

“So the board of directors have hired a consultant, I’ll be sensitive about how much I say because obviously it should go through the board, but I can tell you that the consultants have been working through the process and is actively finishing the interviews,” Reid explained.

“I believe they will be done in the next seven days then they will serve their report.”

Master and Reid’s comments were made prior to the SASS open letter being released.

The City of Regina provided a statement to CTV News, in response to the open letter.

It read:

“Tourism Regina is an independent municipal corporation reporting to a Board of Directors and ultimately into City Council. City of Regina Administration does not have oversight or authority over the operations of Tourism Regina.” Top Stories

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