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REAL Board of Directors opting back to Tourism Regina brand, following Experience Regina backlash

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Following a controversial rebrand to Experience Regina, Regina Exhibition Association Limited (REAL) has announced it will be reverting back to the Tourism Regina name.

The rebrand, announced earlier in the year, received worldwide criticism for some of its slogans that played on the city’s name and the fact that it rhymes with the word vagina.

In a press conference Thursday, Wayne Morsky, the REAL board chair, said the board has determined next steps following the brand change backlash.

“We looked at what we felt in the public that we were hearing, and we felt that going back to Tourism Regina was the best thing that we could do at this time,” Morsky said.

“This will allow us to return to work and support the local visitors economy as we head into a busy spring and summer season.”

The city’s tourism website, which had been unavailable for the past few weeks, has also beeen relaunched as Tourism Regina, as have all of its social media channels.

In addition to reverting back to the old name, REAL said a third party consultant will complete an independent review to examine what happened leading up to and during the Experience Regina launch.

Morsky said a cost estimate or timeline for that review are not known yet.

“We’re in the final stages of negotiating the contract with the consultant and so I can’t report on the exact cost or time at this time,” Morsky said.

Once the review is complete, Morsky said the REAL board of directors will look it over and submit it to city council.

At this point, Morsky said he is not aware of any REAL employees losing their job as a result of the campaign.

“The status is status quo until the independent review is completed. Then the board of directors will make any decisions going forward at that time,” he said.

“I think it’s more important for us to have a quality review done and find out how this happened so we can learn from it and make sure it doesn’t happen in the future. As far as one person, or any people, that’s something we haven’t talked about.”

Moving forward, REAL said it will consult with more diverse community groups to develop inclusive brand strategies.

-- With files from CTV News' Drew Postey and Caitlin Brezinski

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