Heart of the New West
“It’s just like a real city!“
In 2011 the City of Calgary sought a new slogan. They hired a firm, but the firm didn’t come up with much. CBC Calgary set up an online “Welcome to Calgary!” sign where citizens could type in their suggestions. Needless to say, users immediately hijacked the page to enter jokes and gripes about cowtown. Users can view the “suggestions” made by others—in fact, the website is still active: https://www.cbc.ca/calgary/features/slogan/
This chapbook quotes a list of these suggestions, the earnest and jokey, the bitter and affectionate, to paint a portrait of Calgary at the height of its most recent boom.
You can find a video of Helen Hajnoczky reading this poem here: https://vimeo.com/24425908