Our identity is shaped by the stories we tell ourselves, and the image we have of our community. And there arguably isn’t a more visible or obvious part of a place’s story than the one on its licence plates, including the slogan. In Ontario, it invites people to explore the province. In Saskatchewan, it speaks to the province’s agricultural heritage. While no measure can single-handedly change the dial on our provincial brand, Alberta could use a new licence plate to help tell a different story about our province — about our entrepreneurial culture, our sense of opportunity, or our work ethic and ambitions. This would be both an easy fix and a transformational moment. It would serve as de-facto advertising to anyone outside the province, and help reinforce a more positive and forward-looking story to people who live in it.
New plates with a new slogan (“A Place of Possibility”, for example) would help us diversify our shared mindset, which is a precursor to diversifying the broader economy. It would support industries like technology and tourism, which depend on external impressions of the province. And it would give us an opportunity to reset our narrative about who we are and what we want to become – for others and, even more importantly, for ourselves.