Fireworks explode over Parliament Hill during Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa on Tuesday July 1, 2008. Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press
The federal government is already testing logos for the country's 150th birthday bash, according to a report prepared for the Department of Canadian Heritage.
The report says Canadians want a symbol that reflects pride, celebration, unity, youth and multiculturalism to brand the country’s upcoming birthday.
It's still a few years away, but the government is preparing the visual identity for the promotion and advertising campaign for 2017 events. Canadian Heritage is developing a logo for the commemorative campaign and events to mark the anniversary of Confederation, and just released results from focus group testing that asked Canadians to evaluate five concepts.
The research project, carried out by TNS Canadian Facts Inc. at a cost of about $40,000, tested groups in Montreal, Mississauga, Ont., and Chilliwack, B.C. and included a balance of genders, household incomes and ethnic origins.
None of the concepts emerged as a clear winner, according to the report. But certain features were consistently cited as optimal for the visual identity, including symbols of celebration and diversity.
This one was praised for its modern, clean design, but some didn't like the logo's colour because they thought it symbolized the U.S. They also thought it looked a bit too much like a hockey puck.
Many people felt the shield symbolized strength, security and pride. Others thought it implied aggression and militarism.
This simple red and white maple leaf got thumbs up for being clearly identifiable as Canadian, and for hitting on nostalgia for hockey's 1972 Team Canada. But it was also criticized for being bland and not very modern.
These were praised for capturing a mood of celebration, but some didn't like the design because it reminded them of Disneyland or Canada's Wonderland.
Some like the fact that the maple leaves represent the 13 provinces and territories and symbolize unity. But others found them too old-fashioned, bland and cluttered.