Airdrie City councillors expressed disappointment and bewilderment on Monday when they were presented with potential naming options for the Airdrie Multi-Use and Library Facility.

"Following the Airdrie Multi-Use and Library Facility (AMULF) naming workshop held with Council in November, the next step is to choose the anchor name for the AMULF," city documents stated.

The list of proposed names for the facility includes:

  • The LINK
    • "LINK is an acronym for Location, Inspiration, Neighbours, Knowledge. The name speaks to how it will connect the community, to knowledge, to the arts and the outdoor space..."
  • Centre for Enrichment
    • "Straight forward name. Enrichment speaks to the enrichment of knowledge, of connecting with other people and the enrichment of the arts"
    • "Easily adapts to a sponsorship name. If preferred, Enrichment could be replaced with Inspiration/Illumination."
  • Ascension Gate
    • "Ascension is a nod to our altitude. Ascension gives feelings of climbing, rising and elevating individuals and our community. During the brainstorming, the word Elevation was brought up and liked but had been used."
  • The Collective  
  • "Nod to the multi-use element of the facility – many uses coming together... Nod to the whole community coming together and living collectively.
  • "Gives the feeling that it is a hub for creative collectives."
  • Connection Station
    • "Connection speaks to the way the facility will bring people together, bring individuals together with knowledge and learning and connect to arts and culture opportunities  
    • "Station is a nod to both our railway history and that it sits on the old fire station location."

Councillor Ron Chapman said that none of the names presented on Monday were part of the discussions within the workshops that councillors attended several months ago. Councillor Tina Petrow said that although she hadn't been present at the workshop sessions, she was adamantly opposed to the name Ascension Gate.

"We've missed a step somewhere here. I do not believe that this is the correct arena to be having this discussion today," she said. "I think this shortlist should have been brought back in a workshop, so, we could go back and forth because this could be an epically long conversation at this table here today."

It was noted to council that the workshops held late last year were meant to be more of a test of themes, rather than an arena meant to allow council to provide direction on the naming of the facility.

"What corporate comms [communication] did, is they took the best estimates and in their summary on some of the themes and names that were presented at that workshop, wanting to get back here before all of council to hear this level of feedback," said Michelle Lock of the City. "What we're hearing is that council is desirous to have more workshops of some type to process names."

City documents also underlined that corporate sponsorship of the AMULF is something the City will pursue, '...and all names below will work together with a sponsor name.'

However, Councillor Jones, said that he felt none of the names would resonate with the public, much less sponsors.

"I would suggest if you're going to try to attract sponsorship, they'd want to know what they're sponsoring. I don't want to seem ungrateful for the hard work the staff do, but none of these hit the mark with me," he added. "This has missed the mark for me and I don't see how it'll help with sponsorship whatsoever."

Councillor Candice Kolson was also quite critical of the proposed names, saying that she would demure a blunt response. Councillor Kolson also mentioned that it could be a possibility to put a shortlist of names for the public to vote on, though Mayor Peter Brown said he was not keen on the idea.

Council voted to accept the report for information but also asked administration to schedule time for a strategic workshop with council. 

Currently, the AMULF is under construction at the site of Airdrie’s old fire hall located on Main Street Southeast.

The new facility will be 73,000 square feet with 53,000 allocated for the library and 20,000 for the multi-use space, costing roughly $65 Million. 

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