On July 14, 2016, Equine Canada officially transitioned to a new and exciting brand, including a new logo and the new name Equestrian Canada (EC).
Marking a true milestone in the history of EC, the national governing body for equestrian sport and the Canadian equine industry, the new brand was launched during a celebration event at Wesley Clover Parks in Ottawa, ON, where the members of the Canadian Equestrian Team nominated to represent Canada at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games were also announced.
Along with the new brand, EC launched a new website, www.equestrian.ca, featuring a visually striking, responsive and user-friendly design.
“Our transition to Equestrian Canada goes far beyond a rebrand,” said EC CEO, Eva Havaris. “It is the foundation upon which EC will embrace a new era, uniting all equestrian disciplines, as well as the Canadian equine industry in order to create a clear, cohesive and powerful voice.”
EC President, Jorge Bernhard added, “EC’s new brand creates unity across the entire Canadian equestrian community. This opens the door for more impressions, more influence, more recognition, and more revenue for EC to put back into the community.”
EC started down the path to an innovative and impactful new brand in September 2015, after obtaining funding through the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) National Sport Federation Enhancement Initiative, which was developed to support operational, leadership and governance enhancements within national federations.
“The new Equestrian Canada name, emblem and website are fantastic and capture the essence of the sport’s Canadian identity beautifully,” said Chris Overholt, CEO of the Canadian Olympic Committee. “This new look and feel will show the world in Rio that Canada’s equestrian athletes have arrived. Congratulations to Equestrian Canada on their new re-brand.”
To create the new brand, EC worked closely with the award-winning design firm, Hulse & Durrell, whose client history includes the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Canadian Olympic Team and the International Olympic Committee.
A major component of the rebrand was the change from Equine Canada to Equestrian Canada, after market research found the word “equestrian” to be far better understood outside of the industry than “equine.” The new name also translates more seamlessly into French (Équestre), and is far more inclusive in both languages, encompassing EC’s fundamental values of advocating for Canada’s horses, athletes, and the industry as a whole.
Hulse & Durrell also helped EC achieve a visual identity that honours the history of EC while setting the foundation for the next generation. At the centre of the new visual identity is a logo that takes the iconic horseshoe and maple leaf emblem worn by the Canadian Equestrian Team in decades past, and sheds ornamentation to create a clean, elegant and memorable insignia for EC.
“We always ask ourselves, ‘What is compelling about this sport?’” said Ben Hulse, a partner at Hulse & Durrell. “We learned that horses have transformed our lives for thousands of years, that we have partnered with horses in athletic competition since the ancient Olympic Games, and that Canada has an incredible track record in equestrian sport.”
Hulse continued, “We take this inspiration into every aspect of what we do, balancing the old and new into a cohesive brand message. The new emblem, for example, was inspired by CET iconography from the 1960s. It has been reimagined to bring new life to, and represent, every aspect of the organization, industry, and sport.”
The timing of the brand launch has ensured the Canadian Equestrian Team heading to the 2016 Rio Olympics can benefit from a true feeling of “one team.”
“I’m looking forward to seeing what our new, unified Equestrian Canada team can accomplish in the future,” said Tiffany Foster from North Vancouver, BC, a team gold medalist in jumping at the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games, and a member of the Canadian Jumping Team heading to Rio. “Any initiatives that empower our industry are welcomed by all of the athletes. With the new logo and new name, I think we can expect to hear a strong voice for the equestrian community in Canada.”
Canadian Olympian and dressage veteran, Belinda Trussell, who will also be representing Canada in Rio, commented on the opportunities created through the new brand, stating, “I think the launch of the new brand for EC is really exciting. What’s exciting as an athlete is that all the disciplines are united. As Equestrian Canada, we are now one solid unit. There is an opportunity to achieve real coherency for leadership and for creating top performance teams in the future. You feel that as an athlete among the team at Equestrian Canada and you feel that through the rebranding.”
For an inside look at the Equestrian Canada rebrand, visit www.equestrian.ca/about/brand.