Nelson Civic Theatre Society

A sign featuring Nelson Civic Theatre's new branding
The Nelson Civic Theatre logo Massive made as part of a rebrand project.
Client Name
Nelson Civic Theatre Society
Arts + Culture, Non Profit

Bringing Cinema to Life: A Brand Identity Transformation for Nelson Civic Theatre

For over a century, Nelson Civic Theatre (NCT) has served as more than just a movie screen; it’s a vibrant cultural hub deeply woven into the fabric of Nelson, BC. Offering a diverse cinematic experience that goes beyond Hollywood blockbusters, NCT curates independent, foreign, and classic films catering to a spectrum of tastes. More importantly, it fuels the soul of the community through engaging programs like student screenings, filmmaking workshops, and thought-provoking discussions with visiting filmmakers. The innovative Rail Program further cements its role as a springboard for local talent, nurturing the burgeoning film industry of the Kootenays.

Emerging from the pandemic, however, presented a fresh challenge: how to reconnect with the community and reflect their renewed vision. NCT needed a brand identity that captured its transformation, community spirit, and enduring passion for film. We embarked on a collaborative journey to craft a new identity that resonated with Nelson’s dynamic spirit and the transformative power of film.


  • Brand Strategy
  • Brand Messaging
  • Visual Identity
  • Brand Guides + Standards
  • Tone + Voice Guide

Unveiling the Heart of Nelson: A Deep Dive into Community + Values

Our journey began with a deep dive into the cultural tapestry of Nelson and its connection to NCT. We went beyond the popcorn and projector beams, listening to the heartbeat of the community through:

Amplifying Voices: Stakeholder and community interviews fostered intimate conversations, revealing the emotional connection patrons held with NCT. These weren’t just data points; they were stories of shared laughter, tears, and cultural awakening sparked by the Theatre.

Beyond Bricks + Mortar: Environmental discovery painted a vibrant picture of NCT’s physical and social space. We delved into its economic and artistic footprint, understanding its role within the community’s cultural landscape.

Collaborative Exploration: A Brand Extraction Workshop wasn’t just a meeting; it was a journey. Diverse stakeholders came together to unearth NCT’s core values, personality, and the emotional triggers that made it unique. It was a collective exploration of the Theatre’s very soul.

Auditing the Landscape: Leaving no stone unturned, a comprehensive content and brand messaging audit evaluated existing communication materials. We identified strengths, pinpointed areas for improvement, and ensured the future narrative resonated with the audience’s expectations.

Visual Storytelling: Visual language holds immense power. Through a design audit and discovery process, we analyzed NCT’s visual identity, assessing its effectiveness in conveying the desired message and connecting with the target audience.

The culmination of this deep dive was the Research Findings Report, a tapestry woven from insights. This report wasn’t just a document; it was a rich portrait of NCT’s audience, community context, and brand essence, providing the foundation for a transformation that resonated with the very core of Nelson.

An example of a social media template for Nelson's new brand An example of a social media template for Nelson's new visual identity. An example of the Nelson brand implemented across social media 1
An example of a social media template that shows movie listings.
Examples of the brand guide from the Nelson Civic Theatre branding project

A Mosaic of Community: Design Evolution Reflecting Inclusivity + Collaboration

More than just an emblem, Civi’s new logo became a gateway to the vibrant world of film and theatre. Inspired by mid-century art-deco and the golden age of film, a mosaic bloomed, each piece symbolizing the diverse communities finding their voice at the Civic. Overlapping shapes hinted at collaboration, and a harmonious blend of colours celebrated inclusivity. It was a visual manifesto, declaring the Civic Theatre a space where stories intertwine and perspectives blossom.

The colour palette, too, shed its neutrality for a spectrum of personalities. The Civic Theatre had found its voice, and the entire town was singing along.

Crafting a Resonant Voice: Civic Theatre’s Messaging Framework

Informed by research and community engagement, we crafted a messaging framework that captured the essence of the Civic Theatre. The Brand Matrix helped define internal values, external aspirations, and the bridge between them. Through workshops and rigorous testing, each message was honed for clarity, conciseness, and compelling storytelling.

The resulting brand story wove together the threads of community, cultural connection, and cinematic exploration. Positioning statements firmly established the Civic Theatre as a cornerstone of Nelson’s cultural landscape, a champion for diverse voices, and a catalyst for artistic expression. The tagline, “A home for our imaginations,” became a rallying cry, inviting audiences to join a vibrant cultural journey.