British Columbia or Upper Cascadia

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Upper  Cascadia: is that a place you would like to visit?  What picture does it bring to mind?  Both parts of the name evoke positive sensations.  The views are presumably better in Upper rather than Lower Cascadia.  The name Cascadia would seem to imply cascades or waterfalls. 

If you were starting from scratch to develop a name for the province, you might be hard-pressed to find a better one.  This is the question that Douglas Todd has raised in an article in the Vancouver Sun.  Since the province touts itself as the best place on earth, what should it best be called?

As Todd pointed out, the existing name, British Columbia, has been there a long time and is much loved by many residents.  Nevertheless it is a name that almost invites confusion.  Why British?  Why Columbia? 

British Columbians could think about re-working the name that Queen Victoria gave us in the mid-1800s. She wanted to highlight the Columbia River, but not confuse us with South America’s Colombia.

You can read Douglas Todd’s article for detailed reasons why the present provincial name is not very satisfactory. There may have been good reasons when the province was established, but they do not carry the same weight now.  If we are keen on increasing the number of visitors then what counts is how well the name may help us do that rather than how it is viewed by those living in the province.

In marketing terms, the name can be one of the strongest selling agents for the province.  Changing the name may have a major influence on the attractiveness of the place to someone who has never visited before. It is very likely that the name will change at some time in the future.  If so, why not now so that we can gain whatever benefits the name change may produce.

Whenever that contest takes place, I wish to nominate the name Upper Cascadia.  I think it has a lot going for it.

If the word Cascadia takes your fancy, perhaps you may wish to check out books on Cascadia and understand what that word offers.

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