The mayor is thrilled to see Nelson enthusiastically on board with a competition that aims to spruce up downtown with a fresh coat of paint.
“Everybody could use a fresh coat of paint,” John Dooley says. “I think it’s important that we try and win this because it could have a big impact on our downtown and give it a bit of a facelift.”
The Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce entered the community into the Main Street Matters online contest that started at the beginning of the month.
The Benjamin Moore sponsored competition features over 100 communities across North America, 24 of them Canadian towns. The top 20 chosen through number of votes will have three blocks painted over the next year with the help of local retailers and painting contractors.
During the last online contest featuring Nelson run by Powder Magazine this winter, the mayor put a great deal of time and effort into getting people to vote — campaigning being his specialty. He’s been putting energy into this contest as well.
“I’ve been telling as many people as I can,” he says. “I’d be more than happy to promote it again if need be.”
But it seems as if the people of Nelson might have this job handled. With prompts popping up on Facebook by individuals and groups, it would be hard to be online in the day without being reminded to vote.
“The Powder Magazine competition that we all voted in got people interested and engaged and once you get engaged in these kinds of online competitions, you realize how simple it is to do,” says Dooley. “People know now it’s as simple as firing up your computer and going to the site and voting.”
Simple to vote, yes but not as easy to stand out among the 100 communities nominated for a fresh coat of paint. Though a running tally of votes isn’t being made public, Nelson appears to be doing well.
The Heritage City was among the communities that saw the biggest increase in votes over the past weekend. Listed by Benjamin Moore as one of the top movers and shakers from June 7 to 9, Nelson was highlighted with Halifax and Penticton in Canada as well as Eureka, California and Minot, North Dakota also among the top weekend ten.
Nelson’s success doesn’t surprise Dooley.
“It’s called community pride, that’s what it’s called. We’ve had it for a long time and we intend to keep it,” he says.
Just being included in the Main Street Matters contest is great for the community, suggests Dooley, who appreciates the spotlight shining this way. But he thinks Nelson shouldn’t settle when there is something to be won.
“As you go through the process you are raising the profile of your community anyway win or lose,” he says. “But we’ve got this great tradition of winning here so we’re not interested in anything else.”
To vote go to paintwhatmatters.ca, click on the province and then the town name appearing on the left. The contest closes June 30 and folks can vote daily until then.