Welcome To Nelson Sign

Council Approves Final Design for Welcome to Nelson Signs

February 11, 2022

Nelson, BC - The City of Nelson has completed a design competition to explore replacing the "Welcome" signs at the three entrances leading into the City. As part of this competition, the City engaged with the community to understand what individuals thought was important to include in the design. 

The information gathered from the community was used to establish evaluation criteria in the design competition. The competition was an open invitation and involved three rounds. A design review panel was selected to evaluate proposals that helped the City narrow down the initial 30 designs submitted in round one to the four designs proposed to the public for voting. 

Over 3800 people participated in the public Design Vote. The vote was extremely close, with "Option A" winning by a margin of just 70 votes. The designs and results were presented to Council on Tuesday, February 8th, where Council officially directed staff to proceed with Option 'A'. 

Option 'A' - "A Sign of our Time"?

Option A

The winning design is by Max Vos Coupal. Mr. Vos Coupal holds a Master's in Architecture and is an intern architect at Cover Architectural Collaborative Inc. here in Nelson. 

"I am both honoured and excited that my design has been selected by popular vote - including Council's recent decision - to represent the City of Nelson as the latest iteration of an iconic landmark welcoming all those who enter the city limits, " says Max Vos Coupal. "The design I proposed recalls the early history of Nelson through a structure reminiscent of the aerial tramway on Toad Mountain and reflects the beloved sign constructed by Art Waldie through an exact replication of the original lettering, which is unique in its own right and will include recognition of the first inhabitants of the land Nelson is located on through consultation and openness to Indigenous voices. In addition, there is still work to be done before this project is constructed, and I hope to incorporate key elements of the feedback from the public and Council to further refine the design."

Mayor and Council would like to thank those who submitted designs and participated in the design competition. And they also want to thank the public for their robust engagement in both the ThoughtExchange and design competition vote. 

To learn more about the Design Competition,o listen to the City of Nelson Podcast "The Scoop with Avi & Ginger", where they sit down with Sebastien Arcand, Director of Development Services and talk about the design competition and the winning design. 

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Competition Overview 

Welcome to Nelson. The City’s welcome signs are one of a kind. While beloved by many, the quirky wooden signs have reached the end of their lifespan and need to be replaced. Through the Province of British Columbia’s Tourism Dependent Communities Fund, the City has received funding to update the signs. Because the Welcome to Nelson signs are the first impression of the city for both residents and visitors, it is important that they reflect our community. The City held a design competition and received 30 submissions. With the help of a design review panel, which consisted of 7 community members, the designs were short-listed to 4. 

The City of Nelson invites the community to vote for their preferred design. You can learn more about each design by clicking on the images below. There are a total of four options to choose from. After you have reviewed the details of each option, please click on the VOTE NOW graphic and enter your selection. Additional consultation with local indigenous groups will be taking place following the results of the community vote. 


Option A
Option B
Option C
Option D
Web Banner Welcome to Nelson Sign



July 16th, 2021

Official Launch of Competition

September 2021 

First Round of Submissions

City received 30 submissions. Design Review Panel short-listed to 7 submissions to participate in round 2.

November 2021

Second Round of Submissions

City received 5 submissions for round 2. Design Review Panel short-listed to the top 4 submissions. 

December 2021

Community vote on the preferred design.

January 2022

Results of community vote presented to Council

Brief History