Frequently Asked Questions
Out On Bay Street has entered its 10th year of operations, and the organization is looking for new ways to improve our impact and advance our service mandate. One goal is to expand the geographic scope of our operations and improve our national reach beyond the GTA.
One limitation to this goal is the ‘Out On Bay Street’ brand itself which is inherently Toronto-focused and would likely fail to resonate with the same effect in other cities.
In addition, a 2015 survey of our students and sponsors revealed that the Out On Bay Street name is:
- Does not reflected the national presence of the organization.
- Does not reflect the goal of expanding beyond business and law.
That’s why we decided to embark on a journey to develop a new identity which better reflects our national aspirations and expansion goals into more diverse career spaces.
Any new brand had to reflect certain qualities. Specifically:
- The brand needs to continue to reflect the prestige of ‘Bay Street’ organizations and leading corporations, and the values of excellence, professionalism and workplace inclusion.
- The brand needs to communicate the distinct, student-focused mission and mandate of OOBS which sets us apart from other LGBTQ-focussed initiatives.
- The brand must cater to a broad stakeholder base that includes business, law, consumer products, technology companies and be apt at expanding this base to new fields.
- The brand needs to be location and industry agnostic and francophone inclusive.
- The visual identity needs to be distinctly LGBTQ-oriented.
The journey started with Deloitte Impact Day on October 2nd, 2015 which was attended by a select group of our sponsors, students and volunteers. We came out of the meeting convinced that a re-branding is something we should do and we agreed on the criteria that we should use in choosing the new brand.
We then engaged the design firm Colourphill which helped conduct surveys regarding the current brand and lead us through the process of developing a new name and logo.
Over 20 names were drafted and collected for assessment by Colourphill, the Board of Directors and executive team with the input and direction of our stakeholders.
A series of meetings were held with both our sponsors and student stakeholders where we presented the different brand options and gauged their favorite choices. Also, our volunteers were intimately engaged in this process as we made sure that their opinions were taken into consideration.
Our stakeholders’ input was diverse and very enlightening but a clear winner emerged: Start Proud / Fier Départ.
The Start Proud Logo is simple yet meaningful. Through the font and colours, we made sure to maintain the legacy of the OOBS logo. But the new addition is the steps, which signify a new start and speaks directly to our organization’s goal of facilitating the beginning of our students’ careers and that we are there, supporting them every step of the way.
The Out On Bay Street Annual Conference continues to be our biggest and most recognizable event and brand. This will remain unchanged and we will continue to brand this conference for years to come as the premier event for the top careers on ‘bay street’ and within the GTA.
The mission of the organization remains the same. Start Proud, formerly known as Out On Bay Street, facilitates the professional development of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & Ally (LGBTQA+) students as they transition from school to career in order to build a national network within the LGBTQA+ community.
No, there has been no new changes to the way we operate or our initiatives. We are still a 100% volunteer run organization. Thought we will be piloting some exploratory events in new regions and new industries to better understand the needs of different students across Canada.