Nov 5, 2010

Sackville vs Pleasantville vs Ibiza (2010)

Style & Artifacts is a series of articles about the cultural symbolism of artifacts and monuments in landscapes and cityscapes. Black and white welcome signs, an outdoor sculpture that gets wrapped in winter, as well as bizarre swastikas patterns integrated into architecture are some of the topics that will be examined. The articles will be posted in episodes.

Editing assistance: Valerie LeBlanc


Sackville vs Pleasantville vs Ibiza

Sackville wanted to set itself apart from other towns by using black and white in their advertisements.[13] Well-done Sackville!  I have to agree that the new signs contrast with others.  One example being the colorful sign on Highway 15 near Moncton, that depicts two amazingly happy kids at a water park.

To present Sackville as a black and white destination may unintentionally have alluded to the movie Pleasantville. [14] You have to agree that Sackville and Pleasantville have a similar ring to them.  This allegorical movie presents two universes; one in black and white, where old fashion values reign, and a modern one in full color.  The protagonists go back and forth between the worlds and eventually the quaint little town changes its ways to become colorful.  Are the utopias of Sackville and Pleasantville related?  Should we, the tourists and the lonely truck drivers on the highway, be called in by the billboards?  Should we emulate Bud and Mary Sue Parker in the Pleasantville movie by going into the black and white town, “to educate (the town) about issues such as personal freedoms, styles of art, and literature? ”[15]

Katie Tower of the Sackville Tribune wrote a critical article about the billboards: Does Town’s new highway sign say Sackville? [16] In it, she pointed out that the billboards were not ‘really saying much about the vibrant cultural scene that makes up this quaint university town known as Sackville”.[17] Tower is right about the vibrancy of the cultural scene but I don’t think the billboards are off target either.  This town has not been misrepresented because this town is a quaint little place.  Let face it Sackville is not Ibiza, the number one party town in the world.[18] It is true that Sackville has an impressive scope of activity for its size.  In 2008, it was even named a Cultural Capital of Canada, [19] succeeding the town of Wendake, Quebec.  But Sackville is above all quaint, meaning that it has an old-fashioned charm, that it is unusual in an interesting and pleasing way.   The fact that it was selected by the Canadian Association of Retired Persons as one of the best places to live in Canada, [20] speaks volume about its pace.  It is traditional and quiet, it is pastoral and the sign says it well.

But then if you look at the photograph a bit longer you can see all those little antennas, hidden by the speed of travel.  Could this be a metaphor for the hidden wildness that can be found there?   People say that every little town has its secrets.  If it is true then maybe this is the real subtlety of the new identity campaign.  It managed to evoke the most secret trait of its population without them realizing it.  Perhaps beneath the tranquil exterior of idyllic, almost arcadian life, there is a wild heart beating.  Maybe like a mullet, Sackville is all ‘business in the front and party in the back.’  That thought would be subject matter for further research.

Daniel Dugas,

Moncton, August – October 2010

[13] “Everything is in colour these days.  Everybody wants to use colour and use the same thing to attract people to their community…but we don’t want to look like the other towns.”  Graham Watt, member of Sackville Tourism Advisory Committee.Visitors will be welcomed to Sackville with unique image. Tower, K.  (2009, May 6).  Sackville Tribune Post.

[14] IMBd The Internet Movie Database

[15] Pleasantville (film). (2010, July 21). In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved August 9, 2010, from

[16] Does towns new highway sign say Sackville?. Tower, K.  (2009, June 17). Sackville Tribune Post.

[17] idem

[18] Best Party Cities in the World, Retrieved October 15, 2010, from:

[19] 2008 Cultural Capitals of Canada, Retrieved September 1st, 2010, from

[20] Sackville Arts Walk brochure – Feb. 2010



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Daniel H. Dugas

Artiste numérique, poète et musicien, Daniel H. Dugas a participé à des expositions individuelles et de groupe ainsi qu’à plusieurs festivals et événements de poésie en Amérique du Nord, en Europe, au Mexique et en Australie. Son treizième recueil de poésie « émoji, etc. » / « emoji, etc. » vient de paraître aux Éditions Basic Bruegel.

Daniel H. Dugas is a poet, musician, and videographer. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions as well as festivals and literary events in North America, Europe, Mexico, and Australia. His thirteenth book of poetry, 'émoji, etc.' / 'emoji, etc.' has been published by the Éditions Basic Bruegel Editions.

Date : Mars / March 2022
Genre : Poésie / Poetry
Français / English

émoji, etc. / emoji, etc.

Date: Mai / May 2022
Genre: Vidéopoésie/Videopoetry