Branding, Design, Marketing, Social, Strategy, Web

Priming for a podium finish

Serving as the Agency of Record for the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games has been an honour. These Games have left an indelible impact on our community, and it’s been our privilege to help shape the look and feel of this generational event.

Niagara 2022 Canada Games

The Ask

Start quick, finish strong

The Niagara Host Society had a bold vision for how Canada’s preeminent multi-sport competition would play out in our community and what it would mean for our future. To see this through, they needed an agency to invest in their vision, embed with their team, raise the bar at every turn, and bring the nation to our doorstep - Once, and for all.


Creating a brand to stand for generations.

Developing the brand for Niagara 2022 involved many stakeholders, from all levels of government to the Canada Games Council, provincial sport organizations, municipalities, community partners, sponsors, vendors, volunteers and the community at large. Incorporating a variety of opinions and influence was a challenging piece of the process, but also the most rewarding. Using those inputs, in-depth research and our formulated strategy, we crafted a compelling brand story for Niagara 2022 that built off the ‘Inspire. Transform. Unify.’ theme of the bid group’s original pitch to win the Games.

The brand identity was rooted in water and influenced by our iconic Niagara Falls. This theme flowed through all aspects of the brand, with colour names like Fresh Mist, Undercurrent and Cool Rush, along with abstract graphic elements comprised of athletic waves. This was the only time an entire region would host the Games, so we conceived the tagline ‘Once, and for all’ to encapsulate the wide-reaching impact of this event in our community. We also designed an extensive visual identity system that helped stakeholders push forward a brand that could excite, captivate, and proudly represent the Niagara Region on the national stage.

Niagara 2022 Brand
Niagara 2022 Brand


A turtle-y awesome design, by committee.

Of course, no Games would be complete without a fun-loving mascot. An important animal and symbol for Indigenous communities, the Niagara Region, and Canada, it was clear from the beginning that the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games mascot would be a turtle. To inspire engagement and inclusion, the Games invited students across Niagara to participate in the Catch the Spirit contest to name and design the mascot. With winners selected from hundreds of entries, we brought to life the newly named mascot, Shelly.

Niagara 2022 Mascot
Niagara 2022 Mascot
Niagara 2022 Mascot
Niagara 2022 Mascot


Building a site to behold

We’ve built scores of robust websites over the years, but the Games site was a unique challenge. With a three-year runway, we developed and strategized a fluid, multi-part plan of attack tied to specific milestones and events with varying degrees of difficulty. The six-phase master plan of information architecture, content strategy and development framework had to allow for unknown factors at every turn. The critical planning and extra attention put into predicting issues helped us roll out every phase of the site seamlessly.

Our attention to detail with the front-end User Experience also found its way into the client’s publishing experience on the back end. We custom configured a secure, robust and open source content management system to give the Games a reliable platform that was flexible enough to adapt to changing needs during the various phases of the project.

We supported the Niagara 2022 team all along the way, working with them during bi-weekly production meetings to roll out key information for milestone events and present various marketing initiatives in ways that often required customized page layouts. We also developed the architecture and workflow to accommodate the intake of thousands of volunteer applications. And the best part? We did it all in English and French, from the volunteer email notifications to the hero on the homepage.

Niagara 2022 Website
Niagara 2022 Website


Bringing our best on game day.

Bringing the Games to Niagara was an incredible feat, but with it came a formidable challenge: how would we get people to know and care about the Games? We would have to build this thing from scratch, be fluid in our planning, predict as many pain points as possible and pivot whenever needed. We embarked on a long and detailed strategic process to develop a multi-phase, multi-campaign, multi-year approach. Armed with insightful research, we drafted creative and messaging for each audience, targeted across relevant mediums with pinpointed tactics to ensure we would meet our goals.

We had to build an audience from the jump, and social media was the playing field. We spent the first year engaging, enticing and teasing the crowd, garnering interest and a following for subsequent marketing efforts. We invested a lot of energy into generating a captive email audience of thousands. This work was the foundation for the first local campaigns centred around recruiting 5,000 volunteers for the Games. As the base grew, our campaign reach did as well, setting us up for success with future efforts around ticket sales, cultural events, the Opening Ceremony and more.

Many thousands of fans would experience the Games via many touchpoints, but the pandemic shifted our focus to ensuring those fans stayed informed and interested. Thanks to these efforts and a tireless and determined Niagara 2022 team, community support never wavered and the legacy of Niagara 2022 was secured for years to come.

Sport Tourism Canada later cemented this legacy in the form of two national awards - the Games took home both the Canadian Sport Event of the Year and the Sport Event Legacy of the Year honours at the 2023 Sport Events Congress.

Niagara 2022 Social Media
Niagara 2022 Banner
Niagara 2022 Digital
Niagara 2022 Barrier
Niagara 2022 Tshirts
Niagara 2022 Ball Cap
Niagara 2022 Shirt
Niagara 2022 Apparel Kit

Our partnership goes beyond that of a supplier. Form & Affect is an extension of our team.

Vittoria Wikston | Director, Marketing & Community Development

Ready to run with us?

Let the Games begin.

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