City wants on the Monopoly board

Will Kamloops real estate end up Boardwalk blue or Baltic Avenue purple?

Community leaders are backing a competition that could enshrine the City on a Canadian version of the classic board game, nestled among railways, utilities and Community Chest.

Kamloops is on the ballot for the first day of online voting to choose among 20 large and small Canadian communities that will be represented on a special Monopoly board.

"Everyone grew up playing Monopoly," said Mayor Peter Milobar, who was given a letter and game board informing him of the contest.

"To have the city name enshrined in a Canadian version would be neat."

The 20 winning communities will be those with the most votes cast at www.monopoly.ca. The No. 1 community will occupy the high-end real estate of the Boardwalk space on the traditional game. Others will be named to lesser-value spaces also based on votes.

Competitors include Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal as well as Northern outposts of Iqaluit and Wood Buffalo. In B.C. competing cities include Prince George, Nanaimo, Kelowna and Chilliwack.

Lee Morris, chief executive officer of Tourism Kamloops, said the agency was contacted last year for details, images and interest in the promotion. Officials responded enthusiastically.

"Monopoly is absolutely traditional in Canadian families," said Morris. "For us to have Kamloops to get out our brand and for brand awareness across Canada is great stuff."

Consumers have until Feb. 7 to register and cast votes for their favourite three communities. One vote is allowed each day for three communities.

Two "wild card" squares on the board will be filled by two other communities nominated and voted on between Feb. 8 through Feb. 21.

The Canadian version of the classic game, which has sold more than 250 million copies, will be launched this summer.

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