Kami swims back to the surface

Former mascot could make comeback in marketing

Three groups are fishing around the Kamloops Chamber to use Kami the Trout for marketing.

Chamber executive director Deb McClelland said Thursday she's heard from one group asking about the chamber's copyrighted mascot and whether it might be able to use it for marketing.

"One group wrote me a letter. They're pretty informal. The other two have not. They've just said they'd be interested," she said.

"We have two, maybe three organizations that are asking us about Kami. They might be interested in using him for their own marketing. But there's nothing formal from any of them. We're just reviewing our copyright information so we understand what we can do if there is something to do with Kami," she said.

Kami the Trout was created in the 1960s and given to the chamber to use as a city logo. The flamboyant fish was eventually made into a mascot costume for Spoolmak Days and assorted tourist items like T-shirts and pins.

But in the late 1980s and into the 1990s, the fish was seen as dated, old-fashioned and some people were even concerned about the pistol he packed by his finside.

Mel Rothenburger tried to put Kami back on the merchandise map during his years as mayor but other than having a lot of pins made, the effort - well, it floundered.

McClelland said this latest revival effort has been on a small scale and she isn't sure where it will go. The chamber has had no drive to take on the trout in a big splash.

"In a great way, he's nostalgic," she said.

Mayor Peter Milobar said he would welcome Kami back if the fish resurfaced.

He remembered Kami from his own childhood.

"I've always kind of liked Kami," he said.

If the trout were to return, it wouldn't mean getting rid of other branding or marketing efforts, such as the City's Canada's Tournament Capital identity, he said.

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