Boys and Girls Club rebrands as BGC

The Boys & Girls Club of Canada has rebranded with the non-gendered—and therefore more inclusive— name BGC Canada.

Working with creative and strategy agency Round, the 120-year old organization has been undergoing a brand overhaul since last year. In the fall the non-profit introduced its “Opportunity Changes Everything” positioning with a creative campaign highlighting its role in building social safety nets for children left out or left behind.

The new brand is part of the effort to ensure no child is left out. Removing gender from the name is meant to be more inclusive without moving too far from the previous brand, which has high awareness.

“Not every young person identifies as a boy or a girl. So we’ve changed our name to reflect that,” explains a video about the name change. “At BGC no kid or teen is ever turned away, no matter their backgrounds, no matter their circumstances.”

“Those that know us know we remove barriers and create opportunities for all children and youth,” said Rachael Mackenzie-Neill, vice-president of marketing and development for BGC Canada, in a release. “This brand refresh is part of a broader goal to create deeper connections with communities across the country—and ensure that young people and families meeting us for the first time feel the welcome and support our Clubs are known for and that has defined our legacy.”

A new brand was on the table for BGC since Round started working with the organization more than a year ago, said founding partner Mike Davidson. “They came to us and said ‘We think we have to change the name because of the binary aspects and what is going on in culture.'”

Round first took a step back to look at how the organization was still relevant in culture, and then explore a new story for where the brand could go. It talked to stakeholders around the country to understand what Boys and Girls Club was, what it does, and what it could do.

The new brand story was about giving every kid a personal opportunity removing the barriers a lot of kids faced, said Davidson. “We looked at the name and logo, and with the new story, some of these things didn’t fit anymore,” he said. “The name wasn’t right anymore. It didn’t fit within the story… the binary aspect was a problem.”

They looked at different names that would resonate not only with the kids and young people BGC serves, but also the big businesses that provide financial support. They settled on BGC because it still felt connected to the legacy of the organization.

“They do have equity in that name and icon, so we protected that and evolved the brand,” said Davidson.

Meet BGC from BGC Canada on Vimeo.

David Brown