“Beautiful B.C.” is a fact, according to a new poll

English_Bay,_Vancouver,_BCBritish Columbia is “beautiful.” Alberta is “oil.”

A newly released poll from Insights West asked 815 residents of B.C. to choose one word to describe the province.  The overwhelming first choice was beautiful, followed by nature, diverse, scenery and geography.

When residents of B.C. were asked to describe Alberta in one word, the most popular choice was oil, followed by flat, cold, cowboy and barren.  (Interestingly, when Albertans were asked to describe B.C. in a similar poll, their first choice was beautiful, as well. For themselves, they chose hard-working.)

Of course, B.C. is beautiful. With snowcapped mountains, ocean and rugged coasts, dizzying canyons and brooding forests, what’s not to love?  But some creative branding might also have something to do with the responses. 

License_Plate_British_Columbia_RMSThe “Beautiful B.C.” tagline first began appearing in official government documents in 1964, according to fascinating research by the Vancouver Sun’s Denise Ryan. It remains on our license plates to this day.

Back in 2005, the new official motto “The Best Place on Earth” was unveiled.  But it didn’t prove as popular: Even B.C. residents felt the description was a bit too smug. After dropping it in 2011, officials embraced “Super, Natural British Columbia” (actually a 30-year-old slogan brought back to life), which continues to be used today.

The poll also asked B.C. residents to choose their “most-admired” British Columbian, living or dead.  Terry Fox was the runaway winner, followed by scientist David Suzuki, ex-premier W.A.C. Bennet, wheelchair athlete and activist Rick Hansen and entrepreneur Jimmy Pattison.

TerryFoxToronto19800712For contrast, when residents of Alberta were asked to name their most loved Albertans, they turned, overwhelmingly, to politicians.  Ex-premiers Ralph Klein and Peter Lougheed took the top two spots, followed by Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, former lieutenant-governor Lois Hole and hockey great Wayne Gretzky.

More evidence of B.C.’s exceptionalism: 68 percent of people polled said British Columbians have more in common with residents of Seattle and Portland than residents of Toronto and Montreal.

But perhaps the most reassuring stat of all: 92 percent of B.C. residents polled said they are “very proud” of the province they live in.

What do you think about the results of the poll? Let us know below. 

Follow me on Twitter:


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Comments are closed for this post

10 Responses to “Beautiful B.C.” is a fact, according to a new poll


    I would have said SPECTACULAR!!!!!

    • Laura

      Alberta is exceptionally beautiful too. From mountains,hills,plains and badlands. Diversity,hugeness and generosity of spirit. Pragmatic and exceptional .My beautiful spacious Alberta!

  2. Dave

    BC has one of the worlds most diverse Eco systems in the world. With a temperatures from 40 above to 40 below. Beautiful Mountains and lakes, valleys, desert and seas are not all to see.
    And above all
    Bring Cash

  3. Lisa Pinto

    Me and my whole family think that BC is the best place on Earth and we are very proud to be living here.

  4. I would love to go visit there!

  5. Janet


  6. Lorn Pearson

    Born in Vancouver and having worked with Tourism BC, I genuinely LOVE BC. Presently , I live in the US midwest and I have to say that the weather here and scenery just doesn’t compare to what Canada’s western-most province offers. Yes, there are nice people around here – but give me my Canadian lifestyle and friends!

  7. Cindy

    Your facts need checking.

    Super, Natural BC has been the official tourism brand for this province for about 30 years. It is a trademark owned previously by Tourism BC, now known as Destination BC. It was not “brought back to life”, it never went away. It is one of Canada’s strongest and well recognized brands, though apparently not wide enough!

    “Best Place on Earth” was a brief Gordon Campbell creation that was never properly researched to see if would in fact be effective. It was used for a short time by the trade/economic development folks and some politicians, and had to be discarded when they realized it offended pretty much everyone.

  8. Heather

    Jef Mullens, who was the Director of Tourism for Highway 16, was the person you first used the phrase “Supernatural, British Columbia” back in the early 1980’s. He also promoted the “Paint your wagon” song as part of the supernatural theme.

  9. Pingback: 6 Reasons Why Going On Exchange in Canada Was My Best Decision Ever