Victoria company designs Courtenay city website

Questions have arisen in the community as to why the city would hire a Victoria company to design its website.

Questions have arisen in the community as to why the city would hire a Victoria company to design its website.


The City of Courtenay retained Victoria-based Atomic Crayon to design its new website. The price came to $71,600.

An RFP process in August of last year garnered 11 eligible proposals from vendors across Canada and two in the U.S. Atomic Crayon came closest to meeting the requirements, says CAO David Allen, noting the web agency was the second-closest geographically among applicants.

“One local company submitted a proposal,” he said. “One additional local company inquired, but did not submit a proposal.”

Selection criteria was based on cost, qualifications, experience, quality of submission and the final product.

“Municipal websites are a specialized service, and rather than reinvent the wheel, we felt confident that Atomic Crayon’s experience would serve us well,” Allen said. “This was our first major website redesign since 2006, and the first time we’d ever outsourced this service.”

The local applicant, Dialect, submitted a bid of $44,500. The design studio has worked on websites for the Village of Cumberland, the Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association and the Cumberland Chamber.

When contacted by The Record, the owner of Dialect chose not to comment on the decision.

Atomic Crayon has designed more than 40 websites for municipal clients, including the Comox Valley Regional District and City of Nanaimo. The company has also worked with third party services, including the City’s recreation registration software and its financial system.

“So in future, we can consider integrating these services to provide online registration and online payment services,” Allen said.

As a comparison, Campbell River spent around $60,000 on its website, but Allen says Courtenay has added extra modules. Atomic Crayon transferred the bulk of the content.

“We believe the new website will enhance public service delivery and engagement,” Allen said, noting public comments have largely been positive.

The website contains more than 550 pages, with features such as online job applications, a capital projects gallery an emergency notification system.

The address is


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