October 10, 2018

#unignorable colour shines spotlight on local social issues

You can’t solve a problem if you don’t know it exists.

One of the c-train's interior posters: Why is this train so bright? The biggest issues facing our community can be tough to see. So at United Way, we're working to make them #unignorable.In our busy world, important local social issues can often go unnoticed. United Way wants to change that.

That’s why United Way partnered with the Pantone® Color Institute™ to create #unignorable – a colour developed specifically to highlight and bring attention to local issues in our communities. This new colour is the foundation of United Way’s largest national integrated public awareness campaign to date, which formally launched in Calgary October 10 with a fully wrapped CTrain - providing a uniquely #unignorable commuter experience.

“The unignorable colour is easy to spot. Social issues aren’t,” says Karen Young, president and CEO, United Way of Calgary and Area. “Things like poverty, domestic violence, and mental health struggles are holding people back from realizing their full potential. These are community issues that require community solutions. This is what United Way does. We bring people together to solve tough, complex social issues.

“We know people care about where they live, their families, and their community. The unignorable campaign is designed to provide all Calgarians with an opportunity to show their local love for these things. Ultimately, we need our community to show its support. But first, we need your attention.”

The multi-media, fully integrated national campaign is attention-grabbing. It includes images designed by award-winning international illustrator Malika Favre, whose bold pieces have appeared on the cover of The New Yorker and within campaigns for Vogue, BAFTA, and Sephora. Favre’s customized designs captivate onlookers with the #unignorable colour at the forefront, while the illustrations command attention to issues holding people back.


“Poverty, domestic violence, and mental health struggles are hurting our community,” says Katie Black, acting general manager, Community Services, City of Calgary. “In a city as prosperous as ours, no one should be left behind. When social issues are ignored, they threaten the quality of life we value as Calgarians – values of fairness, safety, diversity, and the opportunity to thrive. How we support people is a reflection of who we are as Calgarians.”

The campaign’s launch film, directed by Montreal-based Benjamin Nicolas, uses colour as a universal language to remind everyone that poverty and inequality surround us. Awareness is just the beginning; the difference-maker is to act.


“Awareness through conversations and learning more about the issues is the first step to getting involved and making a difference,” says Young.

If you love where you live, you can show your local love by taking action to #DoLocalGood and ensuring social issues in Calgary and the surrounding area are #unignorable.

Visit showyourlocallove.ca to learn more about the issues, find out how the colour was created, and join the movement by sharing on social media using hashtag #unignorable.