Sparrow Hotels – A New Social Lens For An Established Hospitality Brand


The Sparrow Hotels brand encompasses three hotels, five restaurants, and one spa: The Inn at the Forks, Mere Hotel, The Norwood Hotel, SMITH Restaurant, ERA Bistro, Pauline Bistro, The Wood Tavern, and The Riverstone Spa. All establishments are located in three Winnipeg neighbourhoods connected by proximity and authentic local experiences – The Forks, The Exchange District, and St. Boniface.

We were thrilled to have the opportunity to assess and reimagine the existing social presence and voice for each of the eight established and new brands under the Sparrow Hotels umbrella. In line with Sparrow’s ambitions, the criteria for each account’s social presence is that they are to express contemporaneity, elegance and thoughtfulness for local history and narrative. All existing social accounts, to some capacity, lacked innovation, a balance of consistency and diversity, and most importantly – a clear content and communication strategy. The task at hand was to weave their distinctive stories together, while giving each a unique social presence. The studio identified various different stages of interaction that might occur between customer and the brands in question, with the goal of defining strategies to captivate a viewer from the moment of brand discovery and translating that into progressive growth in brand followers across the board.


Photos by Pauline Boldt.

Era Bistro

This was a task in educating and informing the public of the restaurant’s unique context, accessibility, and purpose within a major national landmark – The Canadian Museum for Human Rights. 26 Projects highlighted seasonality and hyper-localized ingredients through atmospheric photography that would be thoughtfully curated for their Social channels.

Smith Restaurant

Located within The Inn at the Forks – SMITH is well-loved by locals and features an abundance of Canadiana charm and an actively engaged Social following. The strategy was to elevate the highly visible brand and focus on illuminating their unique programming, dynamic context at The Forks, all in addition to the food.  The visual assets that the studio produced required depth and interest to break the formality and predictability of the existing  brand imagery.

Mere Hotel

The priority was to build a library of fresh visuals for this modern boutique hotel that would move beyond the establishment – speaking to the context in which it is situated. The building’s colourful facade and clean interior open up to a distinctive industrial district, rich in historic character and artful, rough edges. Quality amenities and clean, contemporary design offered by the hotel is the ultimate comfort for guests, but the freedom to explore became the story to tell on their social platforms.

Inn at the Forks

A highly unique hotel experience among the Winnipeg hospitality scene, the Inn’s social presence was already well established with a broad range of engagement locally and abroad. Its location in an ecological and cultural hub makes it a source of connectivity, bringing together content related to all Sparrow entities. 26 Projects provided support in the form of engagement strategies to stay ahead and grow their expanding audience.

The Riverstone Spat at Inn at the Forks

With minimal existing social and digital exposure compared to the other Sparrow entities, the studio built, from the ground up, a sensual, visual art direction and clear, inclusive, and approachable language to express the unique spa experience and offerings. The goal of opening the spa to a highly connected digital realm was to increase awareness, following, and ultimately conversion rates.

The Norwood Hotel

The Norwood is a longstanding hotel and name, and the first to open under the Sparrow Hotels umbrella. With a series of interior renovations completed and the addition of Pauline Bistro and a reimagined Wood Tavern on the main floor, the brand’s visual presence and voice needed to align with the quality of the hotel’s physical experience. Sleek photography that looked inward, and an authentic yet youthful voice was honed to draw in a new audience and connect with loyal locals. Read more about the launch of Pauline Bistro and The Wood Tavern in their respective case here.