Lake Cowichan council has been presented with the idea of making a promotional video of the town and upper valley.
Former CVRD Area I (Youbou/Meade Creek) director Klaus Kuhn showed up at April’s Sustainable Planning and Development Committee meeting at the town hall to present the proposal.
“When I saw ‘Once Upon a Cowichan’ I was excited,” Kuhn told the council table at the meeting. “It’s what we need for the upper valley. I met with Parker Jefferson and Nick Versteeg (who made Once Upon a Cowichan) and asked them if there was any way we could make a movie in the Lake area. They said we for sure could make a five to eight minute video.
“So I want your feedback on certain ideas that would be in it and whether you think it would be a good idea or not, as I don’t want to waste my time. I think it’s a great idea. We’re trying to attract young people as they are moving away because there’s no employment. It’s not easy selling corporations on a move here. The best approach would be to aim at entrepreneurs or people who have businesses outside the area but live here. The lake doesn’t create employment but it increases the chances of a base that we need.”
The main goal of the video would be to attract more people to move to the area and potentially set up business as well, increasing employment opportunity.
“I moved to the area from Campbell River 20 years ago and times haven’t changed,” said Kuhn. “One day I was driving down Island and I looked through my binoculars and saw beautiful Youbou bathed in the sun and asked my wife if she’d like to live there. We have to promote this area. It would cost between $3,000 to $6,000 in video budget. A good idea would be to interview young people and ask them why they moved here. Then we could have scenes of houses, boats on the lake and a little bit about the river.”
Council was recently proposed a similar idea by company Reactive Design.
“I like both ideas but we’d need to gather some research and have a demonstration video on what would be the best way to market our area,” said Mayor Ross Forrest. “There’s not a lot of extra dollars going around.”
Coun. Tim McGonigle briefly suggested that local businesses as well as CVRD Areas F and I could aid with the funding.
“The footage could be done this summer,” said Kuhn. “Up to now there is no budget as Nick doesn’t know what we require and you guys don’t know what we have. If we are to promote the area, we must show how you live there. What we have going for us is the recreational value of this area, so we should push that. The lake is beautiful because it has a south arm and a north arm and so many different scenes. It has so much going for it. We also have people from the Cowichan Lake River Stewardship Society that look after the lake. We need to get that out there to the public. A video is a chance for relative little money to get the word out. But it’s all preliminary.”
Coun. Bob Day is in favour of the video.
“The professional company also gave us a proposal,” said Day. “We do need a commercial with a narrative, there’s no rush though. We have a whole budget cycle to go through.”
McGonigle is also an advocate of the video idea.
“The video shouldn’t just be for the Town of Lake Cowichan,” he said. “It should be on the whole Cowichan Lake area and it should look at real estate, business opportunities and economic development. I don’t see it as just one group funding this.”
Forrest would like to see a more specific presentation, potentially from Versteeg, made to council.
“It is time to start marketing our area better but there is a full budget cycle ahead of us before something can happen,” said the mayor. “We also need to promote it at the best time and that’s Lake Cowichan in the summer.”