once-upon-a-day-award

Once Upon a Day…Cowichan Wins Provincial Award

Film once upon a day…cowichan takes home provincial award

Cowichan Valley Citizen, July 4, 2013

By Lexi Bainas, Citizen

To view a preview of the film click here: Once Upon a Day…Cowichan.

The video that thrilled local audiences, Once Upon a Day…Cowichan, has won the first of what could be a string of awards.

once-upon-a-day-awardEric Smith, left, Nick Versteeg and Geoff Millar are delighted that the popular video has won a prestigious award. Photograph by: Lexi Bainas/Citizen

Cowichan ecomonic development guru Geoff Millar proudly showed off the award he brought home from a recent conference in Vancouver to two of its creative team, filmmaker Nick Versteeg and musician Eric Smith.

“We received the BC Hydro Economic Development Marketing Award for communities larger than 20,000 for the video,” said Millar.

“The judging panel is made up of people from all across Canada in the publishing, marketing and public relations fields. These are fairly high powered folks. They were really impressed with the Once Upon a Day video, thought it was absolutely amazing,” he said.

Cathy Lachman of Cowichan Valley Economic Development sent the submission about two months ago to the Planning Institute of BC where it joined over four hours worth of videos from 40-50 communities.

“They decided to pare that down to a much more easily handled list and Once Upon a Day was naturally in there,” Millar said.

Versteeg and Smith were delighted. “I think we also have to acknowledge all the volunteers, the musicians especially,” Versteeg said. “That’s what made this. Eric and I did the work but the people made it. All these people volunteered for it. That’s what was fantastic about this project.”

It would have been impossible without the volunteers, Smith agreed.

“That would have about a $150,000 to $200,000 production otherwise,” he said. “It would never have happened.”

Versteeg agreed.

“We’re always talking about community and that’s what happened here. Everyone got involved. And then a whole variety of businesses, our 15 sponsors, came on board. And of course, for each sponsor, we also did a five-minute video. They are also all on the website and can be seen as well. That’s the beauty of it. But there’s more. Averill Creek just took the video to China. They don’t have You-Tube in that country so they couldn’t see it. They took the DVD and showed it to everyone they saw.”

Smith and Millar said they, too, had distributed copies when they had travelled recently.

Millar added, “We had two people in here at Economic Development this morning from China who are looking at buying a business in Duncan. An interpreter and a realtor were showing them around and, of course, everybody got a copy of the video to take home. The exposure has been great and now we can add the tag ‘award-winning’ to the video as well.” Versteeg said the overall response has been terrific.

“We have now reached over 50,000 views on Vimeo and YouTube and hope to reach 100,000 by the end of the year.”

Millar said, “we have just received this morning another 1,000 DVDs and the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce will be retailing them for $7.95 out of the information centre.”

And of course, there could be more awards on the way.

“The Vancouver Island and provincial tourism conferences and awards are coming up, too, so we’ll probably enter the competitions in those as well,” Millar said.

“The tourism one, that should be good,” said Versteeg.