Partnering to promote Ladysmith

Town of Ladysmith and Chamber of Commerce will partner to ensure Ladysmith is part of a production promoting the Cowichan Valley.

The Town of Ladysmith and Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce will partner to make sure Ladysmith is featured in a promotional production being proposed by DV Cuisine in Cowichan Bay.

Nick Versteeg of DV Cuisine plans to produce a 25-minute production about the Cowichan Valley — which he sees encompassing the area from Ladysmith south to the Malahat — tentatively called The Cowichan Valley — A Journey of Food, Art and Culture at this time.

Versteeg shared his plans with the Chamber of Commerce during the Chamber’s April general meeting.

“We want to film it over an entire year and get all the seasons in,” he said.

From that major project, Versteeg wants to film smaller, four-minute pieces for participants like Chambers of Commerce and the Cowichan Valley Regional District [CVRD] that they can then use on their websites. As well, he would like to create videos that showcase what you can do in certain towns and regions for one or two days.

“We will have a series of videos from that main project that show tourists what you can do in one or two days,” he said. “The larger production is also meant as a piece we can show to our own people to say ‘look at what we can promote.’”

Versteeg is asking for 15 sponsors to sponsor the project for $1,0000 each. For their sponsorship, they will receive the full project, a four-minute video especially for them and the tourist project.

Versteeg encourages groups to join together and sponsor in combination with one another.

“We have to showcase what we have to offer,” said Versteeg. “It’s incredible what we have to offer from Ladysmith to the Malahat and from ocean to ocean.”

Versteeg would like to see events like the Festival of Lights showcased as part of the project.

“My goal is also to really help people promote the area and keep people in the area,” he said.

Even though they haven’t received the go-ahead from the CVRD, DV Cuisine began filiming pruning in vineyards in February.

The project’s overall budget is $23,000, and Versteeg is hoping to secure 15 sponsors, who would pay $1,000 each, and to have the CVRD match funds.

Ladysmith council recently received a letter from Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce president Rob Waters saying the Chamber would like to partner with the town and participate in this promotional venture, which would cost $500 each. Council voted on May 7 to partner with the Chamber to become a joint sponsor for Versteeg’s project, subject to participation by the CVRD.

“The Chamber was very impressed with Nick’s product, and as a part of the Cowichan Valley, we feel that Ladysmith should definitely be a participant in this production and that it would be highly beneficial to Ladysmith as a whole,” Waters wrote in his letter to council.

Coun. Bill Drysdale expressed a bit of concern that the letter by Versteeg outlining his proposal only mentioned Ladysmith once, and Coun. Duck Paterson echoed that concern, but there was generally support for the project around the table, as all councillors voted in favour of spending $500 from the town’s public relations budget to become a co-sponsor with the Chamber of Commerce.

Noting Ladysmith sometimes gets left out in regional marketing, Coun. Jill Dashwood thought it was a good idea.

“Being a sponsor, that has to be a win-win for Ladysmith,” she said. “I think it’s time we partner. If we get four minutes for our website, that’s amazing.”