New films about Cowichan Valley are all about community

The Once Upon a Day series of videos about the Cowichan Valley feature beautiful scenes, beautiful music and passionate people.

Home. It’s the word I kept coming back to as I attended the premiere of Once Upon a Day… Cowichan last week.

This beautiful video showcases many great spots and great people in the Cowichan Valley, and it’s very touching. Watching first the five-minute Once Upon a Day… Cowichan video and then the 42-minute, more in-depth Once Upon a Year… Cowichan video, I kept thinking of home. I’ve only been in Ladysmith for 15 months, but it’s felt like home since the very beginning, and this video made me happy that I do call this beautiful part of the world home.

Produced in partnership with the Cowichan Valley Regional District, Once Upon a Day is part of a series of short films created by Nick Versteeg of DV Cuisine in Cowichan Bay in collaboration with retired local composer Eric Smith. The series is aimed at not only drawing tourists to the Warm Land, but also letting locals know what’s available in their backyards.

These films are all about community — 88 Cowichan-based professional and semi-professional singers and musicians and 15 local businesses all came together to help make this happen.

The videos are full of beautiful music and scenes, but my favourite part is the people. It’s people who make up communities, and everyone featured in Versteeg’s films loves living here, you can tell.

These videos are a great tool for tourism. Versteeg, who is full of passion and excitement for this area, is encouraging people to buy a DVD and send them to their friends and family to show them all they could see and do in the Cowichan Valley. But the videos are also meant to provide inspiration to local people and show them what they can do in a day right here in this area.

And they do all that. They make me want to send the videos to everyone who hasn’t heard of Ladysmith. And they make me want to stay on the Island and explore. But most of all, they make me feel lucky I live here.

— Lindsay Chung