Even after the coronavirus pandemic decimated the income of the events industry, Valley Tech – the company behind Mission’s Virtual Canada Day celebration – has found a way to keep their business alive.
The audio-visual-production company has found success transforming the many COVID-19-cancelled events into virtual shows, said Ian Low, creative director at Valley Tech.
“We definitely want to show our side of the story,” Low said. “How a local company was able to turn the tide and figure out how to change.”
The less than five-year-old business had been gaining a steady stream of clients over the years, according to Low, but those clients fell to “basically zero” after the wave of cancellations following provincial health authority orders restricting public gatherings.
Valley Tech’s ability to go virtual has allowed the company to retain much of their previous clientele, according to Low.
“We’ve partnered up and approached all of our previous clients and create virtual versions for each,” he said. “It’s proved our system of being able to take an event that previously booked, and convert it into a webcast.
“There are groups [in the industry] that are noticing that there is a certain way in which we can present a quality product.”
Low said that the company did a lot of research prior to their proposal with the District of Mission for Canada Day on the number of events doing virtual shows. Valley Tech is able to amalgamate them so the content isn’t competing for viewership.”
“We’re presenting in in the most efficient way possible,” Low said. “With too much content, it sort of muddies the waters of how many people are going to participate.
The company is bringing together talent from across the community for the one-hour show on July 1. Low said show will present the different segments much like TV show, with Mission’s own Olympic medalist Brent Hayden taking the job of host.
The show is as localized to Mission as possible, Low said. One segment will even feature a family-game show type segment with the musical Faber family. Isaiah Faber’s song “death Bed (coffee for your head) ft. beabadoobee” is hitting the billboards internationally.
“[The Faber’s] are, I think, a representation of the future here,” Low said. “Each one of them was raised, both dad and kids, in Mission. They’ve all branched off and the family business is thriving.”
Other segments include a welcoming ceremony from Leq’á:mel First Nation, a performance of the national anthem, a flag raising ceremony by the Royal Canadian Legion, speeches from local dignitaries, as well as a series of short segments highlighting a few outstanding community members ranging from non-profits, frontline workers, musicians, dancers, artists and more.
Valley Tech spent last week filming different introductory segments, activities and performances for the show around the community, Low said.
The show will be livestreamed on the District of Mission’s Facebook page, website and Youtube channel at 10:30 a.m., and will re-uploaded after for the people that missed it.
Low said he hopes to plant the seed that even a smaller municipality like Mission can create great content, even on a smaller budget. After Canada Day, Valley Tech plans to take the Mission Folk Music Fest virtual.
“I just feel proud to be able to come back and focus on something specifically for the hometown,” he said. “We are really truly a Mission company making Mission things.”