| Posted: Saturday, Mar 23, 2013 06:00 am
The City of St. Albert has reached a tipping point by promoting its culture and local landmarks using Internet viewership.
It is targeting the YouTube generation with St. Albert Live, a cultural services project that draws social media into its marketing strategy.
Cultural services has uploaded four videos on YouTube, a go-to site for movie trailers, music videos and the occasional pirated TV episode. It just joined Facebook in the one billion users club, and has redefined media consumption by many of its users aged 18 to 34.
The four local videos, with a running time of two to six minutes, are a way to nurture and promote the city’s cultural assets. Each video focuses on a different artistic discipline filmed at various city landmarks.
Hometown boy Matt Alden, an acclaimed actor, comedian, playwright, screenwriter and host for one of the videos is pumped about the YouTube videos.
“It’s the way of the future,” Alden said. “Everyone can be involved a lot more. People don’t even have to leave their house to get involved in St. Albert. Everyone gets an invite.”
Cultural services director Kelly Jerrott said that the city brainstormed numerous ideas before settling on the video format.
“We went with the guerrilla-style videos aimed at youth and we are hoping to use social media as a way to spread the word,” Jerrott said.
One of the videos looks at B-boyizm, the popular street dance crew doing flips in St. Albert Place’s sculptural plaza. Little Miss Higgins' touring band sits down in the Arden Theatre’s green room for an informal kitchen-party sing-along.
Meanwhile, the St. Albert Children’s Theatre video explores their last production Legally Blonde, from rehearsal to finished stage product. And the final video is an intimate chat with potter Julie Hage in St. Albert Place’s visual arts studio.
“We’re trying to get a variety of what’s out there. Everybody has different tastes and we’re trying to get a range and scope of the talent that exists in St. Albert,” Jerrott said.
St. Albert videographer Marvin Polis, of Stimulant Strategies, used the one-camera, lots-of-angles technique. Each low-budget video cost the taxpayers about $450.
The department plans to update and rotate videos on a quarterly basis.
“To start with we are going to put our own videos up to get the look and feel we want. But down the road, we are looking for people with experience in arts and culture to present their own videos,” Jerrott said. “It will become another way to get engaged, whether you are across the road or across the world.”
The four videos are available at www.youtube.com/stalbertlive.