City of Dowagiac’s new video tour aims to promote community, attract business

DOWAGIAC — The city of Dowagiac is doing its part to show community members and beyond everything it has to offer.

Last week, the city debuted its “Video Tour of Dowagiac” on its website, a series of short videos highlighting different aspects of the community.

The project was produced and edited by video production company CGI Communications out of Rochester, New York. The company separated the content into eight videos — healthcare and education, quality of life, parks and recreation, real estate and relocation, things to do, shopping dining and downtown, and community organizations.

Dowagiac City Manager Secretary Bobbie Jo Hartline, who coordinated the project, believes the video tour will be able to tell community members and prospective residents and business owners what the city of Dowagiac is all about.

“We worked with them five years ago on a project similar to this,” she said. “This project is a marketing piece geared toward why you should consider living or working here. People can consider the resources we have as a community when making their decision. There are a lot of business opportunities here. I’m hoping it brings to the forefront that we have a lot to be proud of as a community and that people remember how special things are.”

The project was filmed over a two-day span this past summer. The short time frame and the ongoing pandemic forced the city and production to be creative.

“When you pick a two-day window, you don’t have the ability to get to every business or place,” Hartline said. “Normally, our downtown would be full of people walking around and festival events. But we don’t need a festival every day to show people what we have to offer.”

The city incorporated still images and quickly gathered the necessary materials.

“It took months to write the script and storyboard the message,” Hartline said.

The videos highlight many of the city’s accomplishments in recent years, including the creation of Schuur Park.

“There used to be a business there and really thick bushes and woods along the creek,” Hartline said. “It was not accessible. Lots of kids grew up swimming at the creek there. Instead of being chased off by a neighbor, we invite people to walk down into the creek to swim, we built a deck families can walk on and fish on. It’s a nice space that we’re proud of and want to show to viewers.”

The welcome video features voice narration from Dowagiac Mayor Don Lyons and City Manager Kevin Anderson, who enjoyed being a part of the project.

“It’s always fun to do a project like this,” he said. “It forces you to take a look at all the good things happening around here. Good to be reminded of the positives. We have good people and businesses here. It is a video for local folks to see the good things we have, that tells others who we are and what we’re all about.”

Clicking on a video option brings you to a new page with each video available. The page features links to local sponsors’ websites embedded in their respective logos. Hartline hopes the advertisement benefits the sponsors.

“Whether it be a large or small company, the project provided an opportunity for them to shine,” she said. “The people who participated in this project, this was all to spotlight them.”

According to Hartline, the feedback the city has received about the project has been positive.

“We’re very happy that we got great cooperation from the community,” she said. “We had great open door access that made the process smooth and also allowed the editors to be more creative. We all want to see this city grow, so that one plate becomes a banquet table which then becomes a banquet hall. That’s what’s the most fun about this project.”

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