Cliff Craven spent much of his career travelling the world. His latest project is meant to bring the world’s travellers here.
Craven, 60, has operated Target Multi-Media from his Qualicum Beach home since relocating from Vancouver 14 years ago.
A documentary film and multimedia producer whose work has been broadcast by National Geographic, Discovery Channel and the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), Craven also created an oral history for the Qualicum Beach Museum.
Most recently, he teamed with the Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism Association to create a history tour of interactive panels placed at 10 historic locations ranging from Nanoose Bay to Qualicum Beach.
“In the research for the oral history for Qualicum Beach museum, we found some really great stories and I became quite interested in Qualicum Beach,” said Craven, who has since joined the museum’s board of directors. “I got kind of hooked on telling those stories.”
The newly created tour expands that history to locations including the Walter Ford house in Coombs, the Rod & Gun Bar and Grill in Parksville and General Alexander McRae’s Eaglecrest Lodge in Qualicum Beach.
Each location is marked by a didactic panel with photos, a brief written history and a map of the tour’s stops. Each panel also contains a QR code that visitors may scan with their cell phones to jump to the PQBTA website to see a video created by Target and to find other information.
“Some of these spots, for example the Eaglecrest Lodge, you can be standing there and looking at a historic building, but you can’t walk in and get that history,” said Blain Sepos, executive director of the PQBTA. “When they capture the code, our visitors are able to get that experience.”
Sepos originally met Craven during the latter’s work for Qualicum Beach Museum. The two began working together a few years ago when PQBTA was exploring ways to promote “experience development” tourism for the mid-Island’s shoulder and off-seasons.
“In my travels I saw other communities that had put together historical plaques and tours,” said Craven. “Getty tours in L.A. had a mobile app, that if you go to any display and punch in a code, it would give you the background.
“I started putting these two things together and thought, why not have these didactic panels around town?”
Craven and Sepos pitched the concept to the B.C. Museum Association when it held its annual conference in Parksville in 2013. The two also worked together to secure grant funding from Destination B.C., Heritage B.C. and the Regional District of Nanaimo.
“He was here and able to capture the stories and help with sign installation and other things,” Sepos said of Craven. “If not, much more of it would have landed on my plate and probably taken quite a bit longer. Or not happened.”
Writing, visual research and design of the panels was done by Craven’s wife, Leona Matte, who also assisted him with creating the mobile video vignettes. Graphics production was contributed by Irwin Huber, Craven said.
To learn more about Target Multi-Media, visit online at www.targetmulti-media.com. To view the historic tour videos, go to myPQB.ca/historictour.