Tourism Chilliwack video draws flack for lack of female representation

This year, the #sharechilliwack video focused on the ambassadors who really love Chilliwack and want to share it

Tourism Chilliwack video draws flack for lack of female representation

The visuals are incredible.

People are saying the latest Tourism Chilliwack video, with the #sharechilliwack hashtag, gives them goosebumps.

It is a stunning showcase of all Chilliwack has to offer.

Last year it was heart-pumping adventure in the spotlight.

This year the #sharechilliwack focus shifted to the people who really love Chilliwack.

It’s a slick montage of local entrepreneurs and reps who share the same tagline in the video: “This is my Chilliwack.”

But at least one Chilliwack business owner, Amy Lanteigne, president of the Soroptomist Club of Chilliwack, said although the video was undeniably “beautifully done,” she felt somewhat let down nonetheless.

Lanteigne she noticed that among all the tourism leaders and organizations showcased in the new vid, not one woman was interviewed.

“This year we wanted to show the community ambassadors, those who believe in Chilliwack and who want to share it with everybody,” said Allison Colthorp, executive director of Tourism Chilliwack.

It’s people who “live and breathe” Chilliwack.

Colthorp said any lack of female representation this time was purely an “oversight,” and that women will definitely be featured in future videos.

They will make a point to ensure things are more balanced in the next go-around.

“It was more a matter of timing and availability for the shoot,” she said.

There is no doubt about the effectiveness of the campaign.

The #sharechilliwack hashtag has been used 21000 times since it was launched two years ago. “making it one of the most successful hashtag campaigns for a community our size in all of Canada,” said Colthorp.

It was launched at a Chilliwack Tourism appreciation breakfast this week, and earned 66000 views on Facebook, and 1400 shares.

The promise to make sure materials are more balanced in the future was a welcome message.

“I felt that as women we have fought too hard for so long to be just an oversight,” Lanteigne said, adding that she has not been able to share the video as a result.

She hopes future efforts will be more inclusive and more diverse.

Coun. Sue Attrill said she also noticed the lack of female voices but her thought was that it must have been just an oversight.

They look forward to the next installments.

The new video, produced by Inmist Media House, will form the foundation of Tourism Chilliwack’s 2017 marketing efforts.

“From this footage, we will be creating TV commercials and social media clips with a very strong call to action to ‘Come see what nature is hiding in Chilliwack…'”

“This was just the start,” Colthorp said.

“Overall it has been overwhelmingly positive, and we thank Chilliwack for embracing it.”