Wednesday, 14 September 2011 16:06

Nanton teenager recognized for promoting his community

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By Jamie Woodford
When 16-year-old Phillip LaCoste found out he won a video contest promoting his hometown of Nanton, he was so excited he hugged his boss.

“It was great. I was at work when I first heard, and I pretty much jumped up and hugged my boss,” he recalled. “It was a fun experience. It was a good summer project to do, and it’s something I’ve always liked to do.”

The contest was put on by the Alberta SouthWest Regional Alliance, an economic partnership of 16 rural southwestern Alberta communities, as a way to promote the organization’s new website as well as geo-tourism in the area.

LaCoste’s video submission titled “Ultimate Trains” showcases Nanton’s miniature train attraction at the Big Sky Garden Railway.

The teen was inspired by the location’s diverse visuals.

“It was just a great place to shoot. It had a lot of stuff that I could try and fit in and make different,” he said. “It was just nice because the scenery around, the flowers and stuff, it helped me personally just editing it.”

An avid videographer, LaCoste saw the contest as a way to challenge himself and perfect his craft.

“I really wanted to try and do different styles of different kinds of work that I like to do with video — mostly editing — and see what else I could throw in,” he explained. “My personal goal is to get the quality a bit higher than what I did before.”

After a few days of shooting, and another week and a half of editing, his video was complete. It can be viewed on YouTube under “Alberta South West — Ultimate Trains.”

In addition to $1,000 in prize money given by the alliance, LaCoste won an ultimate holiday prize package from 20 different travel, accommodation, and tourist attraction companies — a prize he plans to share with his family and friends who helped him with the video. He plans to use the money to purchase new graphic design software.

LaCoste is most looking forward to the Waterton portion of his trip.

“There’s a couple passes ... one for a cruise and one for a dinner and a couple of others that I’ll probably do on the same day,” he said. He plans to take the opportunity to film his travels.

“Every spot I go, I’m going to make kind of a video portfolio of everywhere I went in Alberta to help represent that too,” he said. “(Ultimate Trains) was just a nice place to shoot ... and now I’ve got to try and go a bit higher and go do all of southern Alberta.”

Not one to flaunt his triumphant win, LaCoste offered this advice to others who submitted to the contest: “Keep practising and always try and find something new to do that would inspire them as well.”

The Alberta SouthWest Regional Alliance website can be found at, which features a business directory, photo and video galleries, community profiles, and more.

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