By Keith McNeill
“That was one of the best events I’ve seen in Clearwater for a long time.”
That was one person’s reaction after attending a showing of the Banff Mountain Film Festival’s world tour at Dutch Lake Community Centre on Friday evening, Sept. 22.
“We called this our First Annual Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour so, yes, there will be another one next year, and as long as the community wants to see them, it will be an annual event for years to come,” said Charlotte Smith, one of the event’s organizers, which was hosted by Wells Gray Outdoor Club. “We hope that all of the smiles from those in attendance mean that they will be back next year and bring even more of their friends.”
Smith praised District of Clearwater, Wells Gray Country services committee (TNRD Area A), Tourism Wells Gray and the various businesses, organizations and individuals who helped make the evening happen.
About 170 people attended the showing – not quite a full house, but close.
They watched a total nine films from the festival, some of them edited for the world tour.
Highlight for many was “Shift,” a 28 minute film that told of how the Tagish First Nation is using mountain bike trails as a way to employ youth and develop tourism.
Building infrastructure to attract tourists had clear parallels to Clearwater and the North Thompson Valley.
Other favorites included “Dog Power,” a 25-minute exploration of the various aspects of dog-racing. Everyone is aware of dog-sledding, but how many knew people also race dogs using three-wheeled carts, two-wheeled chariots, cross-country skis and on foot (attached with a hip-belt and leash).
Other sports featured included kayaking, extreme skiing, falconry, rock climbing and rowing across the Atlantic (by four middle-aged mothers).