From serene shots of British Columbia’s mountain scenery to adrenaline-pumped clips of people immersed in it, the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival has a little bit for everyone.
On March 25 the top films, chosen by Chilliwack’s very own Sam Waddington, are coming to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre as part of its annual Best of Fest Tour.
What started out as a small festival nearly 20 years ago has evolved into the highly-anticipated Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival. Originally a three-day event that saw roughly 1,700 attendees, the festival now attracts more than 20,000 people nation-wide and includes instructional seminars, a yearly photo competition, the Fall Speaker Series, and the Best of Fest Tour that brings the festival’s top films to around 30 Canadian communities.
This year, Chilliwack is once again one of those communities and Chilliwack city councillor and owner of Mt Waddinton’s Outdoors, Sam Waddington, is choosing the films.
“There are tons of films — most venues pick the award-winning films, but I try to get together with friends and screen a bunch and pick what I think Chilliwack will receive the best,” he said. “I also put a little bit of everything in there so it’s not just a climbing festival or a mountain biking festival, but it’s got something for each sport and every group of passion.”
The festival highlights areas all around the world, but Waddington wanted there to be an emphasis on the surrounding area.
“That’s kind of the goal — just to show people there’s something here to be very proud of, and to get outdoors and take a look at, he said.
“You see films out of Squamish and Whistler and Vancouver and the North Shore all the time, but I think our back country is equal or far better at times to what is offered in those locations. It’s just that the others have a more established culture of showcasing it and depicting it in film, so we’re just hoping that this helps to start the trend in that regard and have people look at their back country in a different way.”
And there’s a chance you won’t leave empty handed. There are plenty of door prizes including discounts and vouchers for skydiving, lift passes to Apex Mountain Resort, a ladies’ bike from PedalSport, show tickets, and even a getaway to Manning Park Resort.
Most importantly, Waddington hopes that the showing will encourage people to get outside and explore the stunning world around them.
“Our main goal is to inspire people to get outside and live adventurous lifestyles, so we try to do that through this festival, and people never leave disappointed in the films they get to see.”
The Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival Best of Fest Tour is coming to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on March 25 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased at the Centre Box Office, online at www.chilliwackculturalcentre.ca, or by calling 604-391-SHOW(7469).