Attend the Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival from your couch
By Mackenzie Mason, Arts Editor
COVID-19 has opened a world of opportunities for arts events and festivals to not only bring their local communities together, but to bring their show around the globe — virtually. The Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival, beginning at the end of October, can do just that.
The festival, featuring all things mountain culture, is showcasing a line-up of 75 incredible films, authors and guest speakers.
Created 45 years ago, the festival has since become the premier event of its kind across the world. The nine-day festival hosted by the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity showcases the world’s best films, books and photographs on subjects from climbing and the environment to natural history, wildlife and more.
“I am so grateful to our festival community who have supported us through this period and transition[ed] to a virtual festival in 2020. In the 45 years that we have been working to showcase mountain culture through the Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival, this year will remain the most uniquely challenging and profoundly uplifting,” says the festival’s director, Joanna Croston.
“We may be physically distant, but our community is still very much connected.”
Despite the hardships COVID-19 has put the world through, it opened doors for creators from every corner of the earth to collaborate. In turn, this year’s event has attracted the biggest names in mountaineering, adventure filmmaking and exploring as presenters and speakers.
Adventure lovers and adrenaline seekers alike can anticipate seeing the exhilarating experiences of polar explorer Børge Ousland, who travelled the Arctic ice cap from Alaska to Norway in 2019.
Virtual showgoers can also read about Bruce Kirkby, a Canadian adventurer whose new book Blue Sky Kingdom is about a low-carbon journey from British Columbia to the Himalayas, and watch Hilaree Nelson and Jim Morrison make the first ski descent of Lhotse, the world’s fourth-highest peak.
“I am so proud of our festival team for the incredible work and vision to reorient plans for this year’s Festival in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Janice Price, the president and CEO of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.
“The Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival brings a global community of lovers of mountain culture to Banff Centre each year. This year, we’re excited to bring the festival to homes worldwide.”
The festival runs from Oct. 31 to Nov. 8. The schedule and details about the virtual format are available online at www.banffmountainfestival.ca — so put on your toques and we’ll (virtually) see you there!