BANFF – As October rolls around in the Canadian Rockies hiking and climbing give way to wintery dreams of fresh pow and wicked lines on many of the mountainsides across the region.
To celebrate the coming season Crowfoot Media, in collaboration with Capow Guiding, will host Rockies Shred Fest next Thursday (Oct. 17) at Wild Bill’s Legendary Saloon in Banff. The highlight of the pre-season gathering is a ski and snowboard film competition and winter expo.
The event has been an overwhelming success up to this point, selling out in each of the first four years. Meghan J. Ward, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Crowfoot Media and the Canadian Rockies Annual, along with the other organizers, had high hopes for Shred Fest right from the start.
“We didn't know what to expect,” Ward said, “but we wouldn't have planned a pre-season gathering unless we knew there was something buzzing there already. As soon as the first snowflakes start to fly, Bow Valley skiers and snowboarders already start itching to get out there.”
A screening of the film competition finalists starts at 8 p.m. The event is 18+, ID required. Afterward, Katie Burrell will be on hand for the Banff premiere of her new film Dream Job.
“Crowfoot Media has always had a vision of gathering the mountain community for meaningful events,” Ward said. “That might sound kind of sappy, but in this digital age, I think we're all starting to feel the effects of too much time spent online and not truly connecting with others.
“Shred Fest is a wicked event in its own right, but add on this layer of gathering – in person – with 500 snow enthusiasts who are all stoked on mountain living ... that's why I think the event has also become so legendary, and it's what I love most about it.”
The Local’s Choice award this year comes with a $600 cash prize and free entry into the 2020 Banff Mountain Film Competition. The Judge’s choice winner gets $200 and free entry into the 2020 competition. The event focusses on local content, and all the competition films come from Rockies or Calgary-based filmmakers.
One of those filmmakers is Daniel Thomson. A Banff resident for the past five years, Thomson is originally from Montreal and grew up in Ontario, and this will be his fourth entry in Shred Fest.
“I've been fortunate enough to have won Local's Choice the last two years and even more fortunate to have been able to donate the prizes both years,” Thomson said.
His prize money went to the Lake Louise Ski Club in 2017, and to Avalanche Canada last year.
“I'm super grateful and appreciative to the community for the opportunity to be able to give back and have a positive impact,” Thomson said.
His new film, Core Shots: A Bow Valley Ski Film, reflects that gratitude and love for the local ski scene. Thomson has a strong appreciation for the terrain and conditions unique to the Canadian Rockies, but has never lost sight of the big picture.
“But above all its the people that make this place truly special,” Thomson said, “and its those people that this film is dedicated to.”
While most of the country begins to dread the icy roads and snowy sidewalks associated with a Canadian winter, here in the Bow Valley the sentiment leans more toward – bring it on already, we want to get out there.
Finalists for Rockies Shred Fest 2019 include Mike Gillespie and Keenan Desplanques for Lady Brains, Jon Mancuso for Eh Frame, Kyle Mulder for SSV X Airblaster, Noah Maisonet for Season Edit, Daniel Thomson for Core Shots: A Bow Valley Ski Film, Alex D’Agostino for Kate Targett Season Edit,and Jessie Oatway and Oatway Productions for 2019 Shred Fest.
More information on the event can be found at crowfootmedia.com.