Life @ Altitude celebrates International Mountain Day

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The Bow Valley has mountains, and plenty of them.

And that is a big reason why the Life @ Altitude event was created, said co-organizer Meghan Ward of Crowfoot Media, which partnered with the Banff Mountain Film Festival and artsPlace to create the event.

Taking place on Sunday (Dec. 11) at artsPlace in Canmore, Life @ Altitude will include live presentations and film screenings, all selected to help celebrate the United Nations-designated International Mountain Day. The event also coincides with several events planned by the University of Alberta-led Canadian Mountain Network taking place in other Alberta locations.

“One of (the Canadian Mountain Network’s) major initiatives is to ignite celebrations in Canada around International Mountain Day, an occasion that is celebrated in other parts of the world but not so much right here where we have plenty of mountains,” Ward said. “Their vision was to also have satellite events, so the Banff Mountain Film Festival, Crowfoot Media and artsPlace put our heads together to come up with a joint event that would celebrate our local mountain culture.”

Running from 7-10 p.m., the evening will kick off with a showing of the short film Land of Emperors, followed by Ward interviewing long-distance hiker and trail runner, Leslie Gerein live on stage.

“Leslie’s outdoor adventures make most of us active people look like couch potatoes,” Ward said. “She just returned home this week from Western Australia where she hiked 1,000 kilometres on the Bibbulmun Track. This summer she enjoyed the ultimate backyard tour, hiking the Great Divide from Waterton to Mount Robson. She’s also travelled by foot from Canada to Mexico on the 2,650-kilometre Pacific Crest Trail.”

Rockies’ father and son author/photographer duo Kevin and Brian Van Tighem will share a presentation of readings and images from their book Heart Waters: Sources of the Bow River.

During intermission, the audience can enjoy a pop, beer or glass of wine while taking in several display tables hosted by the Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre, Imaginary Mountain Surveyors mountain fiction publishing company, and the Canadian Rockies Annual magazine published by Crowfoot Media.

As well, the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies will share a display from the film Hobnails and Hemp Rope, which captures the entertaining and creative efforts of a team of four climbers who donned period clothing and hobnail boots to re-enact the 1916 climb of Bugaboo Spire in celebration of legendary guide Conrad Kain’s remarkable first ascent. The display will also offer a sneak peek at the ongoing Bugaboo Spire Centennial Climb photography exhibit on display at the Whyte Museum until Jan. 29.

The second half of the evening will include screenings of three mountain-themed short films – Shift, the 2016 BMFF Peoples Choice Award winner; Thyself, a short film by Canmore writer, publisher and filmmaker Jerry Auld and At What Price, which features the rising career of local photographer John Price.

“We’re inviting people to come celebrate International Mountain Day with us, and all the good things mountain culture represents,” Ward said. “It’s a time to gather just before the holiday season, to celebrate our local community, share stories and watch some inspiring films.”

All the proceeds from the event, she added, will go toward the Banff Canmore Community Foundation.

Life @ Altitude happens at artsPlace on Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. To learn more, of to purchase tickets which are $10, visit artsPlace in person or online at http://artsplacecanmore.com/.

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Rocky Mountain Outlook