Oct. 20 was a ski season stoker for the Elk Valley. Two Fernie-based ski films premiered; Ascent to Powder – Tale Of A Ski Town, a story about Fernie and some of the skiing legends from the area with a lot of powder in between and Winter of our Content by Island Lake Lodge, which gave viewers a look into powder therapy and the terrain that Island Lake Cat skiing offers. The evening sold out before the screenings began and an après-film social, which featured a live acoustic set from Shred Kelly was held at the Fernie Hotel afterwards.
When asked by The Free Press ‘what makes Fernie an ideal place for a ski film?’ executive officer of Tourism Fernie, and co-producer of Ascent to Powder – Tale Of A Ski Town, Jikke Gyorki, responded “The epic snow, terrain and mountain scenery for one, second the amazing and talented freeskiers and riders we have in Fernie, plus the fact that we have a long-standing and genuine ski culture and historic town.”
Each film was formatted to be TV friendly, lasting 22 minutes. Tourism Fernie’s film packed a lot of iconic people and footage into its TV-tailored experience.
“We’ve featured a variety of locals within the film who speak about their perspective and passion related to Fernie as a ski town and amazing place to ski and ride. Skiers, who also tell their story, in the film include Dylan Siggers, Andrea Byrne and Ross Janzen,” said Gyorki. “Additional locals that tell their story include: Heiko Socher, Mark Gallup, Blair Craig, Shred Kelly and Kevin Giffin. Additional skiers and riders within the footage include Rob Heule, Ben Ogilvie, Nick McNutt, Dave Ortlieb and Lucas Debari.”
While Island Lake Lodge’s film was shot entirely on site, the Tourism Fernie film featured three ski venues in Fernie.
“Shots were all taken at Fernie Alpine Resort, Island Lake Cat skiing and FWA Powder Cat skiing. These locations are awesome because they were picked as some of the best mountain skiing and snowboarding terrain by these operators, providing the best snow, vertical, aspects and glades around,” said Gyorki. “Also all these locations are accessible for locals and visitors to experience thanks to these operators, versus solely shooting in backcountry terrain not provided by these operators.”
Ascent to Powder’s focus was on the ski town of Fernie, and the film’s vision leaned toward the people that make a ski town, not just skiing itself.
“We wanted to create a ski film that wasn’t just a bunch of big mountain skiing or a big marketing promotional video, but about the story of Fernie as an authentic ski town as told by local characters,” said Gyorki. “We are very grateful to the locals and ski operators in the film that helped make this a reality, we couldn’t have done it without their support and excitement.”
Vince Mo, responsible for social media and marketing of the event and film thinks that it was an ideal time to host a ski-related event.
“The ski season is only a few weeks away. With days getting cooler, we’re already getting teased by the sprinklings of snow up in the mountains. People are getting restless and have itchy feet for the upcoming winter. We want to stoke that excitement,” he said. “Nothing gets people more fired up for winter and wanting to get out skiing or snowboarding, than watching athletes doing crazy things on one or two planks. With Ascent To Powder and Winter of our Content, it’s all happening on their home terrain, so the excitement factor is multiplied.”