The Elk Valley was on display at the Fernie Community Centre for the Fernie Mountain Film Festival over the weekend. The two-day event’s aim was to bring the mountains and the culture that surrounds them to event goers.
“It’s all about bringing mountain culture to the people. Giving them what they want and showing them the amazing things that are happening in the Elk Valley and beyond,” said Tyler Lucian, a volunteer at the event. “I’m one of the student ambassadors for the MAST [Mountain Adventure Skills Training] program.
“Our class is volunteering to help put it on. We have helped at every stage from set-up, promotion, I’m doing ticket sales and some public speaking, we’re giving away door prizes – we have the whole thing covered by volunteers,” said Lucian. “My class has about 15 or 16 people and there’s probably 20 to 30 people volunteering. There are graduates of the MAST program helping and a lot of volunteers from the community who really want to see this take off.”
College of the Rockies facilitates the MAST program, which teaches students the skills and qualifications they need to make a career in the outdoor industry.
“It’s about giving people entry-level certifications to begin working in almost any facet of the mountain adventure tourism industry,” said Lucian. “I’m not sure what I want to do yet. This program covers every sport in all the seasons so I will be able to figure out what I want.”
Lucian came here in September from the prairies where he grew up. While snowboarding is his passion, the new adventure sports he has tried have been an eye-opening experience for him.
“I am from the prairies; I grew up in Manitoba. I spent the past 10 years between Saskatchewan and Alberta,” said Lucian. “Snowboarding is why I am here, but for the first time, I went rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, and loved them. We are gearing up to do some ski touring then some white water rafting in the spring so I’m looking forward to it.”
Each night had multiple films, but Lucian was most excited to see a MAST graduates film and the film about Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort conflict.
“I’m really excited to see the films that are being played here. A MAST student from a previous year has a film, he is also volunteering here, his film is called Uncharted and it’s about the local fishing in the Elk Valley,” said Lucian. “I am pretty excited to see that because it is a guy I know. I am also really excited to see Jumbo Wild again, I have seen it twice, but it really hits home for me so I am excited to see it again.”
There were many other offerings at the Fernie Mountain Film Festival, from the sale of food, beverage and mountain clothing to a photography competition, which was open to Elk Valley residents and had an amateur and professional category.
“It was open to Facebook and the website, anyone living in the Elk Valley could submit a photo of anything in the Elk Valley that really represents mountain culture and the photographers interpretation of it,” said Lucian. Photographer Brookyn Braconnier won the amateur photography contest with her photo titled “Skiing Amongst the Giant Snow Ghosts”.