Kootenay Rockies Tourism (KRT) has awarded Island Lake Catskiing with Marketing Campaign of the Year for its T.V. show The Balance of Powder. Marketing director Mike McPhee was at the 36th KRT Annual General Meeting and Tourism Industry Conference in Rossland to receive the award on October 30.
“Creating The Balance of Powder was a huge endeavor. We wanted a show with quality ski footage with a cerebral and emotional touch so we hired Sherpas Cinema. We knew we wanted skiing through the trees, mountain top views and the contrast between big city and the pure mountain experience, plus the soft side of Island Lake, the lodging, food and après ski scene but we wanted it in an non marketing way. Six of the best pro skiers and boarders in the world came to film on three different trips at Island Lake Lodge and one with Mica Heliskiing in the winter of 2009/10.”
“It cost $100,000 to make the T.V. show yet we got $25 million worth of advertising from it. It’s hard to compare but it had more views than the average Canadian television show.”
“Bookings are the best they’ve been in a decade. We’ve had people call after watching the show including people who have never heard of cat skiing before. There is nothing we could have done to get more exposure. When I tell people the numbers, they don’t believe me.”
The Balance of Powder has reached 450 million homes per year for two years on over 50 different networks. They have distributed 75,000 DVD’s around the world and have gone viral on YouTube with over 890,000 views. McPhee hoped it would do well but had no idea it would become so big.
“I think it got picked up because of the quality of the film. The cinematography and editing by Sherpas Cinema were leading edge. They told the story we wanted told.”
“It was time consuming and somewhat stressful to film but it paid off in the end. My philosophy is to step outside of your comfort zone and think a little bigger.”
Expecting a film to have a two-year life span and to celebrate its 25-year anniversary, Island Lake Catskiing has just released another short film The Lines of Legends that documents the history of cat skiing and boarding. Visit them at http://islandlakecatskiing.com