Best of Banff blows into Fraser Valley early this year

November 19, 2010

Media contact: Patty Wellborn
Office: 604-795-2819

One of the most exhilarating and inspiring winter activities to annually grace the Fraser Valley is coming a week earlier this year.

The Best of Banff Film Festival, which really does take your breath away with the stunning imagery, takes place at Mission’s Clarke Theatre on Tues, November 30. Normally the film festival takes place in early December, but event organizer Roger Friesen says he had a chance to get it a week earlier and jumped at the opportunity.

From The Asgard Project, winner of the award for Best Film on Climbing, 2010 Banff Mountain Film Festival. Photo courtesty Banff Mountain Festival.

“The event generally sells out, so want people to know it is arriving one week earlier than it has in the past,” he advises. “This year promises to be even more exciting than previous year’s as the line-up is tremendous.”

Each October, The Banff Mountain Festival in Alberta attracts more than 10,000 outdoor enthusiasts where participants can view world-class films, listen to book readings from adventure writers, join seminars that debate mountain issues, and view the most-up-to-date outdoor equipment, clothing, books, and adventure travel opportunities. When the nine-day event wraps up, the winning films at the festival then go on a world tour.

Friesen, a sport psychology instructor and teacher of UFV’s wilderness-based field courses, explains there are several types of films at Banff: some high adventure, some longer documentary-style, many thought-provoking, some quite short, and some with a strong environmental message. This is the 12th year he has brought the festival to Mission.

The selection at this year’s Banff Festival was “truly inspiring — with powerful messages inherent in many of the films,” he says.

The films that originate from the Banff Festival seem to get better and better each year, he adds. The films cover a whole range of outdoor experiences from adventure, environment, mountain culture, heritage, and can be action-filled short flicks, lasting less than 10 minutes, or be lengthy styles comprehensive films that deal with serious issues. Friesen says he tries to get a good mixture to keep the local audience gripped for the entire evening.

There is always something inspirational and motivating at these events, he adds. It’s always worthwhile to come out and see some of the best documentaries and action-packed outdoor films available.

“I have always loved adventure, and I am passionate about raising global awareness and raising awareness regarding this beautiful earth we all share,” he says. “Hosting the Best of the Banff World Tour is just one small way I can do my part.”

The lobby of the Clark Theatre will be transformed into a mini sports expo as a number of local companies set up booths to promote wilderness-based recreation in this region, as well as promote healthy lifestyles and raise global awareness.

“This is always a popular event,” Friesen adds. “In order to avoid disappointment of not getting in, I would encourage everybody to purchase their tickets well in advance.”

Tickets are $15 each and are available at Wenting’s Cycle & Mountain Shop, Mission and the UFV office Mission campus, Western Canoe & Kayak, Valhalla Pure, Life Cycles and the UFV Bookstore on the Abbotsford campus, theatre box office at the UFV Chilliwack campus, and the UFV campus in Hope.

The Best of Banff begins at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30) and Friesen promises almost three hours of amazing outdoor adventure. To get tickets or more information, people can contact Friesen at or call him at 1-888-504-7441, local 4297.

To catch a glimpse of some the films that might be highlighted at the Best of Banff Film Festival in Mission, go to .