Invermere hosts the 4th Wild and Scenic Film Festival November 25 in British Columbia’s newest community center.
What I remember about the first time I attended Wildsight’s Wild and Scenic Film Festival was the sense of community. People were milling around the door of the old community hall greeting friends while handing in their tickets.
Volunteers circled through the crowd selling raffle tickets for what I no longer remember, but I bought tickets because the odds and the cause were good. The festival raises money for Wildsight a nonprofit organization educating and advocating for Canada’s Columbia and Rocky Mountain’s wild places.
Pizza was available by the slice and people hovered around the bar for a budget-friendly glass of wine or beer while catching up on local happenings. The master of ceremonies – Eagle-Eye Tour owner Cam Gillies – has a PhD in forest birds and a five star rating as an entertainer – called many in the audience by name and kept people laughing while prying money from their wallets for the silent auction.
Wildsight board member Baiba Morrow flitted among the auction items making sure people got a chance to bid. I bid (and won) an item she and her husband Pat Morrow had brought back from Nepal; Pat was the second Canadian to climb Everest and the pair still help the Nepalese people but save time for working on conservation issues at home.
Many interesting and interested people call the Columbia Valley home. They choose to live in the Rocky Mountain trench, their backyards shared by wild creatures and vegetable patches, their walks and drives punctuated by deer or bear sightings.
They come to the festival to be entertained and inspired by stories of adventure, survival and exploration, and to support conservation in the valley. They welcome strangers at the event but you won’t be one for long. Between the movies, food and fun you’ll likely be friends before the evening is over.
Tickets to this year’s festival November 25 here.
Learn more about Wildsight’s mandate
Also published on Medium.