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Annual Banff Mountain Film Festival comes to Kingston

By Jordan Merkley [1]

BELLEVILLE – The Banff Mountain Film Festival [2] world tour is in Kingston this weekend.

The shows will take place at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts [3] on Saturday and Sunday nights, and will present some of the best mountain, adventure, culture and outdoor documentaries of the year.

Kingston is just one of hundreds of stops on the world tour. Each location has a local sponsor who is responsible for securing a venue, selling tickets and putting together programs. Trailhead Kingston [4], a local outdoor and adventure store, has been sponsoring the event for about 20 years.

Michelle McShane, an employee at Trailhead, has been organizing the show for the past nine years, and said she loves being a part of such a fun event.

“I love filling the theatre with hundreds of film buffs and lovers of outdoor adventure, it’s kind of like having a party with 400 to 700 of your best friends! I enjoy seeing old and new friends connect before the show and during intermission, and I love the audience response to films, it’s not a quiet room like at a movie theatre!”

Many people have been coming for years, and look forward to the annual festival, according to McShane. She said there is always lots of laughter, gasps, and sometimes tears during the films, and that viewers are not shy to hide their emotions.

Each evening consists of a two-and-a-half hour program. Michelle de Camp, a representative from the Banff Festival, delivers the films and equipment to the venue.

There are 29 films [5] to choose from on this year’s tour, according to de Camp.

“We try to make the program flow nicely like an album,” she said. “We also try to cover all genres. So we get the culture, the environment and all of the outdoor sports such as kayaking, skiing and mountain biking.”

The shows have sold out for the past six years, and this year sold out faster than ever, according to McShane.

“There’s great energy in the room,” McShane told QNet News. “We manage to get the crowd pumped up too. I have been told by past tour hosts from Banff that our Kingston audience has one of the best energies they experience!”