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Mountain culture celebrated



Organizers of the Squamish Mountain Festival are issuing their last call for submissions for this year’s film competition.

Last year, the Squamish Mountain Film Festival and the Squamish Climber’s Festival were merged into one comprehensive event, the Squamish Mountain Festival, which celebrates all aspects of mountain culture.

“The purpose is to get people together in Squamish to celebrate climbing and other aspects of climbing — like bouldering — and mountain culture, and doing that through films, guest speakers, and then hands-on experience,” explained Ivan Hughes, director of the festival.

“…This way, we can get a broader audience. Not just climbers, but armchair climbers as well, and people that want to learn about climbing.”

The five-day festival will run from July 16 until July 20, offering a range of clinics for climbers of all abilities, taught by top-notch local and international guides.

An impressive array of guest speakers from around the world will be on-hand to share their tips and tales, including Ed Cooper, one of the first climbers to conquer the Grand Wall route of the Stewamus Chief in 1961. Cooper will return to the region for the first time in more than seven years with a presentation of slides from across the province taken over the last 50 years.

Festival organizers also aim to offer glimpses into the world of climbing through a selection of full and short films.

So far, Hughes said they have received lots of local films, as well as submissions from France, England, Scotland, the U.S., Brazil, and Spain, and they plan to continue to accept submissions until May 31. They hope to screen 20 to 25 films, with the top Canadian film taking home a cash and equipment prize.

This year, Mountain Equipment Co-op and Arc-teryx are on-board as sponsors, with proceeds from the festival going towards the Squamish Access Society, the Climbers Access Society of B.C. and the Aidan Oloman Fund.

For more information on the Festival, or to find out how to submit a film, visit www.squamishmountainfestival.com .


TV troubles

As most major American networks get ready to announce their fall lineups, they’re also cutting shows that haven’t done well, and it hasn’t been a good month for TV shows with ties to the Sea to Sky corridor — Men in Trees and Whistler will both be going off the air.

ABC has cancelled Men in Trees, a series that has been shooting in Squamish and North Vancouver for the past three years. The hour-long comedy starred actress Anne Heche as a relationship advice expert who falls for Canadian actor, James Tupper, after she moves to a small Alaskan town.

Despite a loyal following, ratings were low.

The series will begin its final run of episodes on Wednesday, May 28.

After only two seasons, CTV has also cancelled their hour-long, 13-part original drama series, Whistler.

The show, which first premiered in June 2006, offered a fictional take on the lives of three local families and international travelers who come to town. The series was recently nominated for three Gemini Awards in the categories of Best Dramatic Series, Best Picture Editing in a Dramatic Program or Series, and Best Performance by an Actress in a Guest Role Dramatic Series.

According to a press release issued by CTV, the budget for each episode was $1.4 million.

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