Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival blends together a love of adventure with pioneering film-making and it is coming to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on March 21. (Dylan Morgan)

Bringing outdoor adventures inside with Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival in Chilliwack

Film features base jumping, cross-continental bike journeys and scaling Canada’s most daunting peaks

The journey never ends with the Best of the Fest Tour – Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival on March 21.

This extravaganza of high-octane and hair-raising cinema blends a love of adventure with pioneering film-making for a night packed with energy, exploration and the ultimate displays of human achievement.

The Best of the Fest Tour – VIMFF has become a cornerstone event for Chilliwack’s outdoor community over the last seven years. Sam Waddington, local mountaineer and owner of Mt. Waddington’s Outdoors has been curating the films shown in Chilliwack since the festival first came to town seven years ago.

From hiking to kayaking to mountaineering to many other sports, Waddington has highlighted a route into the wilderness that offers you a taste of what you yourself could experience.

“The festival’s offerings in Chilliwack provides an opportunity for those who are stoked on the outdoors, at all levels, to get together under one roof and feel the energy of a community in motion,” Waddington said. “Watching people on the big screen push the envelope of what is possible in the outdoors, and to truly see someone who embodies the spirit of adventure, is a really special thing. I think anyone who has been to these events has felt this and knows how inspiring they can be.”

With a raft of winning films from the nine-day VIMFF to choose from, curating this single evening of cinema is a big hill to climb. Waddington, however, uses his deep knowledge of the outdoors and passion for promoting the opportunities available in Chilliwack to create an event that, as well as showcasing spectacular films, stories and achievements, offers the audience a taste of what they themselves could experience.

“I take a lot of pride in making sure that the films reflect the realities and aspirations of Chilliwack, and what people are up to here. Our community is home to so much potential, and so much variety in the outdoor activities that are available. For me that is key to my approach to selecting films for our audience. I try wherever possible to throw in mountain-biking films, paragliding films, films on rock climbing and whitewater paddling, as it’s all possible here.”

His pride in not just showing films that have won awards, but in finding films that the Chilliwack audience will receive best is something that makes this event truly special.

And from the arctic to the old growth rainforest, and showing everything from base jumping and cross-continental solo bike journeys, to scaling Canada’s most daunting peaks, you know one thing: these are films to leave you transfixed, on the edge of your seat, and hungry for adventure.

Most importantly, Waddington hopes that the show will encourage people to get outside and explore the stunning world around them.

“Our main goal is to inspire people to get outside and live adventurous lifestyles,” he said. “So we try to do that through this festival, and people never leave disappointed in the films they get to see.”

Best of the Fest Tour – VIMFF is coming to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on March 21 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $18, and can be purchased at the Centre Box Office, online at www.chilliwackculturalcentre.ca, or by calling 604-391-SHOW(7469).

RELATED: Get up close and personal with Prism’s Henry Small in Chilliwack

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