April 19th, 2018

Sold-out shows reflect Hat’s love for Banff Mountain Film Festival

By Chris Brown on January 5, 2017.

The cast of "Four Mums in a Boat," about four working mums breaking a world record to become the oldest rowers to cross the Atlantic. --Photo by Ben Duffy


If it wasn’t clear before, it is now. Southeastern Alberta is home to a whole lot of outdoor enthusiasts.

Tickets for the 2017 edition of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour stop in Medicine Hat later this month were all snapped up just days after they went on sale. Kris Samraj of the Medicine Hat Public Library, which brings the tour to the city each year, said the festival has sold out for the past number of years, but never at this speed.

“People remember the feeling of going to it last year and it grows,” he said this week. “The audience is definitely growing and every year it’s consistently great adventure films.”

The festival is at the Monarch Theatre on Jan. 16 and 17, with screenings starting at 7 p.m. A different set of films is shown each night.

Samraj adds the tour host who comes with the films has said the Medicine Hat audience is one of the best on the tour.

“Everybody is super excited and really keen and the Monarch is such a great venue. You’ve just got this huge audience, it’s packed,” Samraj said.

After the quick sellout, organizers discussed expanding the festival this year, but found it was a little too last-minute. Samraj said the library is looking at what it can do to get another night in next year.

Cancarb is the major sponsor of the festival stop here and eco-tourism and outdoor leadership students at Medicine Hat College lend a hand as ticket-takers, concession workers and more each night of the festival.

Samraj picked a few films he thinks will be highlights of the festival.

Four Mums in a Boat

Four working mums ages 45-51 from Yorkshire, England break a world record to become the oldest rowers to cross the Atlantic. They have absolutely no adventure or endurance experience. That’s usually the start of a great story. They rowed 3,000 nautical miles from Spain to Antigua.

The Super Salmon

This film is a story about a particularly determined king salmon who swam 184 miles further upstream than usual from Cook Inlet to the Susitna’s icy headwaters some 300 miles. It’s the backdrop to the life story of this great fish species.


Shift is a documentary about aboriginal youth from Carcross, Yukon. They have spent the last 10 years converting traditional trails around their community into a world-class mountain biking destination — transforming their town and themselves along the way.

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