May 26th, 2024

Monarch Theatre rolls out red carpet for skateboarders

By ANNA SMITH on May 11, 2024.

Young members of the Medicine Hat Skateboarders Association walk down the red carpet past a cheering crowd on Thursday evening at the historic Monarch Theatre.--News Photo Anna Smith

The red carpet was rolled out Thursday night for the premiere of the Medicine Hat Skateboarder Association’s documentary, Rolling for Hope.

The team exited from a chartered bus to a gathered crowd, and made their way down the walkway to the Monarch Theatre for the first showing. It was important to make the kids and teenagers feel special, remarked MHSA board member and Monarch organizer Davie James.

The documentary detailed the group’s humanitarian trip to Mexico earlier this year, in which the youths helped to build a family home, as well as a home for girls. The documentary was met with exceptional interest from friends, family and the community, requiring a second showing that took place Friday night.

“We’ve been around for 20 years,” said James. He added that initially, the group had been formed to help reform the image of skateboarding in the city, and after “20 years of elbow grease,” he believes the society has done that and more.

“I think we’ve absolved our sins at this point in our own community, but there’s still a lot of work to do,” said James. “And hopefully, this documentary will be part of that work to do within the world now, as far as skateboarding’s reputation.”

The trip featured in the documentary was likely the fourth trip to Mexico for the society, said James, and unlikely to be the last. He added that he’s deeply proud of this generation of skateboarders for their hard work, and is glad they can have this kind of experience surrounding it.

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