Alpine Club of Canada

Summer2016Gazette

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theatre was not being used, so with the help of ACC volunteers and the Banff Centre technicians, we quickly moved the film reels to the larger Eric Harvie. We ended with an audience of 400 that first year. It was a great success. ere was no entry fee for the first year, however we did ask for donations at the door. e total cost to put on the event in 1976 was $325. With the great success in 1976, the following year we introduced a competi‑ tive aspect. We selected a panel of judges from across Canada, with Glen Boles and Hans Gmoser being two of those judges. We received 18 film entries and an audi‑ ence of 700. Today, the festival receives approximately 400 film entries from 35 countries and approximately 20,000 people attend the nine‑day event. as manager. e film festival was cleverly included as one small program that we would run. So, how would we get started? How would we convince filmmakers from all over the world to send a copy of their precious films to Banff ? Famous film‑ makers, such as Kurt Diemberger and Leo Dickenson. We soon found that this was not going to be as easy as we thought, as many filmmakers did not have copies of their 16‑millimetre, only the original master, and did not want to spend the money to mail their precious film to some tiny town in Canada. e films were housed on large metal reels and were heavy and therefore expensive to mail. After numerous letters and phone calls, mostly to Europe and the United States, we did acquire 10 films to show. I do remember desperately waiting for them to arrive in the mail, right up to the last minute. With no idea of the popu‑ larity of the event, we booked the Banff Centre's Margaret Greenham eatre, with 240 seats. I remember walking up the stairs to the theatre, nerv‑ ous that no one would show up, to find a huge line‑up of enthusiastic people. We quickly realized we would not be able to accommodate everyone in the Margaret Greenham. Luckily we learned that the Eric Harvie How the ACC helped launch the BMFF by patsy Murphy I n 1975 I was working at e Alpine Club of Canada office in Banff (then located in the old White building on Banff Avenue). ere were just three full‑ time employees—Evelyn Matthews as manager, Judy Linkletter and me. Danny Verrall was a mere teenager who would come by to fix the old Gestetner (copying machine) and membership labelling machines. Sometimes he got us ice cream. e idea of a film festival was brought up by John Amatt at an ACC Banff Section executive meeting at Betty Ware's house. It was further discussed at an ACC potluck dinner in Ev and Judy's basement apartment, along with Chic Scott, John Amatt, Betty Ware, Jan Burks and others. Both Chic and John had spent time in Europe and were familiar with the Trento Mountain Film Festival in Italy. Banff was extremely dead in the October and November off‑season and they thought a film festival event would be a great way to bring excitement into the town, get folks inspired for winter ski trips and gather like‑minded people together for a jolly good time! John Amatt approached David Leighton, President of the Banff Centre at the time, with the idea of establishing a School of the Environment. It would offer a full range of courses on environ‑ mental topics. David was keen on the idea and secured some funding (through the Palliser Foundation). I was then hired as the program coordinator, with John Every year the Vancouver Section hosts the World Tour to a full house at the Centre for Performing Arts in Vancouver. photo courtesy of the VancouVer centre for perforMing arts. Greg Child interviews Alex Honnold live on stage at the Banff Mountain Film Festival in 2015. photo: rita taylor

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