by Kate Hamilton, photos by Lisa Belanger
The Great Divide Trail Film Fundraiser, brought together outdoor enthusiasts, and supporters to raise funds for the preservation and promotion of the Great Divide Trail (GDT). With a total of 178 in-person attendees and an additional 128 online participants, the event proved to be a remarkable success, generating $9,000. The film titled OUT THERE: A Great Divide Trail Documentary by Wilderland Media, not only showcased a captivating film but also served as a platform to create awareness about the GDT and its significance.
The Globe Cinema, located in Calgary Alberta, served as the in-person venue for the Great Divide Trail Film Fundraiser. As doors opened, attendees eagerly gathered, excited to embark on a visual journey through the stunning landscapes of the Great Divide Trail. The cinema’s atmosphere buzzed with anticipation as guests mingled, visited the silent auction table, and shared stories about exploring the great outdoors.
The event kicked off with a silent auction featuring items from many *generous businesses such as GearTrade, Flat Out Feasts, and Mount Engadine Lodge. The silent auction was responsible for raising $3,000, which was a significant portion of the total event income. A big thank you goes out to these amazing businesses!
Before the film, the GDTA organizers gave an introduction including a land acknowledgement, and expressing gratitude for the attendees’ support, and to the businesses for the silent auction donations, and to Wilderland Media. The film screening that followed showcased a selection of awe-inspiring scenic frames that captured the trail’s beauty, challenges, and the experiences of those who had traversed it. After the film there were door prizes, and time for any last bids on the auction.
Recognizing the need for inclusivity of the out-of-town GDTA supporters, the GDTA also hosted an online component of the event. Wilderland provided private YouTube links to the online viewers to be able to view the film for a 48-hour time period at home, allowing individuals from all around the world to participate in the fundraiser. The GDTA has members from all over the world, and Board and Committee members from across Canada and the US, so this hybrid event model was a perfect fit.
Wilderland Media, comprised of a husband and wife duo (Ryan Brown and Ilse Praet), hiked the Great Divide Trail in 2022, filming as they hiked. Many of the film viewers asked if they had anyone along with them to film, and the answer is no, they filmed it all themselves! Before embarking on their journey, Ryan and Ilse had contacted the GDTA to ask if there was anyone in the Association who was willing to be interviewed, or provide photos for the film. It was through these conversations that the Film Fundraiser idea was born.
The Great Divide Trail Film Fundraiser was a remarkable event that brought together outdoor enthusiasts, and supporters to celebrate and support the Great Divide Trail. The funds raised will contribute to the preservation and promotion of the trail, ensuring that its beauty and significance are appreciated by generations to come. This event serves as a testament to the power of community and collective efforts in safeguarding our natural treasures.
Wilderland Media will be offering the film to view (for purchase) on their website.
*Generous businesses who supported this event through silent auction donations: Mount Engadine Lodge, Spolumbos, Bowcycle, Camp Brand Goods, Gossamer Gear, Village Brewery, Drops of Wisdom, Arts Commons, Renaissance Wine Merchants, Ursack, PolyLevel Alberta, GearTrade, Durston Gear, Kicking Horse Coffee, Flat Out Feasts, Six Moon Designs, Bolger Co, UltraGam, CuloClean, Enlightened Equipment, Fjällräven Calgary, and BearVault