Skeena Wild Film and Photo Festival kicks off in Terrace – Terrace Standard

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Alex and Michelle Stoney presented never-before-seen footage of a giant chinook salmon installation made out of driftwood near New Hazelton at the Skeena Wild Film and Photo Festival in Terrace on July 15. (Michael Bramadat-Willcock/Terrace Standard)
Organizers Dan Mesec, Greg Knox, Julia Sorochan, Joelle St-Gelais Des Chatelets, Nita Back and Christine Slanz at the launch of the Skeena Wild Film and Photo Festival in Terrace.  (Michael Bramadat-Willcock/Terrace Standard)Organizers Dan Mesec, Greg Knox, Julia Sorochan, Joelle St-Gelais Des Chatelets, Nita Back and Christine Slanz at the launch of the Skeena Wild Film and Photo Festival in Terrace. (Michael Bramadat-Willcock/Terrace Standard)

It was a packed house at the 12th annual Skeena Wild Film and Photo Festival in Terrace on Thursday, September 15 after being put on hiatus last year due to the pandemic.

The event featured a range of short films and photography, including never-before-seen footage of a giant 140ft chinook salmon art installation by Alex and Michelle Stoney of Gitanmaax.

Alex Stoney said he got the idea to walk along the river bank looking at little drawings people make with sticks and pebbles in the sand.

“I thought it would be cool if we could do something more with it and my sister is an artist, so I thought it would be cool to see an aboriginal form line in there,” he said. declared.

Alex and his sister made a series of native art installations out of driftwood near New Hazelton and it became a community project. The idea was to show the cycle of time as the river rose and carried the artwork away with each season.

The salmon took more than 50 in two days, Michelle Stoney said.

“We involved all the communities in the Hazelton area, Gitanmaax, Kispiox, New Town… People came from all over, like Terrace, Smithers and Burns Lake, all helping together. So that was exciting,” she said.

“Last year, the river came and carried it away when the river rose, and the whole cycle was completed.”

Julia Hill Sorochan, of the Skeena Wild Conservation Trust which organizes the festival, said it was about bringing people together to celebrate what they love about northern British Columbia.

The festival started 13 years ago as a group of friends got together and grew through word of mouth. It became a popular place for Terrace artists to showcase their work and has since expanded to include other northern communities.

“It’s about people telling their stories about the North. Whether it’s adventure or something close to their hearts,” she said. “You see this broad cross-section of our community coming together.”

Skeena-Bulkley Valley NDP MP Taylor Bacharach submitted a video of himself chatting with constituents on a canoe trip from Kispiox to Terrace this summer during the Skeena Salmon Art Festival.

Sorochan said the MP was required to ‘keep it apolitical’, adding that the MP was inspired to put together the film when a young man performed a song he wrote called ‘take me to your river’.

There were around 30 finalists in all categories combined, including film and photography, which people will be able to watch online and vote for once the festival finishes touring northern British Columbia.

“Each year we tour all of the northern communities, but this year we’re doing it a little differently and offering the opportunity for other local community organizations to host their own Wild Skeena Film Festivals in their community as a fundraising opportunity,” Sorochan said.

“This incredible melting pot of stories, visions and perspectives shines a light on the wonders of the Skeena watershed.”


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