A film about hope, human endurance and inspiration, Awakening the Skeena will screen at the Center For The Arts Theater on November 18, 2010. Silent auction and concessions begin at 6 PM. The film and Q&A with filmmakers will follow. Casey Sheahan, Patagonia CEO, will be opening the event. Auction items include one week of fishing for three anglers at the exclusive Islas Secas Resort (http://www.islassecas.com/) in Panama, guided fishing trips with John Simms, Carter Andrews and Boots Allen. Other auction items include a week of heli-skiing in BC with Skeena Heli-Skiing and the Bear Claw Lodge, three days of guided fishing in New Zealand, a week of steelhead fishing in BC with Sweetwater Travel, a Two Handed Rod from Scott Rod Company, round-trip Hawk Air and Stork Nest Motel packages in Smithers, BC, artwork by A.D. Maddox, halfday stand-up paddle or kayak lesson with Rendezvous River Sports, and many more.
Last summer, 34 year old Executive Chef Ali Howard swam the entire 610 km length of the Skeena River. She swam through Class IV whitewater, giant whirlpools and thick grizzly bear country as she made her journey to the Pacific Ocean. She started in an area known as the Sacred Headwaters, the birthplace of the Skeena, Stikine and Nass watersheds noted as the 'Serengeti of North America' by National Geographic, Explorer in Residence, Wade Davis. These three rivers are also home to three of British Columbia's greatest wild salmon and steelhead populations and a mecca for whitewater and backcountry enthusiasts.
Howard felt compelled to complete this incredible feat of human endurance to unite communities along the way and celebrate the Skeena Watershed while raising awareness about current industrial threats. The Sacred Headwaters have been listed as British Columbia's most endangered river system because of Shell's coalbed methane proposal that would see 1,500-10,000 wells drilled in almost 1 million acres of wilderness adjacent to the Spatsizi Park. 1000's of kilometers of roads, pipelines, generators and compressor stations would turn this caribou calving ground into an industrial wasteland. This ill-proposed development inspired unity of the entire northwest corner of British Columbia in opposition to Shell's plan. The folk storm created by Howard and her swim team catalyzed a groundswell of support for the Sacred Headwaters and Skeena Watershed.
Awakening the Skeena demonstrates how a single person can unite several nations, communities and various levels of government towards a common vision. Filmmaker Andrew Eddy and his crew accompanied Howard and the swim team for the entire 26-day journey. The film showcases the incredible wilderness, culture and spirit of northwestern British Columbia and gives hope for the future. Howard earned a spot in the Top 10 Most Intriguing Environmentalists on the Planet (Mother Nature's Network) and Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia was inspired by Howard to create the Patagonia Activist Award (Howard was the first recipient).
Can't find an embeddable trailer of the view (view it here) but here's a review of the film: