The event offers films of the same calibre as the popular and sold-out Banff Mountain Film Festival hosted by the Medicine Hat Public Library on an annual basis.
The Reel Paddling Film Festival is set for March 28 and this year moves from the library, to the Monarch Theatre in downtown Medicine Hat.
The event is hosted by the Medicine Hat Paddling Club and Carefree Adventures.
Rick Redmond, one of the organizers, says the southeast corner of Alberta is a mecca for paddling including kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddleboarding.
“The Reel Paddling Film Festival — World Tour is an international adventure film contest awarding winning films in 10 categories, from amongst the best kayaking, sea kayaking, whitewater kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddle boarding, action and lifestyle, films of the year,” he explains.
“The winners and other shortlisted films are then toured around the world, screening for an audience of more than 30,000 outdoor adventure enthusiasts and their friends and families, in more than 120 cities and towns across Canada, United States and around the world.”
The Reel Paddling Film Festival has been in existence for 12 years and the films are produced by Rapid Media. This year’s tour features 20 inspiring paddling films, including the 10 festival category winners.
“Audiences will see hairy, whitewater action, sea kayakers exploring scenic, remote coastlines, northern river canoe expeditions, international river travel films, motivating environmental documentaries, gruelling kayak fishing battles and hilarious short films capturing the lighter side of paddling life,” says Redmond.
One of the goals of organizers bringing this event to Medicine Hat for a second year, is that local outdoor enthusiasts will be inspired to explore local rivers and embrace the paddling lifestyle.
Tickets are available at various locations including the Medicine Hat Public Library, Mike’s Meats, Valhalla Pure Outfitters, The Boarding House and the Tourism Medicine Hat Visitor Centre (cash only).
Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Those interested in attending shouldn’t wait until the evening event to purchase their tickets though, as seating is limited and tickets are already selling fast.
The Medicine Hat Paddling Club is a local club that has been around the area for about 30 years. Prior to 2000, the club was known as the Chinook Canoe and Kayak Club. The club’s mission is to promote and facilitate paddling and paddling opportunities for kayakers and canoeists in southeastern Alberta.
The proceeds of the Reel Paddling Film Festival World Tour — Medicine Hat 2016 will be used by the Medicine Hat Paddling Club to promote and develop paddling opportunities in the Medicine Hat area as well as develop access to the waterways in southeast Alberta, says Redmond.
More information about the club is available on their Facebook page. Information about the Reel Paddling Film Festival — World Tour is online at: https://www.reelpaddlingfilmfestival.com/.
Co-host Carefree Adventures is a family owned and operated Eco-Tourism business. Located in Medicine Hat and at Reid Lake in southwest Saskatchewan, the company offers kayak instruction, training, tours and rentals in both provinces (http://www.carefreeadventures.ca).