We are excited to introduce our 2017 BC Winter Ambassadors. This January and February, four ambassadors will hit the road and ski BC’s resorts, giving us an inside perspective on snow conditions and resort experiences. Read on to learn about our ambassadors, and which resorts they will be visiting.
Drawn to the peaks of the Coast Mountains, Leo left the East Coast to seek out new adventures in BC. He is an outdoor filmmaker who challenges himself in the elements, and by pushing the limits of his craft. Currently based in Vancouver, Leo is excited to hit the road and explore BC’s coastal resorts.
Based in Vancouver, Ben is a photographer and videographer who grew up in Kelowna. BC’s interior was the perfect backdrop for endless exploration, which ignited his passion for snowboarding and film. He has lived across Canada, from Quebec to Whistler, searching for the best snow.
Born into a family of hard-charging skiers, Zoya learned to ski as a toddler at her family’s backcountry lodge in the Canadian Rockies. She moved to Revelstoke in 2009, and was instantly drawn to the rugged mountains and endless powder. Zoya soon picked up a camera and started documenting her adventures. She feels lucky to live in a beautiful place where she can combine her love of the mountains with art and creativity.
Leigh and Spring are photographers, writers, and adventure seekers based in the Coast Mountains. After moving from Ireland back to Canada in 2010, they developed a passion for exploring their backyard. Leigh and Spring hope to inspire others to get outside and experience the freedom of being in the mountains.
Follow our Winter Ambassadors as they share stories from their ski trips around the province. Check back for weekly features, and follow Destination BC on Facebook and Instagram to see how the BC ski season is unfolding.
Remember when you’d spend all day, every day, with your friends, laughing until your face hurt? I resolve to do more than a quick coffee catch-up with friends, and there’s nothing better than an extended weekend wine-touring trip to re-connect.
Not quite a snow angel world record. This sightseeing tour with Compass Heli Tours found the perfect untouched snow for two angels. Photo: Nicolas Drader
I’ve attempted to break a few records (no luck so far). This year, I pledge to join others at Panorama Mountain Resort in an effort to shatter the Guinness Book of World Records’ cross-Canada simultaneous snow angels record. The winged action will take place Feb. 6th, in celebration of Canadian Ski Patrol Day.
Tin Hat Cabin on the Sunshine Coast Trail. Photo: @Billharding via instagram
A quick reconnect in nature is never far from reach when you live in Vancouver. This year, I plan to take a longer break, and the Sunshine Coast Trail is ideal. The 180-kilometre (112-mile) route stretches through old-growth forests, towering mountaintops, and coastal shorelines. The trail also has 13 huts, making it the longest hut-to-hut hiking experience in Canada.
Take the ultimate road trip.
Liard Valley on the Alaska Highway. Photo: Emanuel Smedbol
The Alaska Highway celebrates its 75th anniversary next year, and that means one thing: road trip. The diversity of wildlife, the scenery, and Liard River Hot Springs make this on-the-road adventure a “must” 2017 resolution.
This is the resolution I’m least likely to accomplish, but the Nakusp half-marathon has the added incentive of being near Nakusp Hot Springs for a soothing mineral soak post-run. If I fall short on my training, there’s also a 5K or a 10K option.
What’s on your 2017 resolution list?
Featured Image: Heli-hiking Mt. Nimbus Via Ferrata in Glacier National Park. Photo: Ryan Creary.
BC’s diverse topography of cities, deserts, rainforests, mountains, and beaches makes it a popular place for movie-makers to call “Action!” Numerous TV series and films have been shot in the province. Here are some of the most popular film backdrops—and best locations for star-spotting.
The entrance to the Marine Building, a.k.a. Smallville’s Daily Planet headquarters. Photo credit: Jeff Hitchcock via Flickr
“Hollywood North” is a star attraction for filmmakers looking for a North American cityscape: Vancouverites regularly see “snow” in summer, a NYC taxi cruising around Gastown, or supernatural beings fighting crime.
Vancouver morphed into Metropolis in Smallville to tell the story of Clark Kent’s early life. Hit shows such as The 100, Supernatural, Arrow—and its spin-off The Flash—have been filmed at atmospheric locations, such as the disused Riverview Hospital in Coquitlam. Many of the alien encounters in The X-Files (up to series five and the 2016 reboot) were filmed in the forests around Vancouver. Aldergrove in Langley is home to the set of the infamous Bates Motel, where the TV show (a prequel to Hitchcock’s Psycho) is filmed.
Shows such as iZombie and the US remake of The Killing show downtown Vancouver as “Seattle.” The city has also appeared as our American neighbour in romantic movies such as the Fifty Shades trilogy movies, which shot key scenes at the Bentall Tower, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, UBC, and Gastown.
Vancouver’s infrastructure also stars in films—from the stunt sequences of Deadpool, filmed on the Georgia Street viaduct, to the collapse of the Lion’s Gate Bridge in Final Destination 5’s opening credits.
Since 2011, seaside Steveston has transformed yearly into Storybrooke, Maine, for ABC’s Once Upon a Time. Steveston’s Moncton Street receives a mythical makeover for filming, but Romania Country Bread keeps its Storybrooke Country Bread sign up year round. Moncton Street was also a location for the new Power Rangers film in which Elizabeth Banks stars as villain Rita Repulsa (due out in 2017). It’s not just superheroes that visit Richmond—the Riverport area was home to a giant ape prison for the recent filming of War of The Planet of the Apes.
Secrets of Storybrooke: check out the 5:22 mark to learn how Steveston transforms into Storybrooke.
The Cache Creek area is transformed into “Egypt” for Ben Stiller’s Night at the Museum. Photo: Thompson-Nicola Film Commission
Desert landscapes make BC’s Interior a popular place for TV and filmmakers to shoot far-flung and otherworldly destinations. Walhachin, near Kamloops, stood in for the US desert in The X-Files and The Andromeda Strain, and the arid Elephant Hills landscape near Ashcroft morphed into Texas in the Twilight saga Eclipse, the Mexican desert in The A-Team, and Mexico’s Baja Peninsula in The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants. Ben Stiller’s Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb transformed the Cache Creek area into Egypt, and Aladdin soared above in Once Upon a Time. The TV show Battlestar Galactica used Kamloops’ desert as “Planet Algae.” Back on Earth, Merritt become small-town Kansas for Superman’s Smallville, and the heritage gold-rush town of Fort Steele had a starring role in Bridget Fonda’s Snow Queen.
Nelson’s many heritage buildings set the scene for the Steve Martin classic Roxanne. Photo: Phil Best Photography
BC’s Kootenay Rockies enjoys the limelight, too. Nelson’s heritage buildings set the scene for the Steve Martin classic Roxanne; Nelson, Greenwood, and the surrounding Slocan Valley, were featured in Snow Falling on Cedars. The mountain town of Fernie provided the ultimate ski backdrop for Hot Tub Time Machine. On the horizon, The Mountain Between Us, a new drama starring Kate Winslet, is set to start filming near Invermere in early 2017.
Northern BC’s snowy landscape is a natural stand-in for Alaska. Photo: Northern BC Tourism
Mountains, glaciers, and remote landscapes make Northern BC an ideal stand-in for Alaska. The 2002 US remake of Insomnia, a critically acclaimed version of the 1997 Norwegian film, brought Al Pacino, Robin Williams, and Hilary Swank to Stewart and Bear Glacier. And the wintry north of Liam Neeson’s plane-crash drama The Grey was filmed at Smithers and Hudson Bay Mountain.
For more information about filming in BC, check out these movie maps and filming news sites:
As the new year approaches, it’s time to look back at significant moments from 2016. From #1 spots on “Top 10” lists, to a Royal visit, it’s been a memorable year in BC.
10. The BC Government reached a historic deal with First Nations, environmentalists, and logging companies, and announced that 85% of the 6.4-million-hectare (15.8-million-acre) Great Bear Rainforest will be permanently protected from logging.
Grizzly crossing a river in the Great Bear Rainforest. Photo: Pete Ryan
9. Local businessman and philanthropist Michael Audain opened the hotly anticipated Audain Art Museum in Whistler. His personal collection includes one of the world’s finest collections of First Nations masks, and pieces by renowned BC artist Emily Carr.
Entrance to the Audain Art Museum. Photo: Caley Vanular
2. The world’s largest Christmas light maze put on a display near Vancouver‘s Olympic Village. Enchant boasts more than 5,000 square metres (55,000 square feet) of illuminated sculptures, as well as a Christmas Market featuring 40+ local vendors and a dozen food trucks.
Eager to slide down a mountain on two planks or one board? Now is your chance to give it a go. Take advantage of Never Ever Days, and learn to ski or snowboard at one of 14 participating BC ski resorts and areas this winter. January through March, snow-sliding newbies can score a lesson, a lift ticket, and rental equipment for just $25—and go from “pizza” (a.k.a. the snowplow) tracks to powder turns.
Learning to ski at SilverStar Mountain Resort. Photo: Blake Jorgenson
Still not convinced to give it a go? Here are five reasons you should learn to ski or ride this winter:
1. Fresh air will boost your mood. 2. Random chairlift chats may lead to new friendships. 3. BC’s ski resorts have already received a ton of snow. 4. Après-ski. 5. It’s only $25.