Toby Creek Nordic Ski Club encourages the young to get out skiing

By Chadd Cawson Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Film lovers unite. After a virtual event last year, the Toby Creek Nordic Ski Club (TCNSC) will host the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour on January 8 at the Columbia Valley Community Centre in Invermere. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. while the movie magic gets underway at 6 p.m. 

“This event is a community favourite so be sure to grab your tickets quickly. They also make great stocking stuffers,” said Dallas Husar, TCNSC director of communications. “The world tour is one of our two main fundraisers for the club, the second being the Nipika Panorama Loppet. We love that we get to bring a piece of this incredible event to our town and that our community gets to view the inspiring and jaw-dropping feats being accomplished throughout the world.”

The Banff Mountain Film Festival started in 1976 and has been travelling across the globe for over 30 years. TCNSC has hosted the world tour as one of their main fundraisers for the last 12 years. Before they officially took over as hosts, RK Heliskiing hosted the festival, and donated all proceeds to the Nordic Ski Club.

“This evening of films is an annual sellout and tickets always go very quickly. We know that community members look forward to this event all year,” Husar said. “Not only is it an opportunity to enjoy world class cinematography and a great chance to mix and mingle with friends and fellow adventure enthusiasts, it helps to support everything the TCNSC has to offer our community.

“Everyone views these films from different lenses. Some find them inspiring and are motivated to go and seek new thrills and adventures. Others are impressed and applaud the extreme skills of those in the films. Regardless of their takeaway, they are always well entertained.”

TCNSC is proud of their youth programming, which encourages kids of all ages to enjoy the great outdoors.

Toby Creek Nordic Ski Club not only brings people together for the annual Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, but all winter long with their ski programming for kids and youth of ages. Photo by Cam Gillies (2017)

“Our main goal is to get kids outside, enjoying nordic skiing and having a great time while doing so,” said Husar. “Everyone in the club is passionate about nordic skiing and the lifelong benefits. It’s a sport you can enjoy solo or with friends and family, competitively or recreationally.  Living in the Columbia Valley, we have so many great places to ski, which is a huge benefit.”

For kids those ages three to five is the Bunnies which teaches the basics of skiing like balance and movement. Kids ages six to nine get to be Jackrabbits; that focuses more on skiing fundamentals and building off the existing skills they learned in the Bunnies program. Children nine or older who successfully completed Jackrabbits or at a comparable level of skiing, are eligible for their Track Attack program.  This encourages the students to further refine their skills. Finally for youth, TCNSC offers a skill development program for those who want to compete regionally or provincially.  Husar said through working with their amazing, dedicated head coach, youth will have the chance to race, train and travel with athletes their own age.

“Our coaches are all enthusiastic about making sure children in the programs have fun,” said Husar. “Our head coach sums it up wonderfully that our main goal is to provide a lot of fun while providing the best skills to enjoy great winters here with us.”

Tickets went on sale on December 3 and are available at Crazy Soles in downtown Invermere. For TCNSC members, tickets are $30 and for non-members, $35. 

Programming began on Dec. 3. Those registered in any of TCNSC’s programs may rent their gear through the club for the season.  For more information on the festival or programming email [email protected]