Multiplicity delivers authenticity 

Variety show delivers mountain culture stories at wssf event

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The concept was unique.

Equal parts comedy, activism, entertainment and education, the Mountain Multiplicity Show brought to life real-life mountain stories as told by authentic storytellers. The stories were delivered through pictures, video, conversation, humour and emotion.

Show host Feet Banks cycled through and introduced eight different presenters over the course of the show at the Whistler Conference Centre, April 14.

Mountain Life Magazine sponsored the event pulling it together in a short period of time, said Todd Lawson, the magazine's publisher and photo editor.

"A lot of people were quite pleasantly surprised by what they saw," says Lawson the day after the show.

In a truly eclectic line-up, the audience heard from Lawson, who shared some of his own mountain experiences of riding dirt bikes in the Andes, comedian Kelly Dyer, who had the crowd of 300 laughing raucously and artist Chili Thom, who opened his presentation by informing the audience that he fears public speaking. Thom used the opportunity to talk about how his art evolved from his days as an adventure guide.

Presenter Ace MacKay-Smith called her presentation Growing Up Ski Bum. "Her show, I feel, was really authentic and we'll continue to build on that," says Lawson.

MacKay-Smith ran through photos of her life from birth to touring through Europe in a small car with her ski- bum parents, then returning to Canada where her father worked at ski resorts across the country. Her photo collection included cute toddler shots and photos of her with the likes of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Nancy Green-Raine.

A film on canyoneering in Squamish was also featured. Filmmaker Francois-Xavier De Ruydts introduced his film Down the Line, which documents two descents into steep canyons in Squamish.

Lawson says that screening led to a number of people asking him for more information on how to get involved in canyoneering.

Nicolas Teichrob showed highlights from his film works aimed at stopping the creation of the Northern Gateway Pipeline.

True ski bums were riveted by a panel discussion featuring Chris Prior, Gary Wayne, Johnny Foon Chilton and Greg Funk. Banks grilled the four ski and snowboard makers on how they got into hand making their boards and what drives their work.

"How often do you get a chance to hear four local ski makers?" asks Lawson.

The evening wrapped up with a presentation by bear researcher Charlie Russell. His portion of the show was filled with stunning bear photos and riveting tales of adventures with grizzly, spirit and black bears (see related article on page 34).

"I think it was a unique event in the sense that it had a bit more of a grass-rootsy feel to it," Lawson says. "It was not a competition, it was none of that stuff. It was just about different people sharing their different experiences in the mountains." The magazine plans to do the event again next year. "There's enough adrenaline and action that takes place," Lawson says of the other World Ski and Snowboard Festival events. Multiplicity offers festival participants a chance to sit back and enjoy mountain culture delivered by authentic people with authentic, entertaining stories.

Proceeds from the event went to the Spearhead Huts project.


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