MOUNT CAIN PHOTO Skiers ontop of the mountain enjoy a break and taking the breathtaking views.

Documentary to showcase Island’s “other” ski hill

Filmmakers hope to capture community spirit powering North Island’s Mount Cain

“Folklore” a documentary aiming to preserve and share the unique the history of Mt. Cain is currently in development.

A group of dedicated community members, with support from the Mt.Cain board of directors, are creating the documentary to capture tales of the Island’s “other” ski-hill and the non-profit society that runs it to illustrate how the mountain came to be and shed light on its unique community atmosphere.

“It started from being up at the mountain and hearing a bunch of different tales and wondering what the true story was and from realizing there’s no showboating about what everyone has done for Mt. Cain,” said Annie Danko, ticket booth manager at Mt. Cain, who is leading the documentary project.

The documentary is dedicated to Jeff Jones, who passed away in 2017 and was an important member of the Mt. Cain community who spent his free time archiving Cain’s vast amount of photo albums and records to preserve the mountain’s history.

“Along with it being dedicated to Jeff, it’s away to actually show gratitude to those that were involved and started everything and made it into what Cain is now,” said Danko, adding “It will also touch on Mt.Cain moving forward and how that lines up with the past.”

The documentary focuses on interviews with the people who dedicated much of their time in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s to the Mount Cain Alpine Park Society (MCAPS), as well showcasing the beautiful terrain of the mountain.

“It’s really important to know your history, and Cain is going through a transition phase where a lot of the people who have been there forever are getting older and they are needing people to step up and take the reigns,” explained Danko, adding “So it’s invaluable to have the history captured in a way that s intriguing and people will want to learn from.”

Mt. Cain notables like Bill Coin, Julia Davies, Walter and Elizabeth Eginburger have already been interviewed and most of the filming for the documentary has been completed.

As Mt. Cain is run by a non-profit society and by a large number of volunteers, funding for the film has been raised through donations. Danko said they raised $4000 through a fundraiser held in Courtenay which was enough to cover the filming and some labour costs.

The documentary will feature high-quality video, as it will be composed of a mix of previously shot Mt.Cain footage as well as scenes filmed by Dan Batchelor, a Victoria-based filmmaker who has worked with many of Canada’s Olympic medalists and Olympic-bound athletes.

However, the group still needs to cover the cost of editing expenses.

“Editing is the biggest cost because we have too much interview content to go through,” explained Danko, adding that the film will cost roughly $11,000 in total to produce.

Danko ran a Kickstarter campaign in March to help raise the $11,000 but the funding goal wasn’t met within the Kickstarter’s limited allowable time-frame so Danko plans to set up crowdsourcing with another donation platform in the near future.

Danko said that although she only spent a couple seasons at Mt.Cain as a kid, it had left a big impact on her life.

“I went to school for ski-hill management because I fell in love with the atmosphere and community on Mt. Cain,” said Danko, adding “It’s safe, friendly, and it’s a good place to be and to learn – the community is there to help kids grow into decent humans.”

Danko noted that in recent years, they’ve seen a lot of newcomers join the hill and noted that the documentary can benefit the future of the mountain by “having a clear picture of where everything started.”

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