Festival of Ocean Films arrives in Vancouver and Nanaimo

Hosted by Georgia Strait Alliance, the Festival of Ocean Films is bringing five short documentary films to Vancouver on June 5 and 6, and to Nanaimo on June 10 as it celebrates its 10th year and honours World Oceans Day on June 8.

For the first time, the Festival of Ocean Films is screening films that were made solely by local BC filmmakers. Species and habitat protection, as well as marine conservation feature prominently in this year’s roster of films, with four filmed in British Columbia, and one filmed in Alaska by Salt Spring Island filmmakers.

These powerful and moving shorts explore declining salmon populations in the Fraser River and fisheries in Bristol Bay, as well as herring in the Strait of Georgia, humpback whales in Howe Sound and the Heiltsuk Nation’s work to enshrine Indigenous governance of their homelands and waters into law in the wake of the Nathan E. Stewart spill.

“With our local marine environment facing a myriad of threats, it’s fitting that a number of the films explore issues right here at home. At least 13 populations of Vancouver Island, Thompson River and Fraser River Chinook salmon are assessed as being at risk, while contamination and the risk of oil and fuel spills are top of mind with risky projects like the Trans Mountain and Terminal 2 Port expansion near the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal,” says Christianne Wilhelmson, Executive Director of Georgia Strait Alliance.

“This year’s films will inspire and educate audiences because they demonstrate that our marine environment matters and people are fighting to protect it,” adds Wilhelmson.

The films being shown are:

  • Raven People Rising (2018). The Heiltsuk Nation works to enshrine Indigenous governance of their homelands and waters into law in the wake of the the Nathan E. Stewart spill. Watch trailer.
  • Small Fish Big Problem (2019). Herring spawn in the Strait of Georgia around Hornby and Denman Islands is the last of six major herring spawns on the west coast of Canada—and it is at risk.
  • Fish First (2018). This film explores what makes Bristol Bay in Alaska one of the most productive and well managed fisheries on the planet. Watch trailer.
  • For the Love of Salmon (2018). A young woman from the Stl’atl’imx First Nation swims 60km in the depths of the Fraser River to bring awareness to declining salmon health.
  • Return of the Humpbacks (2019). A Bowen Island resident tracks his encounters with humpback whales, following their absence in Howe Sound for a century.

Immediately following the screenings there will be Question-and-Answer sessions with filmmakers. In Vancouver, Alex Harris (Fish First) and former Bowen Island mayor, geologist and filmmaker Bob Turner (Return of the Humpbacks) will be available. In Nanaimo, director Andrea Palframan (Raven People Rising), Grant Scott of Hornby Island Conservation Society (Small Fish Big Problem), Luke Wallace (Fish First) and Bob Turner (Return of the Humpbacks) will be available for questions.

The venues for the screenings are the Patagonia Vancouver store on West 4th Avenue, and Malaspina Theatre in Nanaimo.

Tickets are $15 for general admission, $13 for members of Georgia Strait Alliance.

Thank you to our generous sponsors: Patagonia Vancouver and Vancity.

Net profits will be donated to Georgia Strait Alliance to assist with the organization’s mission to protect and restore the marine environment, and promote the sustainability of the Strait of Georgia, its adjoining waters and communities.

We acknowledge and thank the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh on whose traditional lands this Vancouver event is being held on, and we acknowledge and thank the Snuneymuxw, Quw’utsun and Tla’Amin on whose traditional lands this Nanaimo event is being held on.

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Tickets
VANCOUVER | Patagonia Vancouver Store | 1994 West 4th Avenue
June 5 at 7pm. Purchase tickets

June 6 at 7pm. Purchase tickets

NANAIMO | Malaspina Theatre | 900 Fifth Street
June 10 at 7pm. Purchase tickets

About the Vancouver Festival of Ocean Films
The Festival of Ocean Films is dedicated to the issues, personalities and sports of the world’s oceans. The goal is to increase awareness about relationships with oceans, while educating and motivating audiences: www.georgiastrait.org/vfof

About Georgia Strait Alliance
The non-profit conservation organization collaborates with individuals, businesses and government to protect and restore the marine environment, and promote the sustainability of the Strait of Georgia, its adjoining waters, and communities: www.georgiastrait.org

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