The Canadian West Coast economy – and many around the world – has been about resource extraction and our ability to carve out a living from the raw wilderness. How in the modern world do we buoy our economy within the resource-based model while merging recreation with it?
This film project originally began as a cooperative arrangement between Destination BC
and BC Bike Race
(BCBR), it was shot and edited by Media One and BCBR. The original goal was aimed at delving into those communities along the route and telling their unique stories. The initial project was completed just prior to the race in 2017 with all seven parts launching individually.
The common thread between each vignette was strong; there was a current of change within all these communities. The words from the people interviewed really summed up a movement that became obvious when we put all the pieces together. In early 2018 it was agreed that the combined stories from each community told the compelling story of the impact mountain biking is having on tourism in British Columbia. Together, the individual community experiences reflect what is happening all over the province and in fact within the global mountain biking community.
At one time, as industry moved away from small towns all over the world, their populations migrated to bigger city centers. However, now, modernization with the internet and the increase of remote work available has opened up new options for people to move back to these once deserted towns. And for the last two decades, the young families who have begun this slow migration have been redefining our relationship with the working forest and local industries. They are striving for a closer connection to nature and for the opportunity to mine these natural resources in a more experiential way.
Without the Forest Service Roads (FSRs) we wouldn’t have any access to the best fishing spots, hiking trails, or alpine viewpoints – we also love toilet paper, and with this new generation came an updated appreciation of how we can work together to recreate in a working forest. And how we can jointly manage this mighty backyard with everyone’s interest in mind – including future generations and those who have lived here from time immemorial; the First Nations.
Together we are creating a world with shared purpose where industry and recreation sit side by side and trail building has become a vocation capable of feeding families and leading our sport into the future. Working in both resource and recreation can bring us closer to the land and the water, and that which nourishes us. The spirit of mountain biking can carry us far and wide – through forests, over mountains, and along streams – but only on the foundation of knowing where we came from and how we can continue to move forward.