Documentary takes people to virtually experience backcountry lodge

Zoya Lynch and her family got hooked on Golden’s backcountry lifestyle in the early 1990s.

Her parents took a leap of faith and invested in the Amiskwi lodge in the back of the Blaeberry Valley.

As long time residents of Calgary, and with four young children, becoming a part of the backcountry lodge was quite the change for the family.

Now, Lynch and her sister Izzy are producing a short documentary to show how the little lodge in the backcountry changed their lives. They also received a $40,000 grant from STORYHIVE to create a virtual reality 360 degree immersive look at a typical backcountry winter trip.

The sisters have been working with Lululemon film creative Andrea Wing to create the virtual reality experience part of the two pieces they are creating.

In 1994, the Lynch family had an opportunity to invest and build the Amiskwi Lodge, and they quickly jumped on it.

“We ended up having this really cool side life in the mountains. It really shaped our lives now in a big way,” Lynch said, adding that her sister is now a professional skier and she is a professional adventure photographer. “Our path now has definitely been shaped by that split decision of my parents to take on the Amiskwi Lodge.”

The family’s story will be told in a video documentary that is less than 10 minutes long.

“We just want to tell the story about taking that leap of faith and the multi-generational effect it can have on families,” she added.

Out of 165 entries, Amiskwi was selected as one of 13 winners from B.C. and Alberta. Each winning team will create two pieces of content. The 360 virtual reality film from Amiskwi will feature the winter camping experience on the Freshfield Icefields.

From chopping firewood to hauling water from the creek, Lynch explains the VR experience will fully immerse people into life in the backcountry, and it will be particularly interesting for people who would not normally be able to participate in those activities.

Now 27, Lynch says the backcountry experience has a multi-generational effect on their family. Her sister has a 10 month old baby who has already had the chance to experience the rugged outdoors the lodge has to offer. In the fall, both videos should be completed and the Lynch’s will be showing them around the area. VR and immersive technology has usually only been available to big time filmmakers, but the support of STORYHIVE is helping to change that. Both the 10 minute documentary and the VR immersive experience will be packaged to complement each other and share similar stories.

The final projects will be available in the fall on Telus Optik TV On Demand and on STORYHIVE.

“We wanted to have a fun project and tell a story,” Lynch said. “It’s a unique story because we’re a family from the city and we wound up on this mountain path.”

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