A rapidly growing region for outdoor recreation, Howe Sound, Atl’Kitsem, has become a destination for both locals and afar. For filmmaker Jon Chiang and explorer Drew Copeland, a love for the region spurred a simple question, ‘Where does the water come from?’ This led to a more complex series of questions, ‘What does our connection to water mean? What about our connection to nature?’ Following our curiosity, we decided to go into the Headwaters of the Squamish River, the major tributary to Howe Sound.
Our team of eight (Jon Chiang, Drew Copeland, Tyler Eardley, John Gill, Yuki Kuroda, Jacob Lagercrantz, Kathleen Lane and James Worth) made for the Elaho Range, the Headwaters of the Squamish River and the top of the Howe Sound Watershed. We are skiers, climbers, filmmakers, who are curious to explore the region. Being free of the struggles of keeping up with the work life, and our digital connections, our minds and spirits felt open to new curiosities about this space and our place in it. Back and safe from the exciting week in the alpine, Jon & Drew carried on exploring the question of what it means to be in Howe Sound. We followed the course of water from its Headwaters into the Ocean.
The filmmakers connect with Squamish Nation Councillor Deanna Lewis; and author and playwright, Pauline LeBel. Deanna has spent her life in and on the water in Howe Sound. She is now raising her family here and is a spokesperson for the Squamish Nation. Pauline LeBel resides on Bowen Island and spent the last five some years writing, “Whale in the Door,” which encapsulates the biological resilience of Howe Sound and explores the community who now struggles to build the vision for this place and it’s future. Both Deanna and Pauline provided valuable perspectives on water that inspire us to think more critically about our connection with nature.
Through our adventure, we hope to find a closer relationship with nature and ourselves. This trip would not have been possible without the generous support of Blackcomb Helicopters, Squamish Terminals, Climb On Squamish, Backcountry Brewing, MEC and VIMFF. We would not have been able to participate in these adventures, nor to make this film without your support. Much gratitude to Deanna and Pauline for sharing their stories and helping us to better understand the meaning of adventures to the hills.
*Sound Water received a MEC Adventure Grant in 2018 to help the expedition come to life. Drew Copeland and his team will present the World Premiere of the film and conduct a Q&A after the screening.