Behind the Curtains of the Calgary Ski Scene with 403Media

Eric Behn |

Photos and Words by Chris Pilling

If you enjoyed Sherpas Cinema’s  INTO THE MIND Calgary segment with JP Auclair and Tom Wallisch, you know that Calgary, Alberta (where the segment was filmed) isn’t just a big city in the middle of farm and oil country, but also a mecca for urban skiing. 403Media spearheads the Calgary ski scene and played a key role in guiding and helping Sherpas Cinema through the filming of the Calgary urban segment. Follow 403Media in their own film making journey to see how this Canadian city’s ski scene ticks.

In 2012, 403Media set out to create their first feature film. A group comprised of two film makers and skiers, Brent Callow and Rob Boersma, set the bar high for the next seven months so they could capture many urban missions both day and night, road trips to various mountains, and the lifestyle of skiing in Calgary.

Bent Callow has his batteries wrapped with hand warmers to keep them working as long as possible.

But the features don’t just appear. The crew arrives early, sets up, skis, and takes down any features. Leaving close to no evidence is important to the longevity of urban skiing. Respect for the property owners and people who normally use the grounds are key to staying out of trouble.

Being based out of Calgary has its perks, the streets are littered with features and there is always something new to hit. The crew has braved many colds nights dipping past -20°C (-4 Fahrenheit) and stretching into the early hours of the morning. Some nights they came away with tired minds and bodies and very little usable material, but the times they achieved what they came to do made it all worth it.

Calgary has no shortage of unique locations. The crew makes a visible effort to hit features or locations in a way that hasn’t been seen before. 

In search of powder, they teamed up with skiers Carter McMillan and Adam McCraw in Revelstoke, BC. They met some unfavourable avalanche conditions but with some careful guidance from the experienced skiers they came away with some great back country footage.

Carter is no stranger to the big mountain scene, competing in many national events.
Towards the end of the season, Winsport Canada was generous enough to host a private park session for the crew. They supplied a smooth 60ft table for the crew to get down on.

Overall the 2012/13 season could not have gone better for the 403Media. Their film “Doing it LIVE” premiered at Calgary’s Freshtival, a film festival showing all the new ski films produced by the big names in the industry. They opened up for Sherpas Cinema’s  “Into the Mind”, and received praise in helping them with their Calgary urban segment. Now with their first film under their belts, they are looking to step things up for the next one. Bigger features, more production value, and more good times. Showcasing Calgary’s local talent, here is Doing it LIVE.

Check out 403Media at their Website:
Facebook: 403Media   Instagram: @403media

Photos by Chris Pilling | Website:
Facebook: Chris Pilling Photos Instagram: @chrispilling


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