The Filmed By Bike festival of biking films will be shown at a Kelowna drive-in theatre at a local church or from the comfort of your own home, as a fundraiser for the Okanagan Rail Trail - Kilometre Zero campaign. (Photo submitted)

Film festival boosts Okanagan Rail Trail campaign

Kelowna duo bringing in festival that can be viewed in person or at your home

Two regular Kelowna guys who love bikes are pedalling a fundraiser for the Okanagan Rail Trail – Kilometre Zero Campaign.

Prior to COVID-19, Ashley Lubyk and Kyle Hoehn hatched the idea of bringing a collection of the world’s best bicycle films to Kelowna as a way to celebrate the bicycle and the people riding them. They hoped these films would inspire a vision for the Okanagan, one where the humble bicycle plays a more central role in the daily lives of the people living here.

The original plan was to show the films at Kelowna’s Mary Irwin Theater (originally slated for April 30) as a fundraiser for the Friends of the Okanagan Rail Trail (FORT). But the pandemic arrived and plans needed to adjust.

Since having to cancel the event, the bicycle has risen to prominence and, for many people, it has proven to be a steady and trustworthy companion during this unprecedented time. Getting out for a ride boosts immunity, lifts spirits and levels the mind.

“We envision a valley brimming with people (including families, kids, seniors) on bicycles, commuting to work and school on two wheels, shopping locally, drinking locally (not the kids), travelling near and far by bicycle, and experiencing the total joy that comes from two-wheeled, human-powered locomotion,” said Lubyk.

The Okanagan Rail Trail is a community asset that has helped many cope during this tumultuous time.

Hoehn said he and Lubyk decided that instead of giving up, they would start working on a Plan B.

“A Plan B allows us to get the films out to the community to inspire that original vision, while also raising money to support the work of FORT,” Hoehn said.

What the duo came up with is showing a festival called Filmed By Bike which you can watch from the comfort of your home or a special drive-in theatre popping up at a Kelowna church.

Filmed by Bike is a touring film festival, started in Portland, that features the world’s best bike movies. The films celebrate all cyclists and cycling culture. The touring film festival features two film packages – Bike Love (62 minutes; 11 short films mingling fun, lighthearted stories of how bicycles are changing lives all over the globe) and Adventure Shorts (65 minutes; eight short films telling inspiring tales of adventure, struggle and triumph on the rugged road.

Make a $25 donation and receive a link to watch the film collection at home with friends and family (maintaining proper social distancing measures, of course);

Make a $50 donation for a chance to be invited to a private screening of the films at a drive-in-theatre at Trinity Church in Kelowna put on by Outside Cinema. The films will be shown on Thursday, Oct. 1 starting at 7 p.m. (gatherings are capped at 50 people or, in the case of drive-ins, 50 cars (which could have 1 to 4-plus people per car) so the first 50 donations over $50 get the invites).

All donations of more than $50 will be entered for additional donated door prizes – gift certificates, bike swag, and even more impressive things.

All funds raised will go toward building essential infrastructure along the route (e.g. for developing a meeting and interpretive area at Kilometre Zero in Coldstream), for planting native/indigenous trees/plants, and for general enhancement of the route.

READ MORE: B.C. to expand COVID-19 testing, winter hospital bed capacity

READ MORE: Vernon makes top 20 list for ‘rattiest’ cities in B.C.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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