This past season I partnered up again with film producer, Kip Spidell, and returned to Quetico to finish filming for the Friends of Quetico's 100th anniversary project. For 20 days in August, we paddled throughout the park, shooting over 22 hours of footage to complete the Friends one-hour documentary to be released in the summer of 2009. My regular canoe partner, Andy Baxter, as well as Scott Adams from Paddle Ontario, joined us for the first half of the trip and Kip and I continued on for the remainder.

The film is made up of three major bodies of work. The first is to highlight a number of legendary conservationists who once paddled the park after its inception, people such as Oberholtzer, Leopold, Marshall, Olson, Morse, Mason and Walshe. The second is to interview a number of present day users, as well as park employees and volunteers, to ask them the ultimate question — does wilderness still exist in Quetico in the way the past conservationists once viewed it. And the third is to make the first and second points of interest entertaining and humorous enough to catch the interests of viewers (especially young viewers).

The attached video shows the first working pilot we created back in 2006. Kip, Andy and I traveled the northern section of the park, concentrating on Pickerel, Sturgeon, Russell, Chatterton and Fern Lake area. In 2008 the route was even more extensive, covering a good majority of the lakes between Basswood to the south and Beaverhouse to the northwest, and then central lakes such as Sarah and Keefer.

Along the way an assortment of paddlers were interviewed, including a naturalists group from Michigan, a family of five from southern Ontario, a newlywed couple from Manitoba, anglers from Wisconsin, seniors from Florida, a youth group from New York and junior rangers from northern Ontario who had just completed a nineteen-day canoe/maintenance trip.

The Friends of Quetico are in the process of raising funds to complete the film, hopefully for its release early in 2009. To gather more information on the film project and how to help the Friends with the film, contact friendsofquetico.com
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