FEAT Canada
Credit: FEAT Canada

Fans of FEAT (Fascinating Expedition & Adventure Talks) have a lot to look forward to at this year’s event. In the past, the seven-minute presentations featured at FEAT have ranged from overwhelming to awe-inspiring — and this year’s lineup promises another amazing evening of entertainment and vicarious adventure.

The doors to Vancouver, BC’s Rio Theatre open at 6:30 p.m., March 7, to admit ticket holders to this inspirational event, and the as-yet announced speakers are as incredible as expected.

Tiffany Melius may look like your typical girl-next-door until you see her climb a rock wall with no visible handholds. Her childhood was filled with the usual things; drama, band, French, gymnastics…OK, maybe she was a little more driven than the ordinary child, but none of her many activities really challenged her until she discovered rock climbing. At age 14, three months after climbing her first wall, she started competing and never looked back. Tiffany is an excellent example of how youth can find something they love and commit to doing it well. She is a role model to the young and not-so-young who are trying to find the competitor inside themselves.

Adam Campbell has melded two very diverse aspects of himself into one very fulfilled package. As a lawyer and entrepreneur, Adam feeds the structured intellectual within. As an adventurer, he enjoys the vastness and complexity of the outdoors. By embracing all of his interests, Adam has learned to enjoy the challenge within the structured corporate world and the balance that comes from tackling athletics with a professional zeal. Adam is an inspiration to anyone feeling conflicted about enjoying multiple interests and pursuing each to the fullest. He shows us that you can do it all, if you really want to.

Norm Hann has used his love of exploration and activity to craft a niche for himself and his favourite sport, stand-up paddleboarding. After working as a guide on the BC coast for many years, he created Norm Hann Expeditions, which leads stand-up paddleboard expeditions to remote areas as well as paddle-surf trips and paddleboard training. A secondary passion for the Great Bear Rainforest keeps him busy as a guide and educator, working to keep tankers away from the BC coastline. Norm has paddled tanker routes from Kitimat to Bella Bella, done a SUP expedition to Haida Gwaii, and will finish the route by paddling solo on his Haida Gwaii 2 Hartley Bay Expedition this summer. He shows us how our passions can become our professions, and how we can use those passions to make a difference in the world.

Debora De Napoli’s life changed after she discovered that she might carry the same genetic anomaly that led to her mother’s death five years ago. She decided that her approach to the potential time bomb in her body would be to do something significant and challenging. She founded the charity Life Cycle Project and produced a short documentary that showed her journey from office cubicles to the tops of nine summits across the Canadian Rockies. Before starting the charity, Debora was only a recreational biker and had never made a film. She realized, however, that the challenge of biking up (and down) a mountain was nothing when compared to the challenge of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Her film is currently being screened at competitions and festivals around the world. Life Cycle Project continues to encourage female amateur athletes to achieve their goals while raising awareness of ovarian cancer.

A new venture for FEAT this year is FEATkids. The event is similar to TedXKids, but focuses on adventure talks given by young people. What better way to inspire a kid than by listening to a peer who has had a grand adventure of his or her own? Seating is limited for the April 24 event, so contact FEAT now if you know a young adventurer who would like more information or who has an inspiring story to tell.

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