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A new festival with films for whatever floats your boat

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Troy Shantz

“We’re going to go down some white water… is this white water?” asks filmmaker Max Romey while bobbing in a raft down the Colorado River.

“I want to avoid that, right?”

Romey’s documentary, How not to capture the Grand Canyon, covers the intrepid adventurer’s first attempt at paddling the 2,300-kilometre river.

As you might guess, he doesn’t stay dry long. But viewers can while watching the film, one of a boatload screening this weekend at the World Tour Paddling Film Festival, hosted by the Lambton Outdoor Club.

Some of last year’s best canoe, kayak and stand-up paddle boarding films are slated for the May 4 event at Sarnia’s Theatre 42, said organizer Judy Mahoney.

In addition to hairy whitewater action, there are sea kayakers exploring remote coastlines and northern river canoe expeditions. Many of the films grapple with environmental and conservation issues, said Mahoney, paddle chair of the 300-member club.

“It’s a lot of different stories, and some of them are two minutes to half an hour.”

The film fest is also a way for prospective paddlers to get their feet wet in the local scene. Following the screening, Wawanosh Watercraft will discuss local paddling destinations and equipment.

The Lambton Outdoor Club organizes 16 paddling outings a year and Mahoney is hoping to reach unaffiliated canoeists and kayakers.

“There’s a lot of people in the area that do paddle but aren’t connected to the Lambton Outdoor Club. It would be good to get people together to just talk and share,” she said.

While many take their own equipment on outings, the group often has extra boats for anyone who wants to try the sport before taking the plunge.

“It’s good to get out and get a feeling of what’s it like to be in a kayak, what’s it like to be in a canoe.”


WHAT: Lambton Outdoor Club presents the 2019 World Tour Paddling Film Festival

WHEN: May 4 at 7 p.m.

WHERE: Theatre 42, at 900 Devine St.

TICKETS: $8 members, $10 non-members, available online only at

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