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Banff Mountain Festivals




In 1976, One Step Beyond President John Amatt organized the First Annual Banff Mountain Film Festival.  Since that time, it has become widely recognized as one of the world’s premiere mountain film and book festivals and celebrations of mountain life.  John continues his association with the Banff Mountain Festivals as a Founding Director and as a member  of the International Advisory Committee of the Banff Centre for Mountain Culture, along with Sir Edmund Hillary (New Zealand), Sir Chris Bonington (United Kingdom), Catherine Destivelle (France) and Hans Gmoser (Canada).

One Step Beyond continues an ongoing relationship with the Banff Mountain Festivals, including:











The Summit of Excellence Award was introduced at the Banff Mountain Film Festival in 1987 on the recommendation of Jon Whyte, a longtime resident of Banff and ardent supporter of the Festival. It is awarded annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to mountain life in the Canadian Rockies and is dedicated to the memory of Bill March, an internationally respected mountaineer, author and educator, who was the leader of the first successful Canadian expedition to climb Mount Everest in 1982. Bill shared his love and enthusiasm for the mountains with many as a mentor and guide, and his zest for life was an inspiration to all who knew him prior to his untimely death on September 8, 1990, at the age of 49. Over the years, the Summit of Excellence Award has become perhaps the most significant tribute of the Banff Mountain Film Festival, since it heralds those in our community who would never themselves consciously strive for recognition of this nature. To the annual recipient, the Summit Award truly represents the recognition of one’s peers. Past Recipients are:

  1987 - Bruno Engler "PHOTOGRAPHER"

  1988 - Jim Davies "RESCUE PILOT"

  1989 - Hans Gmoser "HELI-SKIING"

  1990 - Pat Morrow "SEVEN SUMMITS"

  1991 - Don Forest "MOUNTAINEER"

  1992 - Jon Whyte "HISTORIAN"

  1993 - Roger Vernon "FILMMAKER"

  1994 - Lloyd "Kiwi" Gallagher "EMERG. SVCS COORDINATOR"

  1995 - Brian Greenwood "CLIMBER"


  1997 - Sharon Wood "MOTHER - MENTOR - MOUNTAINEER"

  1998 – John Martin "CLIMBER & MOUNTAIN LOVER"

  1999 – Guy Lacelle "CLIMBER"

  2000 – Chic Scott "MOUNTAINEER - GUIDE - WRITER"

  2001 – Bob Sandford "HISTORIAN - AUTHOR - INTERPRETER"

  2002 – Barry Blanchard "ALPINIST"

  2003 – Willi Pfisterer "MOUNTAIN RESCUE INNOVATOR"

  2004 – Craig Richards "PHOTOGRAPHER"


  2006 – Gillean & Tony Daffern  "PUBLISHERS OF MOUNTAIN BOOKS"

  2007 – Bernadette McDonald  "AUTHOR, CLIMBER, FESTIVAL DIRECTOR"


The Bill March Summit Award of Excellence display (pictured above), a beautifully hand-carved wooden plaque featuring a bronze medallion with each past winner's name is permanently housed at the Canadian Alpine Centre in Lake Louise, Alberta.





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