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Parksville Qualicum Beach filmmaker kayaks the 'deleted' islands

Local filmmaker Richard Boyce on Fin Island, near the site of the Queen of the North sinking, during his recent kayaking trip. - Photo submitted by Richard Boyce
Local filmmaker Richard Boyce on Fin Island, near the site of the Queen of the North sinking, during his recent kayaking trip.
— image credit: Photo submitted by Richard Boyce

Local filmmaker Richard Boyce has released the first 10-minute instalment of his newest work online.

"It takes so long to make a film and I've been involved in other Internet projects that get an immediate reaction," Boyce said of his decision to release Costal Tarsands in online segments.

"Watching all the ads from Enbridge — they're spending millions promoting this pipeline — they deleted (from their mapping in an ad) a 1,000-square-kilometre of islands from Hecate Strait and that just enraged me, so I thought this was the best thing I could do about it," he said.

So Boyce — whose award winning Rainforest, the Limit of Splendour, is still on the film festival circuit and has recently been picked up for distribution by the National Film Board — set out to kayak through and document what he has called the deleted islands.

After spending seven years on his last film, he said it was a nice change to return from a kayaking trip in Hecate Straight in September and already have a mini-documentary online to start people talking and drum up more support.

In the first instalment Boyce talks to the captain on the 18 hour B.C. Ferry trip from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert about large vessel traffic in the Inside Passage and gets a look at a memorial on Gil Island for the two victims of the 2006 Queen of the North sinking.

"What an amazing place, when the rain stopped and the fog lifted we encountered our first humpback whale sleeping in the middle of a narrow channel," he said. "Drifting with the current, it stayed there most of the day, blowing periodically."

"A cruise ship slowed down to allow us, in a tiny little kayak, to clear a channel. I can't imagine what would happen if we were a 330 meter long supertanker," Boyce said.

He said he saw more than 100 whales during the eight-day trip and got a minor taste of the treacherous conditions common to the area.

He said he will continue to upload the segments as they are produced and eventually re-edit them into a feature length documentary for theatrical release.

Watch the first video and get more information at www.CoastalTarSands.ca.

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