500 Days in the Wild MEDIA ANNOUNCEMENT
August 25, 2021, Gibsons, BC Canada.
Two Women. 500 Becoming 2500 Days in The Wild. One Trail.
Two women. One friendship. Six years. The epic journey of friendship and coming home to our whole selves by Charlene SanJenko, Indigenous impact producer and founder of PowHERhouse.
On October 3rd, 2021, PowHERhouse officially welcomes home Dianne Whelan to her Sunshine Coast community. Six years ago, we launched her ecological and reconciliation pilgrimage along the Great Trail (the Trans Canada Trail) with an evening fundraiser that saw supporters and friends come together to raise $5,000 to help launch Whelan's 500 Days in the Wild expedition and documentary filmmaking project. Learn more here.
How we met - I remember seeing Dianne ('Dee') speak at the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts in 2014. She spoke about her 2010 adventure to Nepal and Mount Everest Base Camp to direct and shoot her award-winning documentary film, 40 Days at Base Camp. I was smitten with an 'impact crush' immediately.
What happened next - As is typical of most magical encounters that ignite the fire in my belly, I approached Dee to ask her what supportive role I could play moving forward. The rest is history - or should I say HERstory - in the making! And we've only just begun.
The gift - At the 500 Days in the Wild Launch Party & Fundraiser, Dee presented me a paddle at the end of the evening to say thank you. It had been carved by an Indigenous artist, and when I received it with both hands, I had a visceral experience. Dee's gift connected me with my ancestors for the first time and began my journey of reclaiming my Indigenous heritage and reconnecting with my culture as an adult adoptee.
The Oscar's stage vision - As a member of the creative team, our journey has just begun. The biking, hiking, paddling, and snow-shoeing are complete, and now Dee has six years of film footage to review. This fall the production process begins, and with it, as an independent filmmaker, raising funds to support the craft and completion of this project at a pace and a time that reflects and respects the story to date. Dee told me once that her vision for this film ended on the Oscar's stage. My response to that was, "What shall I wear?" A friendship six years in the making. Can't wait to see where the next six years take us!
DIANNE WHELAN is an award-winning Canadian filmmaker, photographer, author and multimedia artist. She is no stranger to shooting indie films in extreme locations. She’s filmed on Mt. Everest for her award-winning documentary film 40 Days at Base Camp and on the most northern coastline of Canada for This Land. www.diannewhelan.com
CPAWS, PowHERhouse Impact Media Group, and Dianne Whelan are proud to model a unique and impactful creative partnership.