Adventure Activism, Backcountry, Banff, Diversity, National Geographic, The Arctic, Winter / 26.12.2022

The Joy Trip Project is excited to announce the 2nd recipient of the Matthew Henson Memorial Polar Explorer Scholarship. In partnership with Polar Explorers, an Illinois-based guiding company, we are pleased to award Christine Meissner free tuition to attend a five-day introduction to a winter travel training course in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of Northern Minnesota. Christine will be joined by last year’s scholar awardee Stephan Scott to help guide and mentor her journey in the world of cold weather overland travel. To honor the legacy of...

#BlackLivesMatter, Banff, Black Lives Matter, Charitable Giving, Diversity, Ice Age Trail, The Arctic, Through-Hiking, Winter / 13.12.2021

In partnership with Polar Explorers, an Illinois-based guiding company, the Joy Trip Project is proud to announce the first recipients of the Matthew Henson Scholarship! Emily Ford and Stephen Scott have been awarded free tuition to attend a five-day introduction to a winter travel training course in the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area of Northern Minnesota. To honor the legacy of the great innovator of Arctic exploration and winter adventure, this program aims to inspire people of color - in particular, emerging outdoor guides or people with current or...

#BlackLivesMatter, Banff, Black Lives Matter, Diversity, Environmental Justice, Film preview, Film Review, Ice Age Trail, Madison, Nelson Institute, Wisconsin / 10.12.2021

As Midwesterners huddled safely in their homes to avoid the frigid chill of a Wisconsin winter and the devastating trauma of a world-wide pandemic, Emily Ford set out on a long walk with a borrowed sled dog named Diggins. Well acquainted with the hazardous weather of the upper Midwest, this professional gardener from Duluth, Minnesota aimed to traverse the length of the Ice Age National Scenic Hiking Trail (IAT), a distance of more than 1,200 miles through some of the coldest temperatures in recorded history. The new film,...

Adventure Activism, Banff, Breaking News, Commentary, Diversity, Magazines, National Geographic, Public Land / 01.03.2021

At some point I went from indulging a childhood fantasy to setting a life goal. I know that in the mid 1980s I imagined creating a career of adventure, but the realities of making an honest living relegated my job prospects to positions first in sales and marketing, then in print journalism. More than a decade ago I started to attend the annual Banff Mountain Film Festival in the Canadian Rockies of Alberta to report on the culture of environmental filmmaking and action sports. It was there that...

Banff, Diversity, Film Festival / 01.12.2019

Right up to the moment we were about to start I was convinced no one was going to show up. A chilly wet snow had begun to fall at the Banff Centre and I was certain that few would welcome the opportunity to gather outside for a fireside chat, even if there was free hot chocolate. When the folks at Mountain Equipment Co-Op asked me to moderate a panel discussion on diversity, equity and inclusion in the outdoors on the final day of the Banff Mountain Film Festival, of course I immediately said yes. But when the moment arrived I sincerely doubted that we would draw crowd willing to discuss these complicated issues while standing out in the cold. Turns out I was wrong.
Banff, Climbing, Diversity, Film Festival, Influencers, ReThinkOutside / 31.10.2019

From the moment I first arrived I was made to feel welcome. I remember on that first day, years ago,  I was greeted so warmly by Jim Olver the director of customer service at the Banff Centre For Arts & Creativity.

You just showed up and glommed on to one of my tours,” he reminded me. “Now look at you. You’re back as a big-time speaker.”

For more than a decade I’ve enjoyed the privilege of attending the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival in Alberta, Canada. Like most aspiring adventurers I first became aware of Banff through the amazing films that tour the world every year and feature the best athletes in the sports of skiing, climbing, mountain biking and kayaking. I was also inspired by the remarkable stories of passionate people and communities that express their place in the world through an active relationship with nature. And despite marginal skills and few noteworthy accomplishments as an alpinist I managed to become part of this annual 9-day celebration of mountain culture.