Banff Mountain Festival names Joni Cooper as new programming director

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Banff, Alberta, August 9, 2010 -- Joni Cooper, an internationally respected film festival producer, and passionate outdoor enthusiast, has been appointed The Banff Centre’s new programming director for the Banff Mountain Festival.   

Cooper was most recently the executive director of the DOXA Documentary Film Festival in Vancouver, where she led the event from a six- to a ten-day festival. Her previous experience includes work as an independent film producer, and 15 years managing the content and programming for the Banff World Television Festival. Internationally, Cooper has worked with the California Film Institute, the Asia Factual Forum in Singapore, and Sithengi, Southern Africa’s Film and Television Market.  

Cooper is also well-respected within the Alberta mountain community. “I really discovered my passion for wilderness and the outdoors while working for Parks Canada and with the Calgary Mountain Club in the early 80s, where I got dragged up a lot of cliffs and plunged down many backcountry slopes,” she says. These days, Cooper continues to enjoy mountain biking and hiking, and hopes her move back to Alberta will provide opportunities to reignite her interest in backcountry and cross country skiing. “Programming Director for the Banff Mountain Festival is a dream job for me as it melds two of my passions together: film and mountain adventure, places, and cultures,” Cooper adds.  

Kerry Stauffer, the executive director of Film & Media at The Banff Centre says Cooper’s experience in festival management and film production, and her love for the mountains, make her the ideal fit for the Banff Mountain Festival. “Joni’s knowledge of the industry and her international connections will support The Banff Centre’s ability to foster excellence in filmmaking. Her event experience will help us continue to grow the reach and the reputation of the world’s largest mountain festival, and the glowing references we received from members of the Alberta mountain community told us we had the right woman for the job.”  

Banff Mountain Festival programs utilize the arts to explore mankind’s relationship with mountain places. As Programming Director, Cooper is responsible for the planning, program development, production, and delivery of the Banff Mountain Festival and World Tour, Banff Mountain Photography Competition, Banff Adventure Photography Workshop, and Banff Adventure Filmmakers’ Workshop. Through these programs and as part of its mandate as a specialized arts and culture institution, The Banff Centre fosters the professional and creative development of filmmakers, writers, and photographers, and showcases award-winning work both nationally and internationally.

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About The Banff Centre: The Banff Centre’s mission is inspiring creativity. Thousands of artists, leaders and researchers from across Canada and around the world participate in programs here every year. Through its multi-disciplinary programming, The Banff Centre provides them with the support they need to create, to develop solutions, and to make the impossible possible.