Change to Summit of Excellence Award

BANFF, AB, May 3, 2016 -- The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival is proud to announce a change to the annual Summit of Excellence Award.  The award has been broadened to include entries from individuals who have made a significant contribution to mountain life from across Canada.

For 29 years the Summit of Excellence award has been given to an individual who has made a significant contribution to mountain life in the Canadian Rockies. This has now been extended to include nominations for individuals who have impacted mountain life anywhere in Canada.

“We decided it was important to recognize the amazing work done by those in mountain communities all across Canada, not just within the Rockies range,” said Deb Smythe, Festival Director of the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival. “We are truly excited to learn more about the rich history and contribution those individuals have made and to celebrate their commitment to the betterment of mountain communities.”

Introduced at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival in 1987, the award is presented in memory of Calgary climber Bill March, an internationally respected mountaineer, author, and educator, who led Canada's first successful Everest climb in 1982.

Previous recipients of the Summit of Excellence award have included climbers, photographers, mountaineers, writers, conservationists, publishers, and historians. Recent recipients of the award include Pierre Lemire (2015), Urs Kallen (2014), Ben Gadd (2013), Geoff Powter (2012) and Philippe Delesalle (2011).

This year’s award will be presented on Sunday, November 6, 2016, the closing night of the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival.

If you know someone who has demonstrated long-term commitment in their contribution to mountain life in Canada, please visit our website for more information on how to nominate them.

The 2016 Summit of Excellence Award is sponsored by Norseman Outdoor Specialist and Yamnuska Mountain Adventures

About the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival: Created 41 years ago, the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival has become the premier event of its kind in the world. The nine-day Festival hosted by Banff Centre showcases the world’s best films, books and photographs on mountain subjects – climbing, culture, environment and natural history, exploration and adventure, wildlife, and sport – and attracts the biggest names in mountaineering, adventure filmmaking, and extreme sports as presenters and speakers. An international jury will also award over $40,000 in prizes for films and books submitted to this year’s Festival competitions.

About Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity:  Founded in 1933, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is a learning organization built upon an extraordinary legacy of excellence in artistic and creative development. What started as a single course in drama has grown to become the global organization leading in arts, culture, and creativity across dozens of disciplines. From our home in the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity aims to inspire everyone who attends our campus – artists, leaders, and thinkers – to unleash their creative potential and realize their unique contribution to society through cross-disciplinary learning opportunities, world-class performances, and public outreach. www.banffcentre.ca 

Summit of Excellence Award

Previous Summit of Excellence recipients Bernadette McDonald, Pierre Lemire and Ben Gadd.