Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival's Mountain Idol award goes to Peter Thompson 0
Peter Thompson, 2012 (facebook)
Mountain Idols are often greeted with wild cheering and applause, but few get a standing ovation, and fewer still a moment of silence.
But at the Eric Harvie Theatre Tuesday night during Radical Reels, the crowd showed their support, and respect, for Peter Thompson.
The 19-year-old Canmorite was posthumously named the Mountain Idol of 2012 — an award handed out annually during The Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival to a young resident of the Bow Valley who excels in a mountain sport. An avid kayaker, Thompson was killed Sept. 29 paddling the Cheakamus River near Whistler. But he was not forgotten by the over 950 people in the theatre’s audience who paid their respects to Thompson, celebrating a life that embodied that of a Mountain Idol — someone who elevates the positioning of their sport, exemplified the outdoor lifestyle and is a valued role model.
Radical Reels host Josh Dueck spoke highly of the kayaker, and read a poem one of Thompson’s friends wrote that was shared at the eulogy. He also expressed thanks and gratitude from Thompson’s father, who was backstage, for the crowd’s show of support for his son.
Laurie Harvey, manager of strategic partnerships for The Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival, said they received more than 110 nominations for Thompson, and only a single nomination for each of the other three nominees. Both the quantity and quality of nominations for the young kayaker who loved paddling so much, made the award process straight forward and unanimous, according to Harvey.
Thompson’s family are putting the $1,000 Mountain Idol cash award towards an annual award that will be given to second year students in the Adventure Guide Diploma program at Thompson Rivers University. Much like Mountain Idol, the university award goes every year to a student who shows a passion for the outdoors and is a mentor to others pursing a career in outdoor guiding, leadership, education or tourism.