Noted local photographer, artist and publisher Chris Harris is hosting one-of-a-kind film events with several free shows in the South Cariboo in November.
The film, a documentary entitled Chilcotin Ark, provides a unique historical view that is certain to broaden your own picture of how the Cariboo-Chilcotin region history has evolved, Harris explains.
“The Chilcotin Ark is a relatively new phenomenon, and it was brought to the attention of the world for the first time in my most recent book publication … The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast.”
Many of his imagery of the areas in the book are also included in his film documentary, where he describes what the region means and will mean to so many, now and in the future.
“It’s a really rare opportunity to learn about our region, really, [and] so it’s pretty exciting.”
Harris shares an enticing sneak peek into the interesting imagery for anyone interested in the region’s history.
“The Chilcotin Ark is the largest, contiguous, and most diverse wilderness complex anywhere in the temperate world.”
The very large land mass is twice the size of both the Banff and Jasper national parks combined, and larger than the country of Belgium, Harris explains.
It contains 10 of Canada’s 14 bio-geo climatic zones, he says.
It’s biologically and ecologically an intact landscape, virtually untouched and functioning as it has done since the beginning of time, he explains.
The Chilcotin Ark west of Williams Lake and south along through the South Cariboo to Lillooet, it includes the Shield Volcanoes in its western end, he says, while the bunch grasslands in the eastern portion are the rarest biome of intact bunchgrass grasslands left anywhere on the planet.
“What connects these two areas– these two extremes – are the Coast Mountains and the Coast Mountain foothills.
“These foothills contain the largest concentration of alpine lakes anywhere in North America.”
That makes the foothills an ideal place for many to canoe and kayak while enjoying wildlife and scenery and in a pristine environment, he adds.
These film showings take place at Parkside Art Gallery in 100 Mile House on Nov. 8 and 22, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
At the Chris Harris Gallery in 108 Mile Ranch, film shows will be offered on Nov. 18 at noon and 3:30 p.m., and on Nov. 30 at noon, 3:30 and 6 p.m.
“It’s totally a family affair. It’s open for kids, and so bring the whole family,” Harris adds.
“This is really educational, it is describing our whole natural history of this region.”
The film was previewed at the Cariboo-Chilcotin Film Festival in Williams Lake in the spring of this year, where it very well received.
While Harris’ books will be for sale during the film presentations, this free documentary is also about his environmental advocacy work, he explains.
“It’s to educate and make people aware of how special an area we live in. And, we are in the process of trying to protect the Chilcotin Ark for all time.”
“There are people in place now, who are at the federal government level, who are trying to ensure that this unique landscape is preserved.”
Harris credits both his wife, Rita Giesbrecht, as instrumental in this advocacy work, along with filmmaker, Ken Marshall, who Harris has worked with previously and was co-producer of the documentary.
More information and street addresses for each of the galleries are online at www.chrisharris.com or www.parksideartgallery.ca.