Chris Harris dazzled the 100 Mile House audience with his powerful images of the Cariboo-Chilcotin on the South Cariboo Theatre’s big screen.
Harris launched his new Blu-ray disc with a free presentation of his documentaries – The Chilcotin Ark and Wildfire Summer of 2017 – to his hometown crowd on Saturday, Oct. 13.
“It’s just amazing to sit here in the audience and to just relive all the different experiences and memories that I’ve had over the years,” Harris said after watching the documentaries along with the rest of the audience.
“It’s very emotional, very powerful, and I’m just happy to share it with everybody, especially here in 100 Mile House, our home.”
Harris said he’s been exploring, feeling, speaking with and listening to the land for about 40 years. To sit back and reflect on the experiences through his own photographs, he said was, “so rich and rewarding.”
Rita Giesbrecht, Harris’ long-time partner, said it’s tradition for them to present the finished product to their hometown. They’ve done the same with each previous project he has launched.
“It’s kind of like bringing your report card home to your mom,” she laughed.
“We are always overwhelmed at the level of response that we get from local people and from people who have no idea where this place is.”
She said their motivation has always been to connect people to their home and inspire a love for the land.
“It’s a powerful landscape … It’s life-changing for people, honestly, it’s life changing to visit this place.”
Canim Lake resident Dennis Harder called the documentaries “spectacular.”
“I’m telling you, you don’t have a clue how very beautiful our whole area is until you see something like this, because you don’t get out that far,” he said.
Bernie Wiens, who lives in Abbotsford but owns property in Canim Lake, called the photography “beautiful” and said seeing the images on the big sceen was “very impressive.”
Unlike Harder, Wiens said he’s gone hunting and fishing in some of the places featured in the documentary, like Taseko Lake and Nazko Lake. He said Harris did the areas justice with his photos.
Ken Marshall composed and produced all of the music for Harris’ documentaries out of his home studio in 108 Mile Ranch.
He felt “absolutely stellar” about the final product, he said.
“I’ve made music for many, many years in a long 30-year career but when I met Chris, it opened my mind up to a whole different kind of music.”
When asked what made him want to collaborate with Harris, Marshall said it was “just his killer attitude.”
Marshall said he can’t wait to work with him again.
Harris and Giesbrecht will be taking their Blu-ray on tour later in the month. They’ll be heading to concrete jungles like Montreal, Toronto and Seattle, to encourage people to come up and experience the area for themselves.