From the Canadian Rockies, for Canada's 150th year, introducing Look Up, a film presented by Ski Big 3 & Sherpas Cinema as a winter love note to Banff National Park.

Photo by Sherpas Cinema

"Who are we in the face of untouched majesty? Is the person who started at the foot of this mountain the same person who carried themselves to the top of it? Is it the same person racing the wind back to the bottom, chasing their breath through trees and catching it in splashes of powder? The quiet here, is loud enough to make space for asking these questions. The stillness here moves just enough to remind you the world is a living thing." —SHANE KOYCZAN

Photo by Sherpas Cinema


It started with an idea: to produce a standalone, short film that would convey not only the spectacular beauty of Banff National Park, but the mark it has left on all those that have ventured through it. This was about telling the story of the connection these mountains have with the humans that have been drawn in by them – the generations past, and the generations to come.

The project was set: A Canadian film house - widely-recognized for their work within the Canadian Rockies - would produce a tribute film for Canada’s first National Park, in Canada’s 150th year.

“This wasn’t about producing another ski showreel, or commercial spot, but our intention with this project from the outset was to create a poetic, and visually-beautiful narrative; a film for the Park. The timing was perfect, with the world celebrating all-things Canada, so we quickly got to work with the creative team at Sherpas Cinema,” explains Pete Woods, General Manager of SkiBig3, the destination ski marketing organization for Banff National Park.

Pete had a clear vision for the story he wanted to tell, and was keen for the piece to have a spoken word element. He also knew that with many seasons of footage shot in the Park to date, Sherpas Cinema were the production partner to create this. That team includes: Malcolm Sangster, Producer and Co-Founder of Sherpas Cinema; Mitchell Scott, Producer; Tim Symes, Post Production Supervisor; and a Post Production team of two Editors.

Shane Koyczan. Photo by Kaare Iverson


When setting out to determine the backdrop and aural narrative for the piece, the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity offered to collaborate tapping into their Spoken Word program. The Banff Centre was able to connect the project to Shane Koyczan, celebrated Canadian poet and spoken word artist.

“The words Shane wrote weren’t simply the complement to the footage we were editing, or the story we were telling—but were completely shaping it. As filmmakers, we were being guided by the beautiful words of Shane,” says Tim Symes, Post Production Supervisor for Sherpas Cinema.

Photo by Sherpas Cinema


Look Up is a visual tribute to a pure, protected, mountainous place that elicits wonder, incites inspiration and stirs up the imaginations of those that make footsteps within it. The pure awe you find here cannot be escaped, it has a powerful hold on all those that connect with it – and that’ll stay with you. That indelible awe, the lasting impression, is a mark these mountains are guaranteed to leave.

We are held in awe, and constantly inspired by this place, season after season. Peak after peak, she never fails to amaze us, reminding us to just... look up.

Photo by Sherpas Cinema

"Here, we are not any bigger with a mountain beneath our feet, but we find in us the reasons—to look up." —SHANE KOYCZAN

Look Up
Produced by Sherpas Cinema, in collaboration with SkiBig3 and Banff & Lake Louise Tourism.
Original words written and spoken by Shane Koyczan, poet and spoken word artist.
With assistance from Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

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