Global Showcase Returns to Thunder Bay
By Kris Ketonen

From saltwater angling on the Australian coast to a season of snowboarding and steelhead fishing in northern British Columbia, this year’s Fly Fishing Film Tour 2019 program is a varied one.

This year’s festival, which runs on February 16 in Thunder Bay, includes a lineup of several films, all of them shorts. And while they obviously have a fly-fishing focus, that’s certainly not all the films have to offer viewers, festival committee member Terry Kosolowski says. “We like to stress that the film fest isn’t just for fly fishers,” he says. “It’s for everybody, even if you don’t fish. We’ve had a lot of people that don’t even fish come through.”

The event is a touring one, with the films themselves selected by the festival. Events like the one in Thunder Bay can then sign up and screen the films locally. “These aren’t released on the Internet, or shown anywhere else prior to this festival,” says committee member Russ Desjardine. “Some of them can almost come off as a travel film as opposed to a fishing film. You’re seeing these exotic locations and places you can go, and fishing, that’s only one aspect of it.”

The festival is also a fundraiser for the North Shore Steelhead Association—Kosolowski is the association’s vice president, and Desjardine a director—with all proceeds going toward its conservation efforts in and around Thunder Bay. “That’s probably why most of usat least for myself, anywayjoined the club to begin with, is the conservation side of things and keeping these coldwater species healthy and available for the future,” Desjardine says. “Things aren’t getting better on their own.”

And the festival, Kosolowski says, helps raise awareness about the Steelhead Association among the general public.“There’s still a lot of people not aware of our club, even though we’ve been around for over 40 years,” he says. “A lot of people think it’s just a fishing club, but really, it’s not a fishing club.”

The Fly Fishing Film Tour will take place on Saturday, February 16 at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium. The symposium and vendor fair start at 6 pm, and the screenings begin at 7 pm.

Tickets are $15, and available through the Auditorium box office.

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