It’s been more than a month since we sold out the Rio Theatre for our 3rd FEAT Canada show. Only now are we getting caught up on all the post FEAT duties like posting of photos, videos and working with all of our partners to make the next show even better. Before that though, we felt it’d be a good idea to give everyone who couldn’t make the show a quick wrap up of the events that happened back on March 8.
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The night started off with two different juggling performances by the Vancouver Circus School. After the FEAT Video intro Jack Hadley walked on to the stage and put on a juggling performance starting with 3 balls and moving all the way up to 6. Next up Nigel Wakita’s performance wowed the audience with his glass ball manipulations.
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Following the circus performances Sean Verret (Producer and Director of FEAT) introduced the MC for the evening Paul Gleeson. Paul, a former FEAT speaker, and embarking on a new adventure this year, charmed the audience immediately displaying humility and humour to keep the crowd engaged all evening.
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The first half of the show featured endurance athlete Jen Segger, photographer Robin O’Neill, South American traveler Simon Whitehead and mountain biker mom Aimee Dunn.
Jen Segger began the evening discussing her “Pain Box”. Jen detailed stories of injuries and triumphs across the world and how she was able to prevail in situations that many of us would simply throw in the towel. She shared with the audience some of her biggest successes and some of her DNFs and what she learned along the way. Jen, who also was 3 months pregnant in March is moving on to a new chapter in her life as a mom/adventurer.
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Robin O’Neill was terrified to be on stage at FEAT. Her number one fear is public speaking. Despite her fears, she had her notes prepared and she got up on the stage when Paul called her name. Robin’s visuals were indeed the most powerful of the evening. Being an elite adventure/action photographer from Whistler she explained how jumping in with both feet first is sometime the best way to get anywhere in life. Robin, even though she was nervous and shaking, demonstrated how anyone, with just a little courage can accomplish anything they set their mind to.
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Simon Whitehead nearly backed out from FEAT as he thought his story wasn’t “good enough” based on the other speakers. Little did he know that his story would inspire the most amount of feedback in our post show surveys. His story detailed turmoil and love, misfortune and adventure, all inside of his 7 minute allotment. Simon was able to wow the crowd with his ability to overcome banditos and eventually find the woman he was going to marry. Simon inspired many in the audience to get off their duff and experience the world.
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Aimee Dunn wrapped up the first half of the show with a tale of adventures from soccer to adventure racing to mountain biking. Her story, however wasn’t necessarily about her amazing accomplishments as an athlete but rather how having children and being a mom provided new challenges and opportunities in how she sees her new adventures. Aimee still races her mountain bike and she’s started her own baking business. Aimee showed us all that having kids doesn’t have to put an end to your adventurous life, but rather it just makes you look at it a little differently.
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At the intermission the audience was inundated with prizes from our various sponsors with the top prizes coming from The RBC Gran Fondo and Suburban Rush. The audience had a chance to get some Happy Water or another BEvERage of their choice in the lobby.
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The second half of the show featured RUN4ACAUSE’s Sarah Jamieson, backcountry ski adventurer Lena Rowat, unicycling pioneer Kris Holm, stand up paddle boarder Lina Augaitis and ultramarathoning diva Ellie Greenwood.
Sarah began the second half of the show explaining how we all have our inner super hero and how we can be an inspiration to others by showing our super hero. Sarah, detailed some of the obstacles she had overcome in her life and how she had turned them in to a new venture she created called RUN4ACAUSE. Sarah has been racing and inspiring others to run to raise money for underprivileged across the globe. Less than $100k away from her $1 million goal she inspired the audience to get on their feet!
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Lena Rowat skied from Vancouver to Alaska. To perform that feat she informed us of all the crazy statistics that nobody would have ever thought to keep track of. How many creek crossing, how many pairs of underwear, how many mountain passes, how many days skiing, how many days hiking. She rolled the stats off as the audiences jaws just kept dropping further to the ground. She finished off with a very funny story regarding the hot chocolate rations and how the group was going to be forever divided in how the remaining hot chocolate would be rationed amongst the group. In a very humorous tale she explained the eventual outcome of a large pile of hot chocolate powder being split down the middle for the two divided parties.
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Kris Holm was super relaxed and very humble. As the pioneer in mountain unicycling he made everything sound and look ridiculously easy. As the only presenter with short video clips the audience gasped as they saw him ripping down a volcano in Mexico on only ONE wheel. Similar to the theme of the evening and many FEAT talks he explained all it took was trying it out. From there it just turned into something he was passionate about and then into a career. Kris was extremely grateful for everything unicycling had brought him and the audience was amazed by every word.
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Lina Augaitis explained a life of yoga, adventure racing and stand up paddle boarding. SUP has allowed a for a new chapter in her life to begin as she is competing in races around the world and has accomplished feats like paddling the Yukon River Quest (even though she wasn’t allowed to be a part of the race). Lina’s charm came through as she explained the relationship with her husband and how they are able to support each other in their adventures.
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Ellie Greenwood brought us back to her first ever Western States race. Ellie took us through the race and the ups and downs of the event. This was her first ever 100 mile race and she detailed all of the key moments. She had everyone in the audience on pins and needles as she slowly and methodically took us in to her thoughts and feelings especially in the final 50, 25, 10km of the race. Even now thinking back to her talk the goosebumps begin to creep in. Ellie explained her victory in such a humbling way that the audience didn’t even realize that they were probably listening to one of the most talented ultramarathon racers in the world.
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Once the second half ended, all the speakers were brought back on stage for a final applause. For the first time on our own, without the direct support from VIMFF, the show was an amazing success. The Rio Theatre was full, the feedback was extremely positive and lef the audience craving for more.
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Photos from the show are on our site. Our YouTube channel has all the videos. Individual videos will be posted shortly on our site.
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Thank you so much to all of our partners and of course to the audience and please stay tuned to our newsletter to learn of the next FEAT!