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The crowd at the Vancouver store listening to our panelists introduce themselves.

The POWer of positivity, uniting for environmental climate advocacy

November 30, 2023

Found in Community news

We’re ending 2023 with a bang in the community events world of MEC! Our annual MEC x POW Season Opener, in partnership with Arc’teryx, kicked off in October and it was our most epic tour yet. There were amazing prizes, films to get stoked on the season ahead, thought-provoking conversations with our pro-athlete panels and so much more. To spread the love this season, we added a few extra stops to the tour (new for 2023) - shout out to our climate advocates in Kelowna, Edmonton, Kitchener, Ottawa and Quebec City!

With nine events and sold-out shows across the country, over 1,200 passionate outdoor enthusiasts joined us in celebrating winter. Together, we raised a record breaking $40,000 for Protect Our Winters Canada in the fight against climate change.

Missed out on this year’s events or want to re-live the stoke? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with the highlight reel below.

Video: Anthony Bonello / @anthonybonello

We kicked things off at our flagship store in Vancouver. The crowd was buzzing with energy, a lot of laughs and some sweet prizing. We had a sold-out event with over 300 people filling the store from top to bottom.

Our four pro-athlete panelists at the Vancouver event.

Photo: Abby Cooper / @abbydells

We were lucky to have another lineup of amazing athletes that are champions in the movement against climate change. In Vancouver, we welcomed ski (and snowboard) legends Mike Douglas, Anna Segal, Tobin Seagal and Marie-France Roy. Our panelists drove home the message that there is a lot of power in shifting your mindset and even the smallest change can be impactful.

We also talked hot tips for the winter season with our pros, including advice for those with cold or sweaty feet!

“Use baby powder on your feet before your put your ski or snowboard socks on, and it absorbs any moisture and stops your feet from getting cold.” – Anna Segal, POW Athlete & Professional Skier

VR experience presented by Arc'teryx

Photo: Abby Cooper / @abbydells

Our friends from Arc’teryx pulled out all the stops, transporting our attendees into virtual backcountry huts with their VR experience. The ReBird team was a special addition to this year’s events, joining us to share their circularity journey through their ReCARE, ReGEAR and ReCUT programs. We talked tips and tricks on how to preserve and extend the life cycle of their gear, through maintenance and repairs, with the goal of keeping it out of landfills.

Photo of the two Arc'teryx ReBird team members at their booth in Toronto.

Photo: Carolyn Campbell / @carolyn_campbell

A winter celebration wouldn’t be complete without ski films to get us excited about the season ahead. We were stoked to showcase two films that should definitely be on your must-watch list! First up we had Unlikely Duo, presented by Arc’teryx, that explores the adventures and partnership of world-class competitive skiers, Tom Peiffer and Eric Carter.

The crowd enjoying the film Unlikely Duo.

Photo: Abby Cooper / @abbydells

We were in for a treat as one of our panelists, pro skier and POW Athlete, Anna Segal, was in Vancouver to present her film. Directed by Jeff Thomas, 23.4 Degrees follows a skier across the valleys, forests and mountain summits of BC as she explores her affinity with seasonal change and the role it plays in connecting our modern lifestyle to the natural world.

The crowd watching the film 23.4 degrees produced by POW Athlete and Olympic SKier, Anna Segal.

Photo: Carolyn Campbell / @carolyn_campbell

3,2,1...Dropping into Montreal, where we were in search of the best "yeeeewwww". If you haven't watched our reel yet, here you go (and you're welcome). We were so stoked to have Arianne Dufour from the POW Canada team as the host, alongside our panelists Pascale Vezina Rioux (from Les Chèvres de Montagne), Phil Marquis, Marion Thenault and Félix Savard-Côté.

Another hot tip from our pro-athlete panel to keep you enjoying winter all season long?

Two of our four panelists at the Montreal event.

Photo: Kyle Smith / @kyle.cc.smith

“Progress gradually and respect your limits this winter to have fun until March, April and May.” - Philippe Marquis, POW Athlete & Professional Skier

Our three panelists in Toronto.

Photo: Carolyn Campbell / @carolyn_campbell

With all the energy from Montreal keeping us going, we made our third stop in Toronto. The event kicked off with a special message from POW Athlete and Eco-explorer Mario Rigby to set the stage for conversations to unfold that evening. We were joined by POW Canada’s Executive Director Ali Wines and two incredible panelists, MEC Ambassador and POW Athlete Yuki Tsubota and POW Canada chapter lead Dave Spies.

The Toronto crowd listening to our three panelists.

Photo: Carolyn Campbell / @carolyn_campbell

We were able to get a different perspective from Dave Spies, whose work focuses on environmental law and public lands defense. Yuki shared her firsthand experiences on the mountain and how the landscape has become very unpredictable, making it more challenging for folks to enjoy the backcountry.

Guests spinning the wheel at the Avalanche Canada booth at our Calgary event.

Photo: Nicolas Nolet / @nnolet

We continued our chase for winter, packed up our parkas and headed to Calgary. We didn’t think that anything could top the Vancouver event (sorry, I’m a born and raised Vancouverite and I love my city!) but Calgary brought the energy and level of stoke up to ten. Attendees queued down the block with skis and snowboards in-hand for the ski-wax-by-donation, drinks flowed from local breweries and the tunes were pumping from our DJ Sonidef.

Our three panelists in Calgary, introducing themselves.

Photo: Nicolas Nolet / @nnolet

Our last panel of this tour included: Anna Segal, Dahria Beatty and Elladj Balde hosted by Kieren Britton from POW Canada. Another amazing winter sport? Figure skating - Elladj Balde is on a mission to make it cool again! You heard it here first, folks.

One guest winning the customized YETI cooler at the end of the Vancouver event.

Photo: Abby Cooper / @abbydells

Our lineup of prizes this year was jam-packed, including a 4-of-a-kind YETI Tundra cooler customized by the WKNDRS, some sweet gear from Arc’teryx, a MEC Label Ski Kit, Salomon AT ski boots, Osprey packs, Backcountry Access safety kits and much more.

Thank you to everyone who came out to join us at these events. It’s always so special to be able to connect IRL with our community.

A very special shout out to all the MEC staffers, volunteers and sponsors: Arc’teryx, YETI, Osprey, Backcountry Access and Salomon. To our drink sponsors, thank you for keeping us hydrated: Backcountry Brewing, Athletic Brewing, Boréale, Burdock Brewery, Eighty-Eight Brewing and Strait and Narrow.

See you on the slopes!

For more photos from the event, check out our full Facebook album.


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