Gordon McIntyre, The Province »

On Day 10 of the journey I realized I had not even completed what I thought I could do in one day.”

So she lit a small fire and burned her schedule.

“And I stopped measuring my journey by how many kilometres I did in a day,” Whelan said. “I like to tell people that’s the day I dropped my rabbit suit for the turtle shell and realized not everything of value can be measured numerically.


“I’d left shortly after I’d turned 50, so how fast and how long, how strong, none of that really matters to me anymore. That race seems kind of manic to me now.”

Whelan, who attended high school at York House in Vancouver, has won awards for her films, photos and books. This project is called 500 Days in the Wild, which she describes as a combination documentary / adventure film that delves into the realm of myth and legend.

Asking herself what have we forgotten and what do we need to know, and alluding to the 500 years or so since settlers arrived in what’s now Canada, she sought Indigenous elders and knowledge-keepers along the way of her ecological and reconciliation pilgrimage.

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500 Days In The Wild »