Film " The New Breed" - Banff to Montreal Canoe Journey

I wold like to thank all those who have donated to the "New Breed" (NB) film project or the climbing tools series. All donations go towards increasing productions values. The film realistically will run a whopping $350,000.00 CND. Your involvement means more to me then words can say. I don't take your trust lightly and promise to produce something that you will be proud to have been a part of. A donation of $50 or more gets you a copy of the film. 

The urban native survival guide


So I am at the point of testing website maps


Working out a way to share my location.


Feet in the starting blocks

So i have been working on the films treatment. A treatment is like the paper form of your pitch. It gives any potential investor an idea of what your film will look like or how it will play out. Course wrote way to much I realized I had basically written a script, voice over narration and all. I proofed it in a cool program called Grammery which somehow reads the text and makes corrections and suggestions. It's a pretty complex algorithm cause it actually reads whole sentences and lets you know if it is fragmented, passive or you tend to over use a word it will suggest an alternative. 

The other thing I have been working on is my crowd sourceing funding page. This has been going pretty good with the only real problem being getting the trailer finished. That has been a bit of a hold up. What to really include and how much to leave out. I need to keep it down to a few minutes I think. I was pretty wordy. 

Also taken me awhile to set up a decent green screen set up. I finally got a flawless key and a look that I like. No it is a matter of keeping things in point form and just get the message out there. my idea of how to present the film has been changing so that really doesn't help. I think I have settled on a story and how to present it. 

All this seems to be happening to fast. I have less then six months before I am leaving. That is like, so nothing in the overall scale of the universe. I still haven't heard from MEC which could be good or bad. maybe they don't get back to you if they passed you by. I have sort of been counting on them. Guess it is time to try a few more places for funding. APTN might be a good one.


Aven McKay at "Back to Batoche"So it is November 1st. that means that it is exactly 6 month till I start my trip. I have said this before that planning this stuff is easy actually doing it is another thing. I have been dealing with a bit of a route finding issue. That is crossing the height of land getting into Lake Superior drainage. As I may have mentioned we are crossing over the old North West companies route into the Dog River. This certainly isn't the normal route which is the Grand Portage route into the US . I chose this route from the historical perspective and it fits within the film as part of the Canadian voyageur route. So have acquired all the 1/50,000 topos for Ontario and slowly learning the software program to program a new Garmin GPS. I can also print out the map sheets I need for critical junctions. This will certainly be the crux of the route finding challenge. The rest of the routes are pretty straight forward in comparison.

         I haven't heard from the Mountain Equipment Co-Op (MEC) about my expedition grant application yet. Should hear in the next couple weeks. I think I have a pretty good chance of getting it which would be $3000 cash and about $3000 in gear from the MEC shelves. Getting a carbon fiber kayak paddle would be awesome as those things cost about $600. One of those fancy GPS watches that monitor my bio-metrics would be a nice touch but it is one the wish list mostly. Getting a light 2 person 3 season tent is defiantly on the list. We have all kinds of tents here at home but most are 4 season 4 person tents.

       Also as time draws near it is time to release a find raising website. I am going with Indigo.  I am not comfortable pimping myself out as most people know but for the sake of the film I am willing to do so.

       Script writing has been going well. I have been getting up at 2am for the last week and writing till 6am. It is the only time that I can really have time to myself. Once the day starts I am tugged in half a dozen different directions. I will be writing on this blog a lot more as information comes in. Excited to get my boat which should show up in the next few weeks. Checjk out the Sea 1 canoe by clipper if you get the chance. It is nothing short of awesome. 


Tyler McKay at the Metis "Back to Batoche" festivalWell funny how things change in no time at all. I was applying for a expedition grant from Mountain Equipment Co-op so I had to write a pretty detailed trip plan and the purpose of my film idea. Once I had made a couple edits I sent it to a contact that I had in the Metis Nation of Alberta (MNA). Low and behold they loved the idea and were behind the project “Guns Blazing” as they put it. 

For me personally this means a lot. While my ancestors homeland is in Saskatchewan and I feel like that is my home in a lot of ways also I have to admit to myself I am a Albertan born and mostly raised. My children were born in Banff, Alberta. ( Last of a era as maternity stuff is now done in Canmore) For me my film idea is more about these kids and their future in the ever evolving Metis Nation no matter what province. I also helps to justify the enormous personal cost in time and money. Not something that we can really afford lightly. We have bills and expenses just like everybody else. To take five months off to simply go canoeing is a luxury that comes with a fair bit of sacrifice on all parts.

My wife has to take care of two units ages 6 and 9 and anybody who has kids knows that that age they are a handful. On the other hand she also has a full time job doing mountain rescue for national parks. 

My kids are a little bit more adaptive but still they have to go without dad for awhile. So the hiking, climbing and paddling we do on a regular basis comes to a halt for a bit. I will be replaced by a child care worker of some sort.

Freighting on the Prairies; Metis Red River carts.Myself I will miss them but at the same time I am doing something I have been planning to do for well over a decade. At 58 years of age this is about as old as a person can be and safely do this trip. If I waited till they got out of school I’d be 70 and I am pretty sure it just wouldn’t happen. 

Having the blessing of the MN means that a lot more doors are open to me that would have been forced open. Interviews with key players, introductions, credibility with historic staff. The actual list is quite extensive. The promise to assist in fund raising is actually secondary though somewhat important. 

So my conversation with MNA took place yesterday. At the same time A long term client of mine has taken up the cause. Dave Wakefield has donated some cash and is presently lobbying on behalf with friends, family and corporations. 

It’s great having this feeling that things are coming along after years of planning. I guess the one thing that isJoe McKay 2010 starting to become apparent is I now have to actually produce something as I am excepting peoples donations. They are believing in me so now I have to believe in myself. For the first time in quite awhile I do believe I can create something that will actually make a difference. A contribution to the nation that helped me out when I needed it the most.

You can expect a lot more frequent updates about how things are coming along. The stages of development. The next step will be the creation of a formal script and shot list. So stick around and check in regularly we are going to be real busy over the next seven months.