Spirit Bear and the Great Bear Rainforest Shine in Imax Film

Director and cinematographer Ian McAllister sets up his camera close to a spirit bear while it roams a stream to hunt for salmon.  Found on Canada’s remote Pacific coast, Great Bear Rainforest is the last intact temperate rainforest in the world—a place protected by the region’s indigenous people for millennia. (Photo credit: Brian Dalrymple/PacificWild.org)

If you are like me bears are one of those creatures in nature that you are probably programmed to stay away from but Great Bear Rainforest is an Imax film that may just change your perception of these giant, misunderstood creatures.

Presented by Seaspan and directed by Ian McAllister, Great Bear Rainforest is a splendid film produced by Jeff Turner and executive produced by Kyle Washington and Byron Horner. The film is distributed by MacGillivray Freeman Films, who are known worldwide for their artistry and celebration of science and the natural world. The film is also sponsored by Destination British Columbia.

You can see the film on the big screen but if you can, be sure and check it out on IMAX. The film is currently being shown at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto and OMNIMAX Theatre at TELUS World of Science.

Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest is home to an immense array of wildlife including the fabled all-white spirit bear—the rarest bear on earth—and the indigenous First Nations, who have provided stewardship of the forest for millennia. The film allows viewers to go deep into the forest with the scientists to learn more about the bear, the rainforest and the Indigenous people who call it home.

“We can’t think of a more perfect fit for this project than Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds,” says director Ian McAllister, who is also Canadian and has lived and worked in the Great Bear Rainforest for 30 years. “Ryan is a wonderful representative for the ongoing conservation of this globally significant rainforest which is part of his Canadian heritage and we are thrilled he will be our narrator.”


Here’s looking at you kid! Director and cinematographer Ian McAllister was able to get some close shots of spirit bear. McAllister and producer Jeff Turner and their crews spent three years filming throughout the remote reaches of the Great Bear Rainforest.  (Photo credit: Brian Dalrymple/PacificWild.org)


Since the last Ice Age, First Nations people have lived among the bears in the Great Bear Rainforest. Their living history is inseparably connected to the vibrancy of the rainforest, which they have protected for thousands of years. Students from the Kitasoo First Nation follow bear trails in the Great Bear Rainforest to observe and study bears in their habitat. (Photo courtesy Spirit Bear Entertainment for MacGillivray Freeman Films)


An all-white spirit bear crosses a mossy log in the Great Bear Rainforest. The film is narrated by BC’s own Ryan Reynolds and presents the only corner of the planet where people can see the elusive white Spirit bear. (Photo credit: Ian McAllister/PacificWild.org)


The beauty of the Great Bear Rainforest as seen from high above. The Great Bear Rainforest was officially recognized by the Government of British Columbia in 2016 when it announced an agreement to permanently protect 85% of the old-growth forested area from industrial logging. (Photo credit: Ian McAllister/PacificWild.org)


Website: greatbearrainforestfilm.com/

IMAX® Dome Films at Ontario Science Centre: www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/Imax/

Ontario Science Centre: www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/

OMNIMAX Theatre at TELUS World of Science: www.scienceworld.ca/omnimax

Destination British Columbia: www.destinationbc.ca/

Destination British Columbia Links

How to Visit the Great Bear Rainforest in BC: Where to Go and What to Do
5 Things You Didn’t Know About BC’s Temperate Rainforest
What It’s Like to Go Bear-Watching in BC
BC Indigenous Artists: From Cowichan Sweaters to Modern Art
Where to Go Stargazing in BC

Rod has previously worked for Canoe.ca and is currently freelancing for Huffington Post Travel. He’s also written travel articles for the Toronto Star and Up! Magazine. Living in Toronto but raised in the small central Ontario village of Holstein, Rod is a country boy at heart who has never met a farmer’s market he didn’t like.

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