I win a lot of things.
This is partly genetic. One year, my family won a Harley and a stocked wine cellar just a few months apart. My maternal grandmother was also known for her winning ways – my personal favourite was the time she won a chocolate nativity scene (I got the white chocolate Mary).
There is also a strategic element to my winning. I enter things that I know few people are likely to enter – contests run by small, local Facebook pages, contests that require effort to enter (people are lazy), etc. [By the way – if you enter those Facebook contests that are like, “We’re giving away a free Ford F150! Comment in your favourite colour!”, run by F0rd Canada Driverz Inc., then you have a lot to learn.]
Here is a list of the top 5 things I have won in my life:
- The Woods Canada dream job application. We actually had to beat out nearly 4,000 other applicants, and the prize was outrageous both in terms of the experience and the cash (which helped us buy our house).
- When I was a wee child, I lived in Ottawa and our neighbourhood had an Easter Bunny colouring contest. We were rushing to submit our drawings in time for the deadline but I insisted on colouring in the basket at the last minute. I won the grand prize: a big chocolate Easter Bunny. It may have been a random draw, or it may have been the fact that I took the time to colour in the basket. This might have been my first win ever.
- I was chosen to be one of a dozen Oakley Active ambassadors a few years back for an entire year. This was the closest I’ll ever be to a sponsored athlete. I got a pro deal and won SO MUCH awesome Oakley workout gear.
- At the World Ski and Snowboard Festival in 2012, I won this awesome prize package at a fashion show. It had all kinds of sweet stuff – some sundresses, ANY Seafolly bathing suit that I wanted, $100 to TNA, etc. I have to credit this one to my roommate Marcus’ dog, Doya, because I won using a photo of her.
- In grade 2, we had a monthly draw (I can’t remember the details) and the teacher would lay out a bunch of prizes on some desks. The first winner got first dibs on the prizes, then the second one got to pick from the remaining prizes, etc. I won the mother of all prizes: a Cabbage Patch Kid. She wasn’t new or anything (she had weird freckles on her bald head, probably from being left in the sun or something), but I loved her and named her MaryLee and she joined my very large family of Cabbage Patch Kids.
This past week, I had my first win in a few months: I won free tickets to the Squamish screening of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour. I won from the Mountain FM Facebook page – only three people entered! (Incidentally, I also won $50 to the Escape Route from Mountain FM a few months ago. Mountain FM has great prizes!)
Here’s the deal: the Banff Mountain Film Festival is a multi-day affair that takes place in the fall in Banff. All kinds of outdoorsy films take part – five minute mini films, half-hour shorts, full on feature films, and everything in between. After the films have been screened and the prizes doled out, the highlights of the fest goes on tour in cities all over the world.
Squamish was just one stop of many, but I’m glad the festival made its way here. One thing I loved – and miss – about Whistler is that there was a vibrant arts and culture scene. I loved going to comedy shows and ski film premieres and outdoor concerts and speaker events. There is some of that in Squamish, but not as much. Or maybe I’m not looking hard enough.
The event was fantastic. It was held at a local high school, so we got to wander the halls (we got a little lost) and pretend we were 14 again. There was a fantastic bake sale (3 items for $2 – are you kidding me?) and we bought a glow-in-the-dark Nalgene for only $5 – a steal!
Best of all was the entertainment. There were nine films, ranging from about 5 to 30 minutes. The mix was fabulous: skiing, biking, climbing, hiking; funny, motivational, absurd, inspiring; pro athletes, groms on the rise, and old people alike. My favourite film was called “Four Mums in a Boat”, about four English ladies (with an average age of 55) who decided to row across the Atlantic, despite not having a whole lot of experience.
I should mention that there were some sweet draw prizes at the intermission. I did not win. You can’t win them all.
Still, I think we might try to make the Banff Film Festival an annual tradition. If there’s a show in your town, it’s well worth checking out. Do it!