This is the story of the Kicking Horse River. I’ve had the pleasure of paddling this river many, many times and it never gets old.

Client: Hydra River Guides
Director: David Hartman
Cinematography: David Hartman & Matt Cays
Edit: David Hartman


What started as a film about a 1000 km bike ride quickly turned into something much more significant. The Georgian Bay Cancer Support Centre asked me to make a film about Mike Dupuis as he rode solo on a tandem bike around Goergian Bay with a life-size stick figure on his back seat. We set out to communicate the importance of a strong support network when dealing with a cancer diagnosis. The story took on a life of its own when I asked a close friend of mine to help me understand this process.

_________


Acclaimed Canadian artist John Hartman heard a story on a visit to Banff, AB. It was a story about four young men that humbly did what others before them had failed to do. This is a short film about how that story consumed his thoughts to the point that he has painted an entire exhibition about it. This short documentary is meant to accompany the exhibition and shine light on his creative process as he explores a new idea and turns this exploration into large and dynamic oil paintings.

This is the story of something old that exists in a new world. A story about adapting traditions and recognizing their use before they are forgotten. But this is not a story about living in the past.

Keepers of the Trail is a documentary film by David Hartman that follows a group of nine winter travellers as they walk north between Canada’s two great rail lines. The group travels by traditional methods handed down by those who used this land to survive. These methods have been developed and fine-tuned for centuries and they simply work better than anything else in this landscape. Garrett Conover is an underground legend among those who still travel the Boreal Forest in this manner. Keepers of the Trail silently witnesses him passing on the torch to the next generation as the group navigates a harsh and beautiful winter environment.

Click here to watch the film. Or watch from trailer above or shiny Vimeo On Demand button below.




THE GREAT AMERICAN ROAD TRIP

This idea came, as most good things do, as a spur of the moment decision. I had always wanted to see the American South, so when my partner Ashley asked me to drive her new car from Vancouver to Toronto with her we opted to take a 10,000 km scenic route instead. Good way to break in a car right?
See the photos and read the story.

 

the instagram feed

 I've always loved the view coming back to the mainland from Toronto Island in the evening. Kind of feels like you're coming into Gotham City. I had a chance to incorporate this view into a shoot I directed for Ontario Tourism this summer. We got lucky with this wild sunset. #discoverOn #landscapephotography #TO #six #greatlakes #natgeo #ontariotourism #nikon #d750 #torontoskyline #urbanexploration #torontoisland  This will probably be the last holdout of the two-lane section of Highway 69. Four lanes coming from the North. Four lanes coming from the South. Cool blue van high on the Canadian Shield. This is right at the turnoff to Britt, ON. #ontariotourism #otmpc #yourstodiscover #northernontario #bike  #documentary #landscape #d750 #nikoncanada #highway69 #abandoned
 Clouds. Lots of cool clouds this summer. #CanadianShield #discoverOn #georgianbay #landscapephotography #landscape #westwind #pine #greatlakes #neilyoung #wilderness #nearnorth #natgeo #ontariotourism #cloud #nikon #d750  As I go further into the digital world of arts it becomes easy to romanticize the simplicity of a set of watercolour paints. I'm working on another project with old footage and this one involves my Dad. This is his palette. #documentary #greatdivide #art #watercolour #watercolor #canadianart #creative #landscape #nikon #ski
 Screengrab from our upcoming release Nobody Does It Alone. I know Highway 69 far better than any other highway in the world so it was great to see it from the air. We are releasing the film for free viewing on June 27th. Stay tuned. #georgianbay #nobodydoesitalone #drone #dji #aerial #discoveron #ontariotourism #otmpc #northernontario #highway69 #hayfire #greatlakes #adventure #bike #nikon #landscape  This man's face. Colin is an engineer by trade, but he is really in his element in the wilds of the Canadian North. I've watched him stand calmly as he gets attacked by swarms of blackflies and walk cheerily with his head down into a snowstorm with no care for his own physical state. He took a tree branch to the eye on this trip and returned to work immediately after disembarking the train in Sudbury at 7:30 am. looking like he was returning from battle. He may look tired and worn, but this is a happy man. Part of my new film KEEPERS OF THE TRAIL. Link in Bio. #fur #boreal #landscapephotography #landscape #westwind #pine #greatlakes #wilderness # documentary #northernontario #natgeo #ontariotourism #omtpc #winter #traditional #discoveron #snowshoe #camping #arctic #missinaibi #portrait
 A shot of my friend @threecard in a warehouse in North Toronto. Not often I get to hang out in an a space like this that full or antler sawdust and never-ending reverb. With Matt Cays. New music from 3-Card coming out soon. #notalandscapephoto #foronce #landscape #torontorap #hiphop #musicproduction #warehouse #newmusic #entertainment  Four winters ago almost to the day I snapped this photo that I think still goes down as one of my favourites. I've always loved a good blizzard and I spent this entire day smiling and filming with bare hands. My new film KEEPERS OF THE TRAIL is available today. I think this photo properly sums up what the film is about. Check my bio for the link to watch it. #fur #boreal #landscapephotography #landscape #westwind #pine #greatlakes #wilderness # documentary #northernontario #natgeo #ontariotourism #omtpc #winter #traditional #discoveron #snowshoe #camping #arctic #missinaibi
 I just came across this old photo while digging around on my computer. On this same day I caught a rattlesnake and saw a black bear. I also recently found a shirt in my dresser that states that 'Some Dave's Are Better Than Other Dave's.' I guess this is what they're talking about. #CanadianShield #discoverOn #georgianbay #landscapephotography #landscape #westwind #pine #greatlakes #lightning #neilyoung #wilderness #nearnorth #natgeo #ontariotourism #omtpc  We were on the trail by first light on this beautiful morning on Lake Missinaibi. It's pretty amazing to watch the sun rise while breaking trail on a frozen lake. The temperature was likely around -35 Celsius at this time, and when it's that cold everything seems to squeak as we walk. Our goal on this day was to travel 20 kilometres to make up for lost time earlier in the trip. Keepers of the Trail drops on Vimeo on Demand on February 15, 2017. We were led out there by @lureofthenorth. Link in bio. #fur #boreal #landscapephotography #landscape #westwind #pine #greatlakes #wilderness #northernontario #natgeo #ontariotourism #omtpc #winter #traditional #discoveron #snowshoe #camping #arctic #missinaibi
 This lonely island sits on the outer edges of the Hakai Conservancy in the Great Bear Rainforest. We had just finished a few-mile open water crossing coming from the northern tip of Goose Island. Fog and swell seem appropriate for the area. From a shooting trip with @spiritofthewestadventures. #beautifulbc #tourismbc #natgeo #kayak #greatbear #pacificwild #greatbearwild #seakayak #adventurekayak #celebreategreatbear #bcpoli #bctourismmatters #rainforest  Even in the coldest of winters some sections of river never freeze. This isn't a particularly turbulent rapid but the water is moving fast and by the time we got there in mid-February only this thin sheet of ice had formed down the centre of the Little Missinaibi River. We walked on what was deemed to be strong shelf ice at the edge of the river. Best not to think of the consequences of a swim here when you walk beside something like this. Keepers of the Trail drops on Vimeo on Demand on February 15, 2017. We were led out there by @lureofthenorth. Link in bio. #fur #boreal #landscapephotography #landscape #westwind #pine #greatlakes #wilderness #northernontario #natgeo #ontariotourism #omtpc #winter #traditional #discoveron #snowshoe #camping #arctic
 From my new film, 'John Hartman: Across the Great Divide." You can't get a much better combination of visibility and light in the mountains than this. After being snowed out four days in a row we finally got to fly the route that Don Gardner, Chic Scott, Charlie Locke, and Neil Liskie were the first to ski in 1967, just about 50 years ago to the day. Link to the film in bio. #hayfire #mybanff #exploreBC #exploreAlberta #travelAlberta #DestinationBC #explore #rockies #rockymountains #icefields #landscapephotography #cessna #d800 #mountains #photooftheday #whyte #ski #traverse #greatdivide #backcountry #lakelouise  Professor Stephen Ritchie wore a heart rate monitor under his traditional Anorak jacket for the entire duration of our trip. He was researching how the body responds to the transition into a demanding trip like this one. He theorizes that the body's systems take two days to begin to adjust to life on the trail. Our muscles, digestion, and metabolism seem in decline for those first few days, and then we turn the corner and get stronger and warmer out there. Keepers of the Trail drops on Vimeo on Demand on February 7, 2017. We were led out there by @lureofthenorth #fur #boreal #landscapephotography #landscape #westwind #pine #greatlakes #wilderness #northernontario #natgeo #ontariotourism #omtpc #winter #traditional #discoveron #snowshoe #camping #arctic
 From under the wing of a 1976 Cessna. We flew for 4 hours over the glaciers of the Great Divide in this old plane. By far the most amazing flight of my life. These mountains go on and on and on and I feel lucky to have seen them from this specific height on such a clear day in May. This is part of an upcoming short #documentary about my Dad's exhibition of paintings that opens April 8th at the Whyte Museum. Cool project to say the least. #hayfire #exploreBC #exploreAlberta #travelAlberta #DestinationBC #explore #rockies #rockymountains  #icefields #landscapephotography #cessna #d800 #mountains #photooftheday #whyte #ski #traverse #greatdivide #backcountry  Why wear gore-tex when you can wear a traditional Anorak like this one. Vanessa's blue jacket always stood out next to our white canvas ones. Say what you want about real fur, but I don't think anything compares when you're walking headstrong into a blizzard. Part of the upcoming film Keepers of the Trail which drops on February 7th, 2017 on Vimeo on Demand! #fur #boreal #landscapephotography #landscape #westwind #pine #greatlakes #wilderness #northernontario #natgeo #ontariotourism #omtpc #winter #traditional #discoveron #snowshoe #camping #arctic