British Columbia

Whistler local brings female presence to all-male snowboard film

Robin Van Gyn has been snowboarding professionally for 15 years and is representing women in a film following the lifestyle of backcountry boarders.

Robin Van Gyn is both the only woman and the only local in the film that was shot in British Columbia

Robin Van Gyn hopes that a new cohort of girls will be inspired to snowboard the backcountry. (Andrew Miller)

Robin Van Gyn has been representing women in the sport of snowboarding for more than 10 years, and as the only female in a new backcountry snowboard film she continues that tradition.

Van Gyn said she hopes to inspire future riders with the film, Depth Perception, which follows some of the world's best backcountry snowboarders and makes its Vancouver premiere on Monday.

"I'm really hoping that this platform is giving us a chance to inspire some young girls to step out into the mountains and really go see the beauty of it and enjoy it and do what they love," said Van Gyn.

Van Gyn has been snowboarding professionally for 15 years. (Andrew Miller)

"This is more than just an action sports film. It's about the characters. … It's about them being in the mountains and appreciating all the natural wonder that we're in all the time as action sports athletes," she told The Early Edition host, Rick Cluff.

Van Gyn, who makes her home in Whistler, was not just the only woman in the film, but also the only local.

"I think that as somebody that's been born and raised in B.C., we take the beauty of what we have for granted sometimes. And when we travel the world and we listen to stories about the small mountains ... and the low snow years, it really makes you appreciate the beauty of British Columbia."

The film, which was shot from a base at CMH Galena between Invermere and Revelstoke, has been drawing a lot of attention to B.C.'s terrain, Van Gyn said.

"It just has something for everyone. There's humongous mountains, steep pillow faces, long tree runs. … It's definitely one of those places that's very unique," she said.

Still progress to be made

When it comes to female representation and equal opportunity in the sport, Van Gyn admits she has been fortunate.

"I have been offered equal opportunity quite a lot, and I am very lucky to have had that, but it's not the same for everyone else."

Still, she hopes that a new generation of female riders will be encouraged to ride.

"Right now we're looking at the spectrum of women in snowboarding and we're not seeing a lot of young girls coming into our shoes, especially as backcountry riders," she said.

"I would like to tell them that being beautiful and feminine doesn't come from a selfie on your cellphone on the internet. It comes from going out into the world and experiencing it and doing what you love and showing that."

With files from The Early Edition