Every day as Van Bailey drives home from school along Dufferin Street, he wishes he was travelling down the hill with a pair of skis strapped to his feet.
“I’d be scoping out that line, wishing I was skiing,” said the 19-year-old Thunder Bay native.
Bailey, along with his friend Kevin Marier, finally realized that dream earlier this week when they tried their first bout of midnight street skiing, a feat that as of Friday afternoon had around 2,500 views on YouTube.
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The idea for the video came from the ski film All I Can, which was featured at the Banff Mountain Film Festival.
A segment of the film has Canadian freestyle skier JP Auclair skiing the streets of Trail, BC to the musical styling of LCD Soundsystem.
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“We figured we could probably do this in Thunder Bay. So we went out one night, started at 11 p.m. and ended at 4 a.m. and started shooting skiing in the streets,” said Bailey. “We built some jumps over people’s driveways and had some fun with it.”
The video is shot mostly on Dufferin, Ambrose and Waverley Streets. During the shoot, they only encountered one disgruntled neighbour.
“It smoothed out and was fine,” said Bailey. “We went back and got the shot later.”
“We didn’t want to do it during the day because we knew people would probably be a bit grumpy about us jumping over their driveways and cars,” he added.
The night was just fun on the slopes, but also involved a lot of work, particularly shoveling. A few extra friends even came out to help with the digging.
The plan had been in the works for a few weeks. The night’s driver Daniel Fiorito said they were waiting for a night when everyone was available and when there was fresh snow.
Fiorito’s brother Nik did the camerawork that night; Fiorito added making videos is something the group of friends has always been doing.
“We’ve always been making videos and we’ve always been doing extreme sports. We’ve taken biking videos, skiing videos, snowboarding videos,” he said.
As for the attention they’ve received from the video, it all came as a surprise.
“We weren’t expecting it to blow up this much,” said Fiorito. “It’s just a good video that hit a heartstring with Thunder Bay that’s done locally on our streets.”
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