Squamish resident Callista Ryan is pretty happy she answered her phone early on Saturday (July 14) morning.
On the other end was one of the stars of the Camp Rock series Jordan Francis, telling Ryan, 13, that he and his film crew were set to pick her up and experience kiteboarding in Squamish for the new TV show Cross Country Fun Hunt.
“I didn’t know Jordan Francis was going to call,” she said, noting that she’s a fan of Francis. “I thought it was going to be this producer or something so I was pretty shocked when he called.”
Several months back, Ryan submitted a video to the CBC website telling producers of the show about Squamish and why they should make the town a stop on their tour.
“I was a huge fan of the show In Real Life on YTV,” she said. “And one day on their Facebook page it said there might not be a season four and I was really sad. But then the producers said they were going to make a new show and to email them for more information.”
After contacting the producers, Ryan learned of the new show – Cross Country Fun Hunt. Fans were asked to send in videos of their town and why the show should come check them out. She chose to show off Squamish’s epic kiteboarding scene and the producers were hooked.
“I chose to do kiteboarding because I’d never even heard of it before I moved here,” she said. “Getting a perfect place to kiteboard is pretty hard but we’re lucky because Squamish is all windy and not all towns have our winds.”
The producers were so impressed by her video that they used it as an example for other submissions and quickly made plans to visit Squamish. Ryan was picked up from her doorstep at 8 a.m. and whisked away to the Spit, along with Francis and several cameramen.
From there, the duo discovered the ins and outs of the sport from Squamish Kiteboarding School instructor Mark Gray and even got a chance to hit the water themselves.
“It was awesome,” Ryan said, noting it was the first time she had ever tried the sport. “We learned how to control the kite in the wind, starting with smaller ones and moving into the bigger ones and then we got to ride on Mark’s back.”
Francis and Ryan grabbed some grub at the Campfire Grill after working up an appetite and she said it was a memorable day.
“It was a lot of fun,” she said. “Jordan was really nice and easygoing and he seemed really interested in the activity. The best part was probably getting to ride with Mark on the kiteboard.”
The show is scheduled to air in the fall and can also be viewed online by visiting www.cbc.ca/kids.