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Fraser River film from 1978 restored, released by National Film Board

Richard and Rochelle Wright, and their two sons filmed on epic river adventure in large raft
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Family Down the Fraser follows the Wright Family on a river rafting trip. (Family Down the Fraser/NFB)

It’s a newly digitized glimpse of a family rafting adventure on the mighty Fraser River filmed back in 1978.

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is releasing the 27-minute film, Family Down the Fraser, for free on its streaming platform NFB.ca.

Family Down the Fraser, Tony Westman, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

The film follows Richard and Rochelle Wright and their two sons as they travel downriver in a large whitewater raft more than 40 years ago.

They meet characters whose lifestyles contrasted sharply with their urban ways, and they pass milestones like Fort Alexandria and Hell’s Gate along the way.

Their voyage takes them from Cache Tête Jaune, near Valemont, B.C. and the Alberta border, down to parts of the Lower Fraser, to the mouth of the river.

“The film has recently been restored and digitized from the NFB’s vault near Montreal as part of an initiative putting out more NFB collection films from the West of Canada,” according to the NFB release.

The restoration initiative is under the auspices of NFB’s English Collections curator, Camilo Martín-Flórez. The film was directed by Tony Westman.

“The 27-minute film follows the Wright family including two young sons in a variety of easy and challenging situations on the river.”

The Wrights were known for their travel guides of the 1970s and 80s that they co-wrote, showcasing canoe routes in B.C. and Yukon among other works.

RELATED: Surrey couple writes about the Fraser River

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Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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