Hippie Mike's son, Kaelen Faux, showing off his skills in the HMI SKatepark when it was still under construction in 2020. (Jason Arnold photo)

Documentary details the history of Hope’s HMI Skatepark

The 45-minute film by Tim Barker debuts April 22, 2022 with two showings at the Hope Cinema

The partnership between HMI Skatepark and Hope Cinema continues to grow, with another dual event planned for this week.

On Friday (April 22), Hope Cinema invites people to check out the on-screen debut of ‘Future of Hope: the HMI Story.’

The documentary was put together by local resident Tim Barker, who explores the story of the HMI Skatepark, why the man known as Hippie Mike chose to build it in Hope and what it means to the community.

“What Hope has been lacking for young people, and adults too, is a communal space to congregate and do something healthy,” said Barker, who grew up in Hope, moved away when he was 17 and moved back a few years ago. “Skateboarding is such a healthy activity that gets kids away from their TVs and computers and all that, and when I was a teenager there was nowhere like this to go.

“Fast forward to now when I’m in my late 30s, and I just think about how much I would have appreciated this and how much my parents would have appreciated this. I’m blown away every time I go in there and there’s more and more kids there. It’s incredible how many families around town have come out of the woodwork for it, in such a positive way.”

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Barker is a professional camera operator who’s worked on several seasons of the popular reality show Survivor. His list of credits on imdb.com dates back to 2012 and also includes work on Backroad Truckers, Rust Valley Restorers, Jade Fever, Highway Thru Hell, Klondike Trappers, Game of Homes, Timber Kings, The Audience and Shannon and Sophie.

Barker got to flex his story-telling skills with the HMI documentary, which offered a change from his usual behind-the-camera role.

“I’m a perfectionist and I’m hard on myself and I always think I could have done a better job,” he said. “But when I sit down with my wife to watch it for the first time, and she cries, I realize all of that is only in my own head. People watching it see the story and I’m proud of the story. It’s really about Hippie Mike finding his purpose, helping the next generation of kids be the best they can be and give them opportunities.

“It’s about him coming full circle from being one of those kids to now coaching and teaching them and getting them set up for their future.

“It’s pretty meaningful for him.”

Barker said the project started off small. He was going to shoot a couple interviews, grab some roll of people skateboarding and turn it into something 5 to 10 minutes long.

“It kind of ballooned from there, into a full 45 minute documentary,” he said.

Barker wanted ‘community’ to be the central thread running through the film.

“It starts with one guy with an idea, and as soon as he puts it out there, the community jumps in to offer whatever they can do,” he said. “He (Hippie Mike) had this vision, but you can’t do it on your own. People offered labour and they offered donations of raw materials. Having the idea of a place for people to come is one thing, but when everyone contributes to building it, they feel like they’re a part of it. They’re invested in it.

“I’ve known this town for 37 years and it ebbs and flows, but there’s always been this underlying group of people looking for an outlet like this. As soon as they saw that inspiration this guy had to create this thing, they were so receptive and supportive.

“All it took was a little spark, and it’s really inspiring.”

There will be two showings of the documentary Friday, the first at 6 p.m. and the second at 7:30 p.m.

All ages are welcome and tickets at the door are $10 apiece.


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