A documentary about the Cariboo Gold Rush – past and present. Narrated by Mark Forsythe.

Wilds to Riches, a Cariboo Gold Rush documentary, premieres on CBC Television July 6th

For Immediate Release

Wilds to Riches, a Cariboo Gold Rush documentary, premieres on CBC Television July 6th

Vancouver, BC (July 2, 2013) – It’s August 2012.  A small crew of men huddles at the bottom of the enormous hole they’ve been digging since spring thaw.  Above them is 50+ metres of worthless gravel.  Below them—they hope—is the reason they’re here: the infamous Heron Channel.  Using maps and mining reports more than a hundred years old, these thoroughly modern miners are looking for part of an ancient creek bed they believe the original Cariboo Gold Rush was never able to uncover.

There’s a reason this ground has been sought after for generations.  Exactly 150 years ago, in 1862, a tonne-and-a-half of raw placer gold was hauled out of this channel – from just 400 feet of gravel.  It is an amount worth nearly $50-million dollars today.  Those Victorian miners would have kept going, too, but their channel flooded and the remaining treasure was buried in a soggy grave until someone could invent a more effective way to remove the water.

Now, more than a century later, the Hard-Up Mining Company is digging for what history left behind: a channel they believe still holds a billion dollars worth of gold.  They may strike it rich—or, like many gold miners before them and since—lose everything in a race to feed their fever.

Which will it be?

Presented by CBC Television and narrated by CBC Radio One’s Mark Forsythe (“BC Almanac”) Wilds to Riches is a riveting, hour-long documentary following those men and women – from both the 1860s and today – who take tremendous risks while searching for gold in British Columbia’s central interior.

“This current gold rush isn’t all that different from the one that built the Province,” said director-producer Jacy Schindel.  “Gold mining in the Cariboo continues to produce a kind of drama that mirrors the trials and tribulations of the miners who first came to this region more than a hundred years ago.”

Focusing its lens on the historical boomtown of Barkerville, Wilds to Riches tells the stories of several legendary Cariboo characters through a series of historical re-enactments, photographs, and authoritative interviews.  These stories intertwine with contemporary narratives as modern miners compare their experiences to the lives of the prospectors who came before them.

“With gold trading at near-record dollar values per ounce, people are once again flocking to the Cariboo Goldfields in search of the mother lode,” said producer-director Patrick Curling. “We’ve been recording the details of this new rush since we started filming nearly four years ago and the results are honestly, astonishing.”

Wilds to Riches was written by Lisa Johnson, and directed by Jacy Schindel and Patrick Curling.  It was produced by Patrick Curling, Jacy Schindel, Justin Booth and James Douglas.  Wilds to Riches will air in British Columbia on CBC Television’s “Absolutely Vancouver,” July 6th, 2013 at 9:00 pm.

– 30 –

Media Inquires

James Douglas, Co-Producer

Wilds to Riches Productions

250.255.7938; media@wildstoriches.ca

Wilds to Riches Official Teaser: www.wildstoriches.ca

Wilds To Riches - Hard-Up Mining Company

2 responses

  1. As a once upon a time geologist, now a sometimes prospector, I find this fascinating. I’ve always thought that the secret is tracing “ancient” river beds (like that below Williams Creek). However, the cost would seem prohibitive. Here a piece of trivia for you “gold fans”. There is more gold dissolved in the North Sea than has been extracted since the beginning of our time of existence!

    For those interested in a “sad side” to the Gold Rush of ’58, I strongly urge you to watch “Canyon War”.


    Thanks for this wonderful documentary.

    Greg Shea (Lake Cowichan)

    July 7, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    • Thank you, Greg! We are so glad you liked Wilds to Riches… and that fact about gold in the North Sea is truly fascinating. As for Canyon Wars, we are very familiar with the film, and often recommend its sobering discussion of the effects of colonization. Canyon Wars recently had its American premiere on PBS… did you happen to catch it? Wilds to Riches will air again on CBC Saturday, August 3rd, at 7:00 pm, in case you’re curious about the first fifteen minutes that were cut out of the July 6th premiere due to ongoing Calgary Stampede coverage. Again, thanks for your support!

      July 14, 2013 at 4:18 pm

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