The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour is back! After a two-year hiatus, 2023 will be the sixteenth year that Whole Earth Provision Co. has hosted the World Tour at the historic Paramount Theatre in downtown Austin and the eleventh year that Texas State Parks is the beneficiary of the event.

The Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival is held each year in Banff, Canada. From over 400 festival entries, award winning films and audience favorites are chosen for inclusion in the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour. The tour travels to over 500 communities and 40 countries during the year. The Austin audiences are among the largest on the World Tour.

Photo courtesy of Whole Earth Provision Co.

The films take audiences to stunning landscapes and remote cultures and bring them up-close and personal with adrenaline-packed action sports. The World Tour is an exhilarating and provocative exploration of the natural world.

Whole Earth combines the proceeds from the World Tour shows with the funds raised during its April Is Texas State Park Month event in their stores where customers can make donations for the State Parks. The ten-year total of funds raised by the two events is now over $271,800.

Photo courtesy of Whole Earth Provision Co.

Whole Earth Provision Co. is a longtime supporter of our Texas State Parks. In 2011, when the Parks were facing budget cuts and even the threat of some park closures, Whole Earth created April Is Texas State Parks Month. The funds raised have been used to help with day-to-day Park operational expenses, including visitor programs and maintaining Park facilities. In 2022, donations were used to print 1,234,170 trail maps for 70 of the 88 Texas State Parks. Whole Earth is proud to help Texas State Parks maintain access to public lands.

During the month of April, Whole Earth customers can make donations to Texas State Parks in their six stores. Donations of any amount are welcome. For a $5 or more donation, customers receive a Texas State Park custom sticker pack. For a $20 donation, they will receive a $5 Texas State Parks gift card, good for fees or purchases at any Texas State Park and the sticker pack. For a $40 donation, customers will receive a Whole Earth, Sendero, and Fort Lonesome collaboration custom bandana, the $5 gift card, and the sticker pack. Supplies for the bandana are limited so don’t wait. 

Photo courtesy of Whole Earth Provision Co.

Whole Earth is a family owned, homegrown Texas original retailer with six stores in four cities: Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio as well as an online store. For over 50 years, Whole Earth has been outfitting adventurers, travelers, nature lovers, families, backyard loungers and active urbanites with high quality travel and casual clothing, shoes, accessories, toys, books, gifts, gadgets and gear for everyday living and adventures near and far, from Kerrville to Kilimanjaro.

Photo courtesy of Whole Earth Provision Co.

Whole Earth first opened its doors for business in 1970 near the University of Texas campus in Austin. Jack and Linda Jones and their friends were inspired by a notice in the back of a Whole Earth Catalog suggesting the possibility of opening a store based on the goods offered in the Catalog. The Whole Earth Catalog was a revolutionary publication that flourished in the 1960s into the early 1980s. Steve Jobs described it as “Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along.” Composed of hundreds of pages filled with short descriptions of books and tools that could be purchased directly from the manufacturers, it presented an encyclopedic view of the world and how it worked from the microscopic to the galactic.

The first Whole Earth Provision Co. store’s inventory included flour mills, oil lamps, massage oils, camp soap and lots of how-to books – all selected from the Whole Earth Catalog. The store was an overnight success, selling out of merchandise in the first two weeks, necessitating the closing of the store to reorder and restock.

The Nomadics section of the Catalog encouraged readers to get out and explore the world and offered advice on gear for hiking, camping, mountaineering, and backpacking, as well as wilderness survival skills.  Whole Earth quickly added outdoor gear to the mix of merchandise. The store became an early source for new, specially designed backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, hiking boots, rugged clothing and other gear being created by new, small independent companies like Patagonia and The North Face to meet the demand for high tech outdoor adventure clothing and equipment. Whole Earth continues to be a leader in supplying gear, clothing and shoes for outdoor adventure and travel, outfitting generations of Texans for travel across Texas as well as into remote corners of the world. A visit to a Whole Earth store can be an adventure. With so many items to discover throughout the store, there’s no telling what you may find to delight, make life easier, or be a perfect gift.

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