Marquee Image: David Reddick

The Powder Awards are about one thing—ski movies, and the athletes and the filmmakers who make them. For 17 years, the Powder Awards have celebrated their achievements and art.

“Blizzard of Aahhh’s” stars Glen Plake (left), Greg Stump (middle), and Scot Schmidt clean up for red carpet at the Powder Video Awards. PHOTO: David Reddick

This year's show is Thursday night at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge, Colorado, and kicks off the Winter Dew Tour (a few tickets are still available). It's an opportunity for skiers and winter people to mix and mingle with the world's best athletes, photographers, and cinematographers. We hope to see you there, but first, to understand the camaraderie and traditions behind the show, I spoke with former POWDER editors Keith Carlsen, Derek Taylor, and John Stifter to get their highlights from years past.

2001
Carlsen launched the inaugural Powder Video Awards in Las Vegas. "People arrived in limousines," he says, "and we aimed at making it the only event in skiing with a red carpet." Ski movie pioneer Greg Stump hosted the show. A young Seth Morrison took home the inaugural award for "Best Male Performance." Ultimate pranksters Shane McConkey and Scott Gaffney accepted "Best Humor" dressed as babies in diapers with handheld fart machines. For better or worse, the fart machines didn’t work.

Scott Gaffney (left) and Shane McConkey never quite grew up. PHOTO: David Reddick

Scott Gaffney (left) and Shane McConkey never quite grew up. PHOTO: David Reddick

2005
After Las Vegas, the party moved to the Hotel Jerome in Aspen, Colorado, where it stayed for the next 8 years. In 2006, according to Taylor, "Matt Reardon and Marc-Andre Belliveau played an acoustic set with guitars. This was after Belliveau’s injuries. They learned how to play each other's signature song about an hour before the show. That year, Belliveau was gifted a guitar custom-made by [musician] Ben Harper's brother. It was signed by Harper, and his good friend, Jack Johnson." That year, Belliveau would share the all-coveted “Best Powder" award with Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Will Burks, and Dave McReynolds, for their juicy turns featured in Teton Gravity Research’s The Tangerine Dream.

Join us tonight at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge.

2008
Tanner Hall showed up with a full reggae entourage. "[They] scored his movie, Believe," says Stifter. "Tall Jamaican dudes…enjoying their earthly libations. And Tanner's acceptance speech: impassioned, political, and all-encompassing." Taking home awards for “Movie of the Year,” “Best Male Performance,” and “Best Line." Hall gave everyone a high with his movie, Believe.

Squad rolls deep. CR Johnson, Eric Iberg, Mickael Deschenaux, Sean Pettit, Kye Petersen, Tanner Hall, and Shoya Okasaki strike a pose in 2004.

Squad rolls deep. CR Johnson, Eric Iberg, Mickael Deschenaux, Sean Pettit, Kye Petersen, Tanner Hall, and Shoya Okasaki strike a pose in 2004.

2010
An 85-year-old Warren Miller received the only "Lifetime Achievement Award" ever presented. Taylor introduced the legendary filmmaker, whose acceptance speech echoed the same mantra captured in his films. "Make a lot of turns, enjoy every moment of it,” Miller remarked, “Because freedom is what it’s all about."

Check out photos and see winners from last year’s show.

2011
Sarah Burke arrived (fashionably) late to an over-capacity venue. "She was asked to wait outside, and got sent home," says Taylor. One year earlier, "one of my personal highlights,” noted Stifter, "was seeing Sarah accept her Reader’s Poll award in her ski gear. She had just won the X Games Superpipe on national television, at a time when women weren’t getting primetime TV spots, and had to race to Powder Awards. It just showed her passion for skiing."

Ingrid Backstrom accepts her award for "Best Female Performance" at the 2012 Powder Awards. PHOTO: David Reddick

Ingrid Backstrom accepts her award for “Best Female Performance” at the 2012 Powder Awards. She also earned top honor in the annual Reader’s Poll. PHOTO: David Reddick

2013
In Salt Lake City at the 14th annual show, the Sweetgrass Productions crew accepted the "Movie of the Year" award for Valhalla completely naked.

Winning a Powder Award often results in a feeling of unadulterated freedom, exemplified here by the Sweetgrass Productions crew. PHOTO: David Reddick

Winning a Powder Award often results in a feeling of unadulterated freedom, exemplified here by the Sweetgrass Productions crew. PHOTO: David Reddick

2014
Only a few months after JP Auclair and Andreas Fransson died in an avalanche in South America, readers voted in the Powder Poll and, in his memory, awarded Auclair first place. After a moving tribute to the influential skier, Armada co-founder Hans Smith, Julian Regnier, and Auclair's father, Jean Auclair, accepted the award on his behalf.

If you can’t make the show tonight, follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and #PowderAwards.