An extraordinary dream to pay tribute to her mother by summiting the tallest mountain peak in North America led Kelowna resident Aiyla Forgie to win one of five Lotto Max Dream Studio 2021 prizes across B.C. recently.

“I’m shaking, I can feel my heart beating so fast,” Forgie said upon learning her entry was a winner.

In its second year, the Lotto Max Dream Studio contest asks participants to submit a 30 second video that answers the question: What’s your dream? More than 230 entries were received in 2021, from which five ‘dreamers’ were selected and their dreams made into reality. 

Forgie’s mother passed away unexpectedly in April 2020, and her submission focused on her desire to pay tribute to her by spreading her ashes at the top of Alaska’s Mount Denali.

During her life, Forgie said her mother didn’t enjoy travelling much, but loved to live vicariously through her daughter’s hiking trips, and encouraged her to continue chasing her adventurous dreams.

“She was always the one person who, it didn’t matter how big or how crazy my dream was, she was always like, ‘OK, yeah, you can do it,” Forgie said. “Even though this is such a huge, crazy feat, I know that I can do it, because I still have that piece of her in me — believing in me.”

Forgie’s prize entails an all-expenses paid trip to complete her hike to the top of North America’s highest peak, plus a Mountain Equipment gift card, for a total value of more than $13,000. Forgie adds that her next goal is to complete the Seven Summits and climb the seven highest mountains on seven continents, with Mount Denali being the first.