TELUS WORLD SKI AND SNOWBOARD FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2010 PRO PHOTOGRAPHER SHOWDOWN FINALISTS AND NEW INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION

Art of Portraiture hailed as the Evolution of Action Sports Photography with Inaugural $2500 Prize.

WHISTLER, BC, March 15, 2010 – For twelve years, the TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival has stopped time, in the middle of a ten day and night adrenaline-fest, to showcase and celebrate the craft of action sports photography at the annual Pro Photographer Showdown.

This year, photographers Brian Bielmann, Yves Garneau, Grant Gunderson, Jeremy Koreski , Mason Mashon, and Erik Seo will present 9 minute curated slideshows on April 22 in a bid to take home Best in Show and $10,000 cash.

In addition to the Pro Photographer Showdown, the TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival introduces a brand new portraiture competition, re:Action, providing a $2500 cash prize for the best distillation of action sports excellence through the single image of a single actor. The unprecedented allocation of $21,000 in total prize money consolidates the TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival’s position as the pre-eminent celebration of action sports photography in the world.

The re:Action Prize for Action Sports Portrait Photography aims to open a window into the intimate sub-culture of lifestyle action sports that attract cult devotion and life-long dedication, by recognizing portrait photography that captures the emotion and commitment intrinsic to those sports.

An exhibition of a selection of finalists chosen by jury will be displayed at State of the Art, the art installation at the TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival, with the winner announced on Thursday April 22 at the Pro Photographer Showdown. Photographers can submit just one entry each, by March 24. Details are at http://www.wssf.com.

Jeremy Koreski is a professional photographer based on Vancouver Island. Born and raised in the town of Tofino, Koreski works for a wide variety of editorial, commercial and fine art clients. His images have appeared in Outside, The Surfer’s Journal, Surfer Magazine, enRoute, The Surfer’s Path and explore Magazine. With a singular style that sees the West Coast’s cultures and ecologies through the intensely artistic values of his contemporaries, Koreski, who has been using a camera since he was about 14 and trained in photography at Langara College, has become one of the leading recorders of outdoor life in Canada. Koreski was a finalist in the 2006 Pro Photographer Showdown. http://www.jeremykoreski.com/

Brian Bielmann - Surf photographer, Brian Bielmann moved to Hawaiit in 1975 and was initially reluctant to trade a surfboard for a camera, until a surfing accident that nearly took his life got him thinking about the future. Bielmann has been hailed for his incredible range and his willingness to risk life and limb to capture action amongst the swells. He’s drowned ten cameras in the service of documenting the scene on Hawaii’s North Shore, proving himself the master of the moment and an endlessly inventive shooter. His work has appeared on the cover of every major surf magazine in the world, as well as Rolling Stone, The New York Times and Sports Illustrated. He has shot ad campaigns for Quiksilver, Billabong and Volcom and served as senior staff photographer for Transworld Surf for the last decade. http://www.brianbielmann.com/

Grant Gunderson - One of the ski industry’s most talented photographers, 30 year old Gunderson, based at Mt Baker, Washington, has shot for nearly every major snow sports and outdoor publication worldwide including Outside, Powder, Freeskier, Skier, Skiing and Ski. In addition to his editorial work, Grant supplies many of the world’s top brands with images that set the bar for a new level of creativity and define the culture of action sports. A plastics engineer by education, Gunderson recently he won the Ski Salt Lake City Photo Shoot Out and was named one of the world’s top 50 action sport photographers by Red Bull. He skis close to 200 days a year and makes a high quality and high octane homebrewed ale. Currently he is serving as the Photo Editor of The Ski Journal. http://www.grantgunderson.com/

Yves Garneau - A Canadian-born photographer based in the Swiss Alps, Yves Garneau has made a living doing what he's dreamed about ever since his long snowy drive from Ontario to British Columbia in January of '96. Two amazing winters on the west coast transformed him from a recreational skier to a die-hard mountain addict. At the end of '97, he packed his bags and headed to Europe for a taste of the Swiss Alps, chocolate and cheese. He now calls the Val de Bagnes home and lives with his wife and boys in a little village nestled at the base of Europe's best resort, Verbier. Yves spends his winters shooting all over the Alps for several well known ski brands and more than a dozen different ski publications. He specializes in back country ski photography bringing some of the most pristine points of view straight to your coffee table at home. http://www.g1photo.com

Mason Mashon - At 24 years of age and residing permanently in Whistler, Mason is an enthusiast in all the elements. As a surfer, mountain biker, skier and snowboarder, his photographic perspectives stem from the feelings you get from living and riding in the mountains.

Erik Seo - Since his first strobed shots Erik Seo has produced more flashing than a fundraiser full of bikini clad sorority girls. Born and raised on the far West Coast, Seo carefully honed his taste for IKEA and Asian manufactured automobiles while remotely firing his way into the world of ski photography. Seo's work has appeared in countless US magazine and a handful of countries we would love to believe he can pronounce. This slightly taller than a breadbox photographer now calls Salt Lake City home, recently bought a V8 truck, and can be found tending to his potted plant collection in his old age. Of course he still shoots the occasional cover or two and regularly contributes to Powder when he's not cleaning up at high stakes paintball games. http://www.erikseo.com/

The TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival is produced by Watermark Communications, a Whistler-based event production & communications company, and presented in partnership with Tourism Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb. Having grown over 15 years into the largest annual winter sports and music festival in North America, the TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival is a 10 day and night showcase of the best of snowsports, music, arts and mountain life. Featuring major professional ski and snowboarding competitions, the largest free outdoor concert series in Canada, cultural events that match up unlikely art-lovers and the freshest art-makers, career-making fashion, photography and film showcases, the best spring snow conditions in the world, and burn-the candle nightlife, the TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival is an authentic window on the culture of Y, straddling the sweet spot where sport and art meet. Anti-comps, photography showdowns, live painting, and even a dog parade, the TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival lives up to its promise: ‘Party in April. Sleep in May.’

For information on the 2010 TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival, April 16-25, visit http://www.wssf.com, or follow us on twitter @wssf.


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