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All the best coming back for Pro Photo Showdown

No Pro Photo Search this year as WSSF celebrates winners past

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The Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival is taking its renowned Pro Photographer Showdown to a new level this year by bringing back all seven past winners for an evening of encore presentations.

The special event marks the 10 th anniversary of the festival and will proceed as a showcase rather than a judged competition.

The Pro Photographer Showdown debuted in 1998 as an invitational contest for four professional sport/action shooters to show slide presentations of their work to music. A judging panel awarded the first Best of Show prize to Whistler ski and snowboard photographer Eric Berger, a co-founder of the Showdown in the wake of an enthusiastically received solo slideshow during the 1997 festival.

In 1999 the festival added the Pro Photographer Search competition to select a wildcard entry to compete in the Showdown alongside the three invited pro photographers.

Aside from Berger the only other Whistler local to win the Showdown is 2001 winner Blake Jorgenson, who is also the only entrant to ever win the Showdown after earning a place in the lineup as the winner of the Pro Photographer Search.

Past Showdown winners include two luminaries of the skateboard publishing world: J. Grant Brittain (2000), esteemed founder of The Skateboard Mag, and photographer Jon Humphries (2003). Other winners include ski photographer Dave Heath (2002) and surf photographers Aaron Chang (1999) and Jason Childs, the 2004 winner who will again make the trip all the way from his home in Indonesia.

Due to the change in format the festival will not host a Pro Photographer Search this year.

The 2005 Pro Photographer Showdown will take place on Wednesday, April 13 at the Telus Conference Centre. Tickets are $30 and will be available via the festival’s website www.whistler2005.com as of March 1.

Heli trip up for grabs at Out of Bounds

February’s Out of Bounds-Tales from the Backcountry photo exhibition in the upstairs gallery space at MY Millennium Place will celebrate its official opening with a public reception on Friday evening.

The exhibition is an initiative of the Whistler Arts Council in partnership with Coast Range Heliskiing and is part of the month long Celebration 2010 Whistler Arts Festival.

The exhibition features 15 professional and five amateur photographers whose works were selected by a jury on artistic merit, composition, technical skill and adherence to the "backcountry" theme.

Throughout the duration of Out of Bounds viewers have the opportunity to cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award for Best of Show. The winning photographer receives a heli-skiing trip from sponsor Coast Range Heliskiing.

A draw for a second heli-skiing trip will be made from the votes cast. Both the Best of Show winner and the draw winner will be announced at the end of February.

Several of the contributing photographers will be in attendance at Friday’s reception, which takes place from 7 to 10 p.m. Additional works by Out of Bounds contributors are also displayed in satellite venues throughout Whistler Village.

The exhibition is part of the Celebration 2010 Whistler Arts Festival ArtWalk, which is also kicking off officially on Friday evening. Several Whistler galleries and businesses are displaying works by local artists and will host concurrent ArtWalk receptions for the public between 6 and 9 p.m.

Mapped ArtWalk brochures are available through the Whistler Arts Council at www.whistlerartscouncil.com and at MY Millennium Place.

Slideshow for Tsunami Relief at the GLC

The Southeast Asian tsunami relief effort continues and locals will get another opportunity to help raise money for tsunami aid at a photo and music event at the GLC on Wednesday, Feb. 9.

The event is being organized by photographer Lorne Warburton, a former Pemberton resident now living in Vancouver.

The night will feature travel slide shows of Southeast Asia images by Warburton, Alain Denis, Reilly Smith and Jordan Manley, as well as music by solo artist Trish Jamieson and the band Sweaty Cheddar.

Funds raised will be donated directly to a needy organization as determined by Whistler locals Jimi Martinello and Annie Vallee, friends of Warburton’s currently travelling in India, rather than funnelled into a larger international aid organization.

"I know it's getting late in the fundraising campagin," Warburton said, "but every little bit helps."

The event kicks off at 8 p.m. with the slide shows at 9 p.m. Admission is by donation with a recommended minimum of $20. For more information e-mail alud001@hotmail.com.

Southside Diner hosting photo display

The Southside Diner in Creekside is featuring photography through the month of February by Whistler local Amber Butler and Oak, a Thai photographer working in black and white. The images will be displayed in metal frames custom-made by Pemberton artisan Kyle Bubbs. Between 15 and 20 per cent of sales will be donated to tsunami relief in Southeast Asia.

A reception for the exhibition takes place in the diner on Sunday, Feb. 6 from 8 p.m. to midnight.

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