When: Sunday, Sept. 14, doors at 8 p.m.
Where: Telus Conference Centre
With the summer slowly fading away, the thoughts of many in
this diehard ski town are turning towards the upcoming winter season. And what
better way to get stoked on a fresh season of powder than a brand-new ski
Steve Winter is executive producer and one of the founding
fathers of Matchstick Productions (MSP), an institution in the ski film
industry. He launched the company back in 1991 with co-owner Murray Wais.
“It was really for a love of skiing and traveling around the
world,” Winter conceded. “At first, it was more about skiing than it was about
But fundamentally Winter and Wais were on a mission to make
skiing cool again. In the early ‘90s, the world of skiing was totally different
from the one we know today.
“Really, skiing in that era was not supercool, it was more
the rich person’s sport,” Winter explained. “There was a lot of DayGlo, and it
wasn’t really that cool.”
The two novice filmmakers were inspired by Greg Stump’s
projects to inject a hipper feeling into their movies using music and other
elements. It wasn’t an easy feat.
“The ski industry didn’t support it at all,” Winter said,
adding that marketing people in the industry during that time didn’t care about
making the sport appealing to kids. “They were all about the rich people buying
Bogner suits and whatever else. They could care less.”
“…They just wanted to groom (kids) into being the next rich
Bogner wearers,” Winter said with a chuckle, “They didn’t really care about the
image of the sport.”
It wasn’t until the hip new sister sport of snowboarding
appeared on the horizon that the ski industry decided to try and appeal to the
next generation of winter sport enthusiasts.
“Snowboarding, I believe, saved the ski industry. Because
what happened is when snowboarding came along, they came along with so much of
a cooler image. And not just out on the hill, their style, but the lifestyle
– the clothes they wore and everything else – and it started
digging into the pockets of the ski industry people,” Winter said.