What: Supernatural: Mountain Bike Slideshow
When: Friday, April 17, 8:30 p.m.
Where: MY Millennium Place
While the focus may be on the world of skiing and snowboarding during the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival, there's at least one event taking place that promises to transport the audience to the spring and summer, just a few weeks into the future, and plant them smack-dab into the heart of mountain bike country.
Chris Winter is organizing a mountain bike slideshow. He said the event fits well with the rest of the festival plans because it speaks to the mountain culture-loving crowd.
"Whistler loves mountain biking, and hitting the dirt for skiers and snowboarders in the valley is a natural step," Winter said. "Spring in Whistler is the best time of the year - you can rip fresh powder in the morning and shred dry dirt in Pemberton or Squamish in the afternoon, and maybe even hit a patio to top off the day."
Winter, a 15-year Sea to Sky resident, recently moved to Vancouver and currently runs a mountain bike tour company, Big Mountain Bike Adventures, which takes people around the world on downhill, all-mountain and cross-country cycling trips. Before that, he ran Joyride Productions, which developed the mountain bike festival that became Crankworx.
Mountain biking has evolved rapidly over the last five years, Winter said, with a range of genres emerging - slopestyle, big mountain, urban, and all-mountain, as well as traditional downhill and cross-country. As technology has improved, so have the riders, with Winter's event showcasing some of the best in the business today.
"This show will share with people the latest in mountain biking through inspiring images from some of the best photographers in the business."
Winter has enlisted the help of three skilled action sports photographers to lend their talents to the show: Blake Jorgensen, Harookz, and Sterling Lorence.
Jorgensen's images showcase a downhill journey from Switzerland's highest peaks, while Vancouver-based Harookz throws in some comical portraits and shots of new school style. Rounding out the lineup is West Vancouver's Sterling Lorence, one of the top photographers in the mountain bike world.
Winter, also an amateur photographer, will include some of his own work in the show, while providing a narrative for the collective show.
"Each photographer captures a different style of mountain biking and each photographer has a distinctly different style," Winter said.
"Blake Jorgensen is one of my favourite photographers, I love his dramatic big mountain images that make your heart beat faster.
"Harookz, on the other hand, shoots new school riders and goes to great lengths to build a big scary ramp deep in the forest and sets up elaborate flashes. Plus, he shoots creative portraits of athletes that make you smile.
"Sterling Lorence is arguably the best mountain bike photographer in the world. He is a great rider himself, he knows the athletes personally and can capture unreal moments on a bike."
Coordinating all three professional photographers wasn't exactly an easy feat.
"Sterling would reply to my e-mails from London, UK one day, then California the next, while Blake would emerge from a remote lodge in the mountains after days away and get back to me," Winter said. "...These guys were busy, but I think that they are happy to share their art with us."
Select framed photos from each photographer will be auctioned off. Proceeds, along with a portion of ticket sales, will go towards the Whistler-based charity Zero Ceiling, which Winter founded.