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Whistler Arts Council goes Out of Bounds

Behind the scenes with one of 20 photographers participating in the Arts Council's sixth annual Out of Bounds competition

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Ask around: Rich Glass is one of Whistler's go-to party shooters (seriously, he has some of the coolest nightlife shots around). But there's much more to this photographer than editorial and stock imagery; he's also quite comfortable shooting in the backcountry, as it turns out.

He spent two seasons working at TLH Heliskiing, another year with Powder Mountain, and has spent a bit of time in the backcountry on snowcat trips. And for the fourth year, he's been selected to participate in the Whistler Arts Council's annual backcountry photography exhibition, dubbed Out of Bounds: Tales From the Backcountry.

"I don't want to say it's a backcountry competition, it's more of just the stuff that I have that I've shot in the backcountry that I like to show. And it's nice to have this kind of a competition where we can show something different than the run-of-the-mill stuff that's shot on the hill," Glass paused, "I don't want to say it weeds people out, but there's only a certain demographic that's going to get in, because as you know, Whistler's full of photographers, but there's only so many that shoot outside of the resort.

"Some people will say that 'backcountry' is Fissile and Flute, but the parameters with this contest is that you can't use a lift to get there!" Glass pointed out. "It has to be somewhere outside of the Resort, completely."

So, no chairlifts allowed! We're talking heliskiing, cat trips, skinning or sledding.

"It's cool because, in my mind, it shows a different perspective on the whole Whistler resort."

This is the sixth year that WAC has hosted the popular photography exhibition.

"Out of Bounds originated in 2005 as a photo exhibition and competition for professional and emerging backcountry photographers," explained Doti Niedermayer, Executive Director of WAC. "The intent of the program was to feature the incredible talent of the photographers we have living in our area, to showcase some of the world's best skiers and boarders who are their subjects and the astonishing beauty of our mountains."

And make no mistake; this isn't a spin-off of Whistler Blackcomb's similar event, the Deep Winter photo challenge, which took place just a few weeks ago.

"Out of Bounds started before Deep Winter so we were meeting a need before that event," Niedermayer pointed out, "Deep Winter is a different event in that it is more immediate with three days to shoot. Out of Bounds features more photographers and different images from around BC. They are very different events but both are very successful in showcasing some of our greatest assets - the mountains, the skiers and the photographers."

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