Top Uprising slideshow highlights 'the female story' 

Erin Hogue and Vince Emond take home the people's choice award

click to enlarge Erin Hogue and Vincent Emond captured the hearts of the sold-out crowd at the Uprising photo contest, winning the coveted peoples’ choice award. Photo submitted
  • Erin Hogue and Vincent Emond captured the hearts of the sold-out crowd at the Uprising photo contest, winning the coveted peoples’ choice award. Photo submitted

The Sea to Sky's jaw-dropping backcountry skiing was on full display at the Uprising photography contest, held at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler on Feb. 22.

But ultimately, a crowd of over 1,000 people selected a slideshow that benefited as much from concept, as its stunning photography.

Erin Hogue and Vince Emond's submission highlighted young mothers who snowboard on their own—and with their young children. The team's slideshow also featured a backyard jibbing jam, as well as an evening tour through Flute that made for a cool light-trail night shot.

"It was a story that I felt like other moms needed to see and other women needed to see," says Hogue, whose work has been featured in Transworld Snowboarding and Snowboarder magazine. "I just wanted to show the female story, and I felt that this was a really good opportunity to do that."

The concept, she explains, came to her somewhat serendipitously. She was riding with a friend when she got the invitation to take part in Uprising.

To make the shoot happen, Hogue reached out to a few moms she knew, then later met a few more along the way. In total, she documented the riding of eight moms—Amanda Mourant, Sarah Frood, Sara Niblock, Marie-Eve Laroche, Marie-Andrée Racine, Tara Jane Hickey, Jane Hiem, and Maria Thomsen—and up and comers Amalia (Billy) Pelchat, Jaden Richer and Noah Ricignuolo.

Working in the backcountry has its fair share of logistical challenges—including assessing avalanche terrain—and Hogue and Emond describe the logistics of the shoot as difficult.

"It was definitely very challenging," says Emond, adding that Hogue had a "crazy group chat" going on with all the moms.

"[Erin] somehow made it work," he says."I would never have never been able to wrangle that many people and keep my cool."

Hogue credits the moms who took part.

"I was so impressed with the moms just like being down and figuring out childcare and making it happen," says Hogue, speaking specifically about the touring.

Hogue and Emond were one of five teams to take part in the contest, which saw established, professional photographers team up with up-and-coming ones.

The other teams included Mitch Winton (pro) and Matt Sylvestre; Scott Serfas (pro) and Rob Lemay; Mason Mashon (pro) and Tyler Ravelle; and Reuben Krabbe (pro) and Duncan Sadava.

Whistler-based marketing firm Origin quickly stepped in to organize the event after Whistler Blackcomb announced it would not be running the Deep Winter Photo Challenge this year. That event sent professional photographers into the mountains to shoot athletes for 72 hours and produce a five-minute slideshow.

Similarly, Uprising participants chose a 72-hour period within a seven-day window. The teams were permitted to shoot throughout the corridor (from Horseshoe Bay to Lillooet) rather than being restricted to the resort. Origin has not committed to organizing Uprising in the future should Deep Winter not return.

Uprising was made possible thanks to the partnership between Origin, the Fairmont, which donated the room, and Tourism Whistler, which put up $8,000 towards the contest.

Proceeds of the event went to Protect Our Winters Canada, an offshoot of the successful climate activist group launched by pro snowboarder Jeremy Jones in the U.S. in 2007.

Danielle Kristmanson, creative director at Origin, says she was thrilled with how the event turned out, crediting insightful (and often hilarious) host Mike Douglas with helping to make for a special night.

"Mike has a great way of capturing what the community is feeling," she says. "He managed to stoke everybody up, yet be really real. I think he was awesome."

Asked about Hogue and Emond's winning submission, Kristmanson credits the slideshow's storyline with helping it stand out.

"When stories aren't something that you have seen before, then they are even more compelling," she says. "To me, the story was [that] women aren't defined by motherhood. Motherhood becomes something that they add on to what they already do ... Those were three ripping women who added motherhood into that."

In addition to the people's choice award, two additional prizes were awarded. Sadava won the $2,500 best-image award, and Mashon and Ravelle won the $2,500 best-action shot award.

In a particularly memorable moment, Mashon and Ravelle decided to donate their win to POW Canada, eliciting one of the biggest rounds of applause of the evening.

"The money is going to go back into this, because we love this so much," said Mashon. "Photography really allows us to share how beautiful the world is that we live in and get to play in."

You can watch Hogue and Emond's slideshow here:

Uprising - 2020 Winning Slideshow from Erin Hogue on Vimeo.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify that Erin Hogue and Vince Emond did not use snowmobiles for their photo shoots.

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