Category Archives: Celebrity

HEROES

As we all know, the Vancouver 2010 Winter Paralympics has begun, and I know we were all still basking in the afterglow of Olympic pandemonium that seemed to have abruptly ended a few weeks ago, but now we have been granted a second chance to reignite the passionate spark that united this country once before and relive the joy and celebration surrounding the momentous achievements of our athletes.

In regards to the upcoming participating athletes, I am simply in awe of them, not only because they overcame tremendous feats of strength and dedication to qualify for such a competitive event, but I respect them even more because they had to overcome more than the average able bodied person in their personal lives, which is inspiring even in itself. Personally speaking, I believe ALL athletes are from a different breed of people; the grace, humility and perseverance they eject is an aura so rarely felt between our everyday interactions. It makes me wonder why isn’t everyone like this?  I believe that that we can not only learn, but grow by watching these athletes compete.

Appropriately, I will be cheering for our Canadian athletes, however in regards to the entire event, in my eyes they are already HEROES.


A bronze medalist in the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, Garth Harris was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 9 months of age. Garth received therapy services from the BC Centre for Ability until he was 14 years old. As apart of his therapy Garth was introduced to swimming where he discovered and enjoyed the stabilizing effect the water had on his muscles. Soon Garth aspired to become a competitive swimmer.


International Paralympic Committee president, Sir Phillip Craven,  is a five-time Paralympian. He is s one of the key influences in having the Opening ceremonies broadcasted live by CTV last night.  Tamara Tagart’s facebook profile last night was “Watching the Paralympic Opening Ceremony, bawling my eyes out as the torch comes into the building.” Cheers to Sir Phillip Craven, and let’s give a hand to BCTV for being the first to show Paralympic Opening Ceremonies on TV. I heard it was inspirational/magical/moving. I only got to see the beginning as my daughter and i had to meet up with family at Surrey Memorial Hospital to visit my 74 year old father, Deo Cruz[senior] as he is recovering from a broken right femur and right humerus. A few days ago at the mall he lost his balance while standing on crutches in an escalator. He chose to to fall backward to avoid landing on people in front of him. We’re waiting for one more surgery for his arm. He’s going to be fine. Dad is one of the toughest people i know. He is by far one of my biggest heroes. I’d love to watch last night’s ceromonies with him.


Lauren Barwick is a gifted rider who would have established a future in the sport at a very early age but with two siblings who have disabilities, horseback riding was not an affordable sport in her single-parent family. After many years out of the sport, Lauren eventually found her way back to her passion and obtained a job training horses for the local movie industry.  Lauren was invigorated by her new role but a fall off of a horse would change many things in her life.  The accident left her paralyzed from the hips down. Lauren was hospitalized and underwent therapy for nine months. As her condition stabilized she started to reclaim her life and found a job teaching horseback riding to children. Despite being close to horses on a daily basis, Lauren had almost given up on riding again. Through the encouragement of her coworkers, she gained the courage to get on a horse. This simple act of bravery changed Lauren’s life. She learned how to ride horses again and soon became a competitive rider. After winning many equestrian competitions, she represented Canada in Beijing to bring home a silver and gold medal.

And our Canadian hopeful for Canada’s Downhill Events in Whistler this month….Karolina Wisniewska! Here is her Schedule so I hope everyone has a chance to take some time to watch an amazing woman do what she does best!

2010 Paralympic Winter Games
March 13: Downhill
March 14: Super-G
March 16: Super Combined
March 18: Giant Slalom
March 20: Slalom

follow her story through Karolina’s official website here

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Filed under 1, Celebrity, Events, Heroes, Photography by Jonathan Cruz, Sports

PIN YOUR HOPES: Prince Albert II of Monaco for Peace and Sport

   

One of the fun fan passions at any Olympics is collecting pins. You can spot the collectors on the streets here in Gastown and around Vancouver because their lapels or sleeves are aglitter with pins from competing nations, exhibits, sponsors, etc. Each pin is a special memory or, if you traded for it with someone you just met on the street or at a venue, a new friend.   Still, not all pins are created equal.  When HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco pinned Yang Zho Cho at a party at Bob Rennie’s new gallery in Chinatown,
the Prince also was welcoming Mr. Cho as an official ambassador for the Peace and Sport Foundation
 Prince Albert is Peace and Sports High Patron. For those who just tuned in, he is the son of the late Prince Ranier and Princess Grace, a.k.a. movie mega-star Grace Kelly. 

Mr. Cho, the chairman of Hanjin Group and Korean Air, also is chairman of the Korea Table Tennis Association and active in the sport internationally. 
He is the tenth ambassador of Peace and Sport, the first from Asia.    Joel Bouzou, president of Peace and Sport and a former Olympic medalist and modern pentathlon world champion, was here for the event. So too was Canada’s Charmaine Crooks, among many other current and past Olympians. Bob Rennie’s stunning $10-million space is the Athletes Reunion Centre for these Winter Games and champions past and present have been dropping by. 
   Peace and Sport, launched in 2007, sponsors programs in the third world that increase access to sport for young people. Not professional sport or top-tier competition such as the Olympics ‹ just kids having fun at the community level, breaking down barriers while learning about mutual respect and fair play.   
  Someone should give them a medal. Or a pin at least.

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Shani Davis, Gold Medalist Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games

American Shani Davis, Gold medalist in Men’s Speed Skating  here at Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games showed up
at Bob Rennie’s Art Gallery at the historic Wing Sang building in Chinatown.
This incredible venue is the location for the Olympians Reunion Centre throughout the winter games.

Shani Davis was born on Friday, August 13, 1982, in Chicago, Illinois. Raised by his mother on the city’s south side, he started roller-skating at local rinks at age two. By age three Shani was darting around the roller rink so fast that skate guards would chase him just to ask him to slow down. Seeming to become bored with roller-skating, at age six a coach suggested that Shani switch to ice skating. Shortly thereafter, his mother started working for an attorney, Fred Benjamin, whose son happened to be involved in speed skating at an elite level. It was at that time that Benjamin suggested that Shani give speed skating a try.

Shani joined the Evanston Speedskating Club at age six and within two months started competing locally. Though immediately taking to ice, at competitions Shani was generally more interested in running around with his competitors and playing video games than he was with competing. Nevertheless, by age 8 he was winning regional age-group competitions and began to hear about the Olympic ideal from his Northbrook competitors and friends. Shani’s mother encouraged him to participate and, in an effort to build his endurance, woke him most mornings to run a mile on a track close to their home. As there were — and still are — no speed skating clubs in inner city Chicago, at age 10 Shani and his mother moved to the far north side of the city to be closer to the Evanston rink.

“My mom never thought of herself first, and I credit most of my success to her. She continues to manage my career and is always there for me.”

Shani  with 5 time Olympian Charmaine Crooks

Shani’s press attaché Nathaniel Mills, has competed as a speed skater in three Olympic Games, serving as Team Captain of the 1998 Olympic Team in Nagano, Japan.
He served as a delegate to the International Olympic Academy in Greece and co-founded the Olympism Project to educate about the philosophy of Olympism. He commented on these photos saying,
” These are stunning photographs…possibly the best i’ve ever seen of Shani…”.

Congrats Shani!

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Filed under 1, Celebrity, Photography by Jonathan Cruz, Sports

Rodney Graham Through the Forest

As the buzz begins to grow, famed Canadian artist Rodney Graham prepares to present his work at the prestigious Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona later this month.

Starting out in Vancouver in the 1970s, among one of his earliest works was Camera Obscura (1979; destroyed 1981) a site-specific work that consisted of a shed-sized optical device on his family’s farm field near Abbotsford. Entering the shed, the observer was confronted with an inverted image of a solitary tree. Both prior to this and throughout the 1980s and 90s, Graham employed the technique of the camera obscura in his work.

During the crazy snowstorm of ’08, we had the pleasure of shooting the artist in his home here in Vancouver. We were asked by Tony Millares III of Urthwurks to come by Graham’s home to photograph a book shelf he had designed for the artist and ended up capturing a few candid snaps.

 

An outstanding element of Graham’s upcoming exhibition – Through the Forest – is a major compilation of books and sculptures, installations and machines based on books of Graham’s that come from a peculiar library that shows his interpolations, appendices, bookmarks, reading and exhibition devices in the style of Judd, among other pieces. The exhibition also includes the series of 21 pictures Picasso, My Master (2005), his first incursion into painting, which reconstructs the aura of mastery that surrounds Picasso’s work with a touch of humour.

Through the Forest runs from January 30th through May 18th. If you happen to be in Barcelona over the coming months, be sure to swing by.

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The countdown is on

With less than 7 weeks to go, Vancouver is putting the finishing touches on the city to ensure a spectacular arrival for our international and home-grown guests alike. The Olympic vibe is the air folks, so we thought we’d get in the spirit and share a few Olympic-esque snaps with ya’ll.

By the way, anyone have any hook ups for the Molson Canadian Hockey House? Looks like it’s going to be one hell of a party. Check this.

O’Canada

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Kimiko Zakreski Makes Sportsnet Top 10 Hottest

Sportsnet – Canada’s leader in high definition live-events – launched a campaign, encouraging viewers to logon to their website to cast their votes for Canada’s Hottest Athletes.

Hailing from Calgary, Canadian snowboarder Kimiko Zakreski is ranked 9th in the list, however she’s #1 in our books! We had the pleasure of shooting Kimi this past summer and really enjoyed getting to know the girl behind the strong, athletic persona.

Kimi won her first career World Cup medal (silver) in December, 2008 and was ranked 18th in the parallel giant slalom at the 2009 World Championships. She’s ranked 16th overall in the 2008-09 World Cup alpine snowboard standings. All this and beauty to match!

Watch for Kimi competing for Canada on home turf during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games.

Check out Kimi’s gallery (featuring snaps provided by us!) on Sportsnet.ca.

 

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The many faces of Sarah Smyth

Over the summer, we partnered with the talented Sarah Smyth, a Vancouver-based actress who has appeared on shows like Smallville and Harper’s Island. The concept was to coordinate a series of creative shoots, demonstrating how multi-faceted and multi-dimensional Sarah can be.

Check out Sarah’s YouTube channel here: www.youtube.com/TheSarahSmyth

Several different looks and many characters later, Sarah uses her acting chops to work it for the camera going from a rock star and 1950’s pinup to the girl next door and – wait for it…a bearded man.

Check out some of the snaps from the shoot below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 


 

 

 

 

Credits: Make up by the fabulous Maria Rahmany, Costumes by Sara Rakhshandeh,Hair Design by Trish Aye,  Hair Design by Cara Doell. Photography by Jonathan Cruz , Assistant/Video: Dan Ax, Mathias Zetzsche, crew: Annalissa & Katie

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