Crankworx Whistler

Deep In Summer

Photos Hailey Elise
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I didn't think I would make it through the wildcard selection process for Deep Summer 2023. I saw who I was up against and the talent pool was, unsurprisingly, deep. When they announced that I had taken the wild card spot in Crankworx’s photographer competition, I was elated and scared all at once. This left only two weeks to plan a slideshow that was to be shot in 72 hours. Having competed before as an athlete and as a photographer, I knew the 3 days were intense, at the whim of the weather, and didn't allow many hours of sleep.

I set to work immediately looking for a theme or a story. Deep Summer had partnered with theSquamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre (SLCC), collaborating on a creative brief to create awareness and/or have a creative land acknowledgment. I racked my brain for days on how to incorporate the brief in a meaningful way. 


The start of our journey.

After reaching out to Indigenous Women Outdoors and spending a whole day at the SLCC wandering through its powerful halls, Alison Pascal, the curator of the the centre, set the wheels in motion. She mentioned how UNCEDED, a recent exhibit by Logan Swayze, took flight when Logan began to explore what the word Unceded meant to him. Through this, I was able to examine what a land acknowledgment really means and internalize its words. The slideshow took on the direction of its own acknowledgment of the place that we are visiting: Whistler.

I hoped my show would showcase the people, their history, the rich indigenous culture, important landmarks to the Squamish and Lil'wat Nations, and something very special that occurs on this land: mountain biking. 


A few of the team members. As soon as the show was edited, tears started to fall. It blew my mind that my friends and the people I am surrounded by are such talented humans and riders.


Sandy Ward and Melissa Arnott are members of the Lil'wat and Ojibway Nations respectively and wearing t-shirts from Indigenous Women Outdoors, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping indigenous women connect with nature.


Dealing with the light is one of the hardest parts of Deep Summer. You have to adapt to the cards you're dealt. While blazing sun was one of the conditions, we were also met with clouds, stunning sunsets, and dreamy sunrises.


Even though the light was tricky at times, the dust was there for ambience.


A selfie that made it into the show.

Events like this one are hard but they are so amazing. It was a chance to use my camera to the point that I was turning down f-stops in my sleep. I also learned a lot about the indigenous people that have called Whistler home as a result of this project and for that, I am forever grateful.

Lastly, spending time with your friends in the woods, on bikes, and making art - it really doesn't get much better than that.

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+2 Pete Roggeman Peter Appleton

Great stuff Hailey. I can hear you talking to yourself while shooting in these photos. 



+2 Pete Roggeman Emma Le Rossignol

Thanks Deniz! Do you hear all the swear words too?


+2 Pete Roggeman Velocipedestrian

great to see inclusion of First nations!



Such an incredible part of the project. Spending time at the SLCC and really seeing a part of Whistler that I wasn't fully aware of. There are so many significant landmarks to the First Nations people of this place that we walk by everyday. I am very, very grateful to live where I do and that resources are available to learn.


+2 Deniz Merdano Pete Roggeman

You’re so talented Hailey! I’m forever impressed by your work.



EMMA! Thank you!!!!


+1 Peter Appleton

Deeper in summer:

How special is mountain biking?

Occupy Whistler!


+1 Pete Roggeman

"Lastly, spending time with your friends in the woods, on bikes, and making art - it really doesn't get much better than that" 


Epic shots, great work!



Thank you. It's damn good times to be with buddies in the forest.


+1 Pete Roggeman

Amazing Work Hailey! An Incredible creation in such a short time frame. BZ!

Though,that interior bus shot sums up why Kaz is my Spirit Animal...



He is mine too. The guy is incredible all around.


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