2008 Bridgestone Photo Contest To Highlight Community, Environment and Safety

Cegep de Matane Student Wins Grand Prize In The 2007 Bridgestone Photo Contest

Prize Presentation

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Cegep de Matane Student Wins Grand Prize In The 2007 Bridgestone Photo Contest
2007 Contest attracts record number of student entrants

Montreal (Quebec) March 20, 2008 - Have trouble imagining tires as a work of art? That certainly wasn’t the case for a record 269 students representing 12 schools from every province who displayed their artistic prowess in the sixth annual Bridgestone Photo Contest. An unprecedented 353 photographs were submitted for the 2007 contest, which requires students enrolled in commercial photography studies at a dozen pre-selected Canadian post-secondary schools to photograph a Bridgestone-brand tire in an artistic context that complements their photography skills.

A total bursary of $39,000 will be divided between the two national winners of the Contest and the top three photographers in each of the 12 competing schools.

After reviewing all of the submissions, a three-member jury composed of professionals in the photography field awarded this year’s Grand Prize to Martin Gros, a second-year student at Cégep de Matane in Matane, Quebec. The winning entry by Gros, a native of Île de la Réunion, depicted an individual in harmony with nature, jumping for joy with a Bridgestone tire around the waist, reminiscent of a hula-hoop.

Natalia Shaidenko, a Moscow native in her final year in the Dawson College (Montreal) photography program, was awarded Honourable Mention for her photograph of a field of Black-eyed Susans, with a Bridgestone tire serving as the black disk in the centre of the flower.  Shaidenko also entered the contest last year and earned second prize in the individual-school part of the competition.

Gros receives $3,500 for winning the Grand Prize, while Shaidenko earns $2,500 for her Honourable Mention award. The two major winners were presented with their awards during a ceremony at Dawson College on March 20. At this same ceremony, cheques were also presented to students from Cégep de Matane, Algonquin College and Dawson College as the top three winners from the 12 competing schools.

“Winning the award is a great surprise,” said Gros, who like last year’s Grand Prize winner is an Île de la Réunion student on an exchange program at Cégep de Matane. “It is going to give me even more motivation to continue. The prize will help me put aside some money to buy photography equipment. I had an idea when I first thought about entering the contest, but it was really too complex to be able to develop it. Then I went to the Bridgestone website and saw that the company is very environmentally conscious, so I decided to go with that and develop the idea of a person in a state of well being and harmony with nature.”

Shaidenko, who plans to pursue her studies at Concordia University or try to find work as a photographer in the Montreal area, said she first came up with the Bridgestone tire-in-a-sunflower idea last year, but waited until this year’s contest to advance the concept. “It is great that this is a winning photo,” she remarked. “I find it flattering and reassuring. And I give credit to my teachers, because I have great ones.”

The Bridgestone Photo Contest, inaugurated in 2002 by Bridgestone Firestone Canada Inc. (BFCA), to celebrate the creativity of Canadians enrolled in photography programs, evokes the same innovative spirit and passion for excellence that mirror one of the core values for Bridgestone: providing superior products with leading-edge technology. The student photographers combined their imagination with advancements in photographic equipment to produce works that are rooted in professionalism.

“As the Bridgestone Photo Contest continues to grow, with more students and more entries  every year, we are increasingly in awe of the creative, cutting-edge work being done by student photographers across the country,” said Jeremy Smith, Manager of Public Affairs for BFCA. “I’m sure most of us would agree that photographing a tire by itself is rather mundane. Taking something that may be considered mundane and elevating it to a work of art is quite a challenge, and it is one that our 269 contestants have met in remarkable fashion.” 

This year’s panel of judges, all from Vancouver, included Gerry Frechette, an automotive editor, writer and photographer who contributes to a number of prominent publications; Stuart McCall, a long-time professional photographer whose art work has graced websites, magazines and annual reports and who frequently exhibits his photo-based artwork in galleries; and Tony Whitney, a print journalist, TV show host and photographer for over 30 years and whose photography, including many cover shots, appears regularly in various media. 

About Bridgestone Firestone Canada Inc.:
Mississauga-based Bridgestone Firestone Canada Inc. (BFCA) is an affiliate of Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT). BFCA and Nashville, Tennessee-based BFNT are subsidiaries of Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc., whose parent company, Bridgestone Corporation, is the world's largest tire and rubber company. BFCA and BFNT develop, manufacture and market Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires. They are focused on wholesale and original equipment markets, supplying passenger, light truck, commercial vehicle, off-road, motorcycle, agricultural and other tires to their customers in Canada and the United States respectively.

Winning photos: The winning photo and photos of the official presentation can be viewed on the contest web site at www.bridgestonephoto.com. Media can obtain high-resolution photos by contacting William Samman.



William Samman
Torchia Communications
514 288-8290, ext. 213

Jeremy Smith

Manager Public Affairs, Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc.

615 937 1421 / 877 201 2373 media center



© 2012 Bridgestone Canada Inc.