The Governor General’s Medal
Upon completion of Art Fundamentals at Sheridan College, Mark Zelinski entered the Ontario College of Art in 1975 to study design, drawing, sculpture and watercolour painting. His interests quickly turned to photography and film, and he graduated as the top student of the college in 1979, winning the Governor General’s Medal and three scholarships for his work. As a result of his art training, colour, composition, and light are Mark’s forte.
Advertising, A/V, TV & CDs
Zelinski’s first independent short 16mm film entitled “Movement In White” (1979) was purchased by both CBC Television and TV Ontario. In the early 80’s he established his strength as a professional still photographer. His early work can be seen in animated photography sequences in the NFB of Canada feature documentary, “Aurora…On Target”(1980), and in a prize-winning film for the Toronto General Hospital (1980). By 1981, he was shooting for multiple advertising agencies and A/V production houses in Toronto. In addition to shooting promotional stills for Chetwynd Films, television commercials and stations (CHCH, CITYTV), he has photographed CD covers for the Solitudes music label, and award-winning Canadian artists including Jack De Keyzer, Jacob Moon and Hagood Hardy.
Pro Sports, Resorts & Annual Reports
Zelinski has photographed corporate annual reports for HATCH (2008 –2013), Dofasco (1998 – 2002), SunLife Assurance Company of Canada (1991), the Ford Motor Company of Canada (1985 – 1987), The Canadian Red Cross (1984), National Life (1987) and Petro Canada (2000) including shots of the Hibernia offshore drilling platform. Mark has worked with top Canadian designers, and with international firms such as Panasonic (1997-2000), Deloitte Touche (1981 – 1984) and Oerlikon Aerospace (1986 – 1988). His work for numerous Canadian, American and European tour operators has taken him on location from St. Lucia to Antarctica. He has shot promotional sports photography for the Toronto Blue Jays (1981), the Molson Tennis Challenge (1983), Special Olympics (1981 -1999), and was the official photographer of the PGA Tour in Canada (1979 – 1983).
Mark has worked as A/V producer and photographer for the Ministries of Correctional Services (1981 – 1985), Natural Resources (1978), Tourism & Recreation (1985 – 1989). From 1982 – 1988 he was the official photographer of visiting heads of state for the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs and The Premier of Ontario’s Office. President Jimmy Carter, Margaret Thatcher, Francois Mitterand, The Aga Kahn and Bishop Desmond Tutu are among his photographed subjects. Other government clients include Tourism Canada (1983 – 1985) and the Ministry of Industry, Trade & Technology (1982 – 1992). In 1988, he shot the World Economic Summit for MITT. His ongoing work for The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing includes the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) 2015 Conference in Niagara Falls.
Mark Zelinski’s lifelong appreciation of global Indigenous wisdom and cultures has led to work he describes as “photographic cultural anthropology”, working with Indigenous communities around the world. Mark’s calls his sixth book “UNTITLED” a “global family album”, a collection of cultural portraits of traditional peoples from 70 countries over 35 years. Notably, he has photographed Maasai (Kenya, Tanzania), Basotho (Lesotho), Kadazan (Sabah, Malaysia), Bedouin (Oman), Inca (Bolivia, Peru), Inuit (Nunavut), and he is an honourary member of a traditional Ashaninka community in the Amazonas region of Peru. In Ontario, Mark has worked as a photographer for “Rumble At The Falls”, Six Nations Polytechnic STEAM Academy, Mississaugas Of Scugog Island First Nation, Robbie Robertson Lifetime Achievement Award, Landscape Of Nations 360° and Woodland Cultural Centre, and photographed the 2017 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) for Two Row Times.
Book Publishing & The Royal Family
In 1987 Zelinski initiated a worldwide promotion of the Outward Bound organization. He photographed Outward Bound schools around the globe to produce a book of photography commemorating the first 50 years of Outward Bound. The book, entitled “Outward Bound: The Inward Odyssey”, was officially launched in Wales in 1991 by HRH Prince Philip who also wrote the book’s forward. In 1999 Zelinski created a new company, From The Heart Publishing, and created the book“Greater Hamilton: From The Heart” with an foreword by The Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander. HRH Prince Andrew foreworded Mark’s sequel “Outward Bound: The Inward Odyssey Volume 2” in 2002. In 2004, Mark shot and published the hockey book “Dog Day In Hamilton: A Day In The Life Of The Hamilton Bulldogs” with a foreword written by TVO’s Steve Paikin.
Books That Heal
In 2010 Mark Zelinski launched the “Books That Heal” initiative – donating 7,000 copies of three brand new books to more than 100 charities for children in Canada and across 25 countries. The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau and King Constantine of Greece contributed forewords for“One Small Flame: Kurt Hahn’s Vision of Education”, Mark’s fifth book, and the third in a series about experiential education. His sixth and seventh books “UNTITLED” and “From The Field” contain few words – “UNTITLED” has none – but feature the universal language of photography from his travels to 70 countries over 35 years. “Books That Heal” recipients include schools, orphanages and libraries in Haiti, Chile, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Togo, Uganda, Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Hong Kong, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia. Some books are destined for rescued victims of human trafficking, others as goodwill gifts for North Korean students. In Canada, books are being used to aid child abuse prevention, homeless youth, addiction counseling, literacy, crime prevention and as fundraisers by Red Cross, Free The Children, UNICEF, SOS Children’s Villages and more.
Tours, Lectures, Escarpment Books and Sites
Now in his fifth decade as a professional photographer, Zelinski enjoys serving a diverse corporate clientele (HATCH, New Horizon Group, Oakville Festivals Of Film & Art), leads international photography tours (Jordan and Israel in 2020), and has given more than 200 public and private lectures and keynote presentations at businesses, clubs, conferences and schools globally. In 2017 Mark published two new books; “Canada’s Royal Garden” features stunning photography of the sanctuary lands, events, people and famous garden areas of Royal Botanical Gardens, a National Historic Site: Zelinski’s ninth book “Heart Of Turtle Island: The Niagara Escarpment” includes a foreword by AFN Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day. The book brings exquisite focus to the environmental treasures of the Niagara Escarpment UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, and to the diverse Indigenous and settler communities that thrive along the rugged, curving path. In 2018, Zelinski created the visuals for “The Great Niagara Escarpment: Indigenous Cultural Map” for Plenty Canada, and was elected a fellow of Royal Canadian Geographical Society.
Fellow of Royal Canadian Geographic Society
Copyright Mark Zelinski Photographic Design 2019