MARK ZELINSKI: A Profile
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 turned to photography, and he graduated as the top student of the college in 1979, winning the Governor General's Medal and three scholarships for his work. His short 16mm film entitled "Movement In White", was purchased by both CBC and TVOntario. During the next two years, he would establish his strength as a professional location photographer.
Advertising, A/V & TV
By 1980, he was shooting for many advertising agencies and A/V production houses in Toronto. His early work can be seen in animated photography sequences in the National Film Board of Canada feature documentary, "Aurora...On Target.," and in a prize-winning film he shot for the Toronto General Hospital. In addition to shooting promotional stills for television commercials and stations (CHCH, CITY), he has designed and photographed several CD covers for the Solitudes music label, including the last two releases by Canadian pianist Hagood Hardy.
Pro Sports, Resorts & Annual Reports
Zelinski has photographed corporate annual reports for SunLife Assurance Company of Canada, the Ford Motor Company of Canada, Dofasco, The Canadian Red Cross, National Life and Petro Canada including shots of the Hibernia offshore drilling platform. Mark has worked with top Canadian designers, and directly with international firms such as Panasonic, Deloitte Touche and Oerlikon Aerospace. 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, the Molson Tennis Challenge and the Special Olympics. For three summers, he was the official photographer of the PGA Tour in Canada.
Mark has worked as a photographer and as an A/V producer for the Ministries of Correctional Services, Natural Resources, and Tourism & Recreation. 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. Margaret Thatcher (U.K.), Francois Mitterand (France), The Aga Kahn, and Bishop Desmond Tutu (S.Africa) are among his photographed subjects. Other government clients include Tourism Canada and the Ministry of Industry, Trade & Technology. In 1988, he shot the World Economic Summit.
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 of England, 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". The Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander officially launched the book and wrote the introduction. Mark has also continued to photograph Outward Bound Schools to create the new book"Outward Bound: The Inward Odyssey Volume 2", which includes a foreword by HRH Prince Andrew. This new book follows the evolution and expansion of Outward Bound into the year 2002. In 2004, Mark created the hockey book, “Dog Day In Hamilton: A Day In The Life Of The Hamilton Bulldogs”, for the farm team for the Montreal Canadiens.
2010 saw the publishing of four new books by Zelinski's From The Heart Publishing. "One Small Flame: Kurt Hahn's Vision of Education" is Mark's fifth book, the third in a series about experiential education. His Majesty King Constantine of Greece and Canada's own Justin Trudeau both contributed forewords for the book.
For thirty-five years Zelinski traveled across 70 countries to create the images for "UNTITLED" and "From The Field", his brilliant sixth and seventh books. In 2010 Mark Zelinski also launched his "Books That Heal" initiative, donating 7,000 of his books to charities for children worldwide.
In 2017 Zelinski created two brand new books: "Canada's Royal Garden" features Mark Zelinski's stunning photography of the sanctuary lands, events, people and famous garden areas of Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG), the biodiversity hotspot of Canada, and an internationally respected cultural, education, scientific and tourism organization. Mark's lifelong appreciation of The Niagara Escarpment UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve inspired him to create his ninth book "Heart Of Turtle Island: The Niagara Escarpment", bringing exquisite focus to the environmental treasures of the living Escarpment, and to the diverse Indigenous and settler communities that thrive along its rugged, curving path.
As a result of his art training, colour, composition, and light are Mark's forté. He enjoys serving a diverse clientele in his fifth decade as a professional photographer.