My Whistler


At Home Behind, in Front of the Camera
Introduction By David Burke

Maria Lundgren

Name: Mason Mashon
Occupation: Photographer, designer, pro mountain biker, TV show host

Keen observers of fashion design have a chance to enjoy an example of Mason Mashon’s creative work at — of all places — this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris. Partly due to his association with Olympic clothing designer Lululemon, the Canadian Olympic Committee chose one of his designs for the clothing to be worn by Canadian athletes at the Olympic Closing Ceremony.

By his own admission, Mashon’s family background is “complicated.” His father is a member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation, the second-largest Indigenous group in Alberta, while his mother grew up as a non-Indigenous Albertan.
His father, an engineer in the oil and gas industry, travelled a lot for work, and since Mason’s maternal grandfather was retired and living in Vernon, B.C., that’s where the couple chose to raise their family. Mason spent much of his upbringing outdoors near beautiful Kalamalka Lake. “That had a tremendous impact on who I was to become,” he said. “Having the chance to get out and explore in nature was a big part of being a kid there and I became connected to it.”

Mashon attended university in Victoria, B.C., studying geography and business, but the mountains were calling. An avid mountain biker and snowboarder, he began coming to Whistler for the summers and moved here full-time in 2008. He has worked as a professional biker in front of the camera, and his portfolio as an action sports and nature photographer has earned wide acclaim. In 2014-‘15, he served as one of the hosts of the TV series “underEXPOSED” filmed for the Aboriginal People’s Television Network (APTN), following his early career as a photographer as he connected with Indigenous groups.

Mashon said his Indigenous heritage informs “the fundamentals that underlie all that is the connected to the land and its spirit” in his work.
Now living in Whistler with partner Diane and their son Malone, Mason said he’s keen to share his passions as a father. “He’s lived some pretty cool experiences so far,” he said of two-year-old Malone.

All images courtesy Mason Mashon

Briefly tell us how one of your designs came to be chosen for the Canadian team’s 2024 Olympic Closing Ceremonies attire. What were you aiming to portray with the design?
I’ve been involved with Lululemon on several design levels in the past. From T-shirt graphics to product testing and development, I’ve always enjoyed the process of bringing ideas to realization. A few years back, I went on a design trip to Iceland to help the lead designers work on colour theory for a new line using photography to capture the inspiration. In a similar way for the Olympic outfit design considerations, they wanted to use colours and textures derived from Canadian landscapes, and my name was thrown into the mix. The designs are intended to be fun and colourful in a celebratory way, almost like a party shirt!

Now that you’re a father, what life lessons do you most want to impart to your son, Malone?
There are so many lessons that I’m excited to share with my son. The first ones we’re working on are to enjoy playing outside, and to project happiness onto one another. Biking [has] also been a big part of my life, and we’re having so much fun together going out and learning that right now.

One of four images chosen by Lululemon for design inspiration for the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games Canadian team clothing.

Why, after attending university, did you decide to move full-time to Whistler — Squamish-Lil’wat territory – in 2008?
I belong in the mountains. I connected with the area when I was a teenager and knew immediately after that first trip that I wanted to live in Whistler. It was mostly the biking that drew me in, but I’ve always loved snow sports as well. This territory has been an endless source of inspiration from both the landscapes and the people who have settled here. It’s truly a melting pot of so many different creative and athletic people.

Favourite part of living in Whistler?
The natural landscapes that surround it. Everywhere I look, I see beauty.

Favourite Whistler hangout(s)?
In the summer, I love being on the trails. And in the winter, my favourite spot is Brandywine.

Follow him on Instagram @mason_mashon