Overall you could say 2013 was a tumultuous year for BMX. The industry has had its ups and downs, brands seemed to be have had harder time than ever, pros had (and have) a difficult time to just get by, scooters seemed to be everywhere, and there’s so much of the exact same stuff being regurgitated in the realm of media. With all that said, scenes and BMX communities in places throughout Canada are still thriving. Riders are still out in the parks, in the streets, and people are still digging to keep their trails alive. Riders are banding together to produce DVDs, edits, and mixtapes that represent their scene and friends that are uniquely their own . People are taking more pride in their immediate realm of BMX, where they live, and who they ride with, which is an amazing thing that hasn’t faded (i.e. World Deece, DWOK, BMXFU, Presence, Business, Imported, Da Peg Show, Repset, Curb Wizard, ICC, Ant Life, etc.). Riders are still traveling, putting on jams, attending contests (where there are any), filming, taking photos, and more. When these core things of what makes BMX so strong start to erode it may be time to worry, but for now I think BMX in Canada is still stronger than ever and we feel its our duty and privilege to share that with our audience.
2013 for us was a great year. We added some new contributors to the site, and while our readers and viewers have grown we have shared more of the best of Canadian BMX with you. Similarly our readers, fans, and friends have supported us more than ever this year and sent us plenty of videos, photos, and content. You have purchased the limited products we do make that help make running this site and the projects we do possible. We’ve put on more online contests with our sponsors for some great prizes (both big and small) and you guys have entered and responded in a huge way. We truly thank all the readers that have visited our little corner of the internet in the last year, and make the hard work that we put in to this site worthwhile.
Traditionally we have compiled a list of the top 10 most popular features/videos that we’ve brought you in the previous year, based on our web analytics and statistics of how many views something has gotten. This year we’ve decided to go a different route and bring you a review of all the great exclusive features that we’ve worked on and shared in the last year from us and the editors and filmers that are involved with Northern Embassy. Take a look below where we track the last year on Northern Embassy from last January to December, and we look forward to doing even more in 2014.
One of the first features we had in 2013 was an interview with Brodie Gwilliam about his full length Saskatchewan BMX DVD project Let’s Get’s Fistical last January. We asked him all about the project right before it was released.
Aaron Gates then posted up this video of some of the original No Bikes crew skating (yes, skating) a small indoor mini ramp while everyone was in Kelowna on Boxing Day.
Right off the heels of that, Aaron conducted an interview with Chris Nichols about the now classic St. John’s, NL DVD Hiatus. They discussed what went in to the video (which was very innovative for the time, riding and production wise) and all about what continues to make the Newfoundland scene so strong.
Then we reported that Chris Silva was putting an end to Sour Fever, his small clothing brand that was responsible for showcasing some great riders, producing web edits, and a solid DVD.
Then a Hevil video premiere actually happened in Vancouver, and Aaron Gates and Matt Ridgeway interviewed Chris Smith where he explained what the hell Hevil is and shared some PG stories.
Winnipeg’s Matt Perrin then hooked us up with this edit of him from the previous year’s footage.
We released some patches (now sold out) we made to make your denim jacket look tougher.
Remember our Embajada En Barcelona DVD we put out in 2012? We released this mix edit of footage from a ton of our crew online in February.
Brad Hill shared with us an Austin, TX photo journal from a trip he, Jordan Krupa, and Chris Cadot had taken that winter.
Then I (Prashant) threw together this edit of a bunch of random footage I collected of friends all over the country in 2012.
Our Barcelona DVD sections kept rolling out and we posted this ‘Cribs’ style tour of our plush apartment hosted by Greg Flag.
Then we posted what was everyone’s favourite remix section from Embajada En Barcelona with Greg Flag.
Issue 3 of Union Press got the digital treatment.
We dropped this Jordan Kurpa edit filmed by Charlie Crumlish and edited by Brad Hill.
Jeremy posted this old video from the classic La Revolution contest and wrote an accompanying editorial about it.
We posted this powerful documentary about Winnipeg flatland pioneer Billy Borys by Terry Proveda.
Surrey Steve sent us this photo of the maddest dude, Andy Roode, on vacation in California.
We went to Joyride with Chris Silva and he produced this 5 clip edit in record time.
Brad Hill is always a regular contributor and sent us a few photos from a trip to Ohio.
Then I dug up this photo of Luke Shoetucci.
We brought you photo coverage of Victoria’s Gorilla Jam by Dave Scott.
Terry Proveda let us once again debut his BMX documentary about Winnipeg’s Secret Skatepark.
We went down to St. Chatherine’s to get a tattoo and do an interview with Lee Dennis.
By the spring Chijioke Okafo was back riding after recovering from an ACL surgery. He teamed up with Chris Silva to film this ‘welcome back’ edit of sorts and we did an interview with him about injuries, recorvery, and more.
Then we posted this untouched photo of Mitch Anderson from the Let’s Get Fistical DVD.
We launched our Embassy X Etnies 5 Clip Contest, and to start it out we posted this 5 clip edit with Luke Santucci.
I dug up this old photo of Jeff Bedard at this time.
Dillon Lloyd had a layover in Vancouver while traveling to China and despite a brutal hangover, he hooked up with Jeremy and film this quick edit. Oh yah, we also reminded people that Jay Miron is still out there doing whatever he wants to do, whenever he wants to do it and he took a couple rips around the park on a borrowed bike in this video.
Summer was in full bloom and we released these hats we made in partnership with Quintin, and they sold out in a week.
We announced all the entries to our Etnies 5 Clip video contest, and then released all the finalists. Despite some serious competition in the top 5, we all agreed that this edit of Carl Arnett by Riley McMaster couldn’t be topped and was everything we could have wanted in a 5 clip edit.
In June we launched our first iPhoneography feature and with the Instagram addict Jason Enns. Jason shared with us 12 photos he had on his phone that he shot in the last 6 months from his home in California.
Later than month we brought Riley McMaster on board as a regular contributor to the site. His first feature was a great pool riding video, with a story and photo by Matt Desson. Check out the full Green Acres Pool Party feature again.
Aaron shared a few photos of a BMX and baseball weekend that he deemed the “Sandlot“.
We did a 5 On 5 feature with video maker Justin Soule about his favourite 5 video parts.
Riley posted this freaky deeky video of cellphone footage called No Tape Necessary.
Speaking of freaky deeky, things get weird at the St. Catharine’s Bridgespot.
Things were still popping off at the end of July when we dropped this Matt Desson interview.
We shared some photos from Trevor Oleniuk’s North American van odyssey where he drove around the continent living in his converted van while riding flatland and taking in the sites.
One of the things we released this summer that I was most excited about was our collaborative Pivotal seat with MacNeil Bikes. We released two different colours of our Fat Cap seats and they sold out FAST! Jeremy put together this promo video to give people a closer look at them.
August continued to roll by and Isaac Barnes sent us this photo of Jaumell Campbell to remind everyone that he still has pop.
Jeremy put together this Summer mix of footage he filmed all over Vancouver after he had made the move east to (north of ) Toronto with Dillon Lloyd, Jeff Evans, Albert Krolikowski, Dave Laliberte, Mike King, Corey Dewey, Jason Teet, ‘Skinny’ Jeff Bedard, Jordan Hango, and more.
Aaron put together his annual No Bikes Oregon trip and the first bit of coverage came from that in the form of a photo set by Jason Vawter
Matt Perrin rode a Greyhound bus from Winnipeg to Montreal and shared with us his favourite things of both cities and what he loves and hates about traveling by bus.
Issac Barnes sent us another great photo, this time of Edmonton BMX legend Trucker Dan, and wrote a little about what kept Dan off his bike for a few years and how and why he’s back.
We launched the second instalment of No Bikes Oregon trip coverage we posted an iPhoneography gallery from Caleb Ruecker.
September rolled in and everyone felt the days of summer coming to a close soon. Mike Cardin spent some time in Toronto with us, and we asked him how to simply make our iPhone photos look as good as his. Things got pretty nerdy as he shared some iPhone apps and tips for photo editing.
The DWOK mixtape is still not be out yet, but we brought you this exclusive Mason Gray edit from their crew that just makes you feel good when you watch it.
We dropped an interview with Alberta’s John Alden and Andrew Schubert.
The third bit of coverage from the Oregon trip came with a video and photogallery by Tony Archibeque Jr.
Riley’s video surfaced of his manual across America.
Hawthorne continued to send us more photos from his vault, including this one of John Heaton.
Kyle Smay sent us the trailer for his newest video from Oshawa: Smay Vision 4.
I was really psyched about this one that Aaron did. He interviewed skateboarder and film maker Mike McKinlay about his series of short BMX films he made with Travis Collier.
Then we added BC’s Zach Rampen as a contributor to the Embassy team and he started off with this great 5 clip edit from Nigel Sapriken.
By November the weather started to get colder so we released and sold these Embassy toques, along with new stickers and button packs.
Riley put together a new one, featuring our 5 clip contest winner Carl Arnett with this wild video of hops, drops, and flops.
Then I shared some old school photos by Frank Krul from the 80’s in Ottawa of backyard pool riding and driveway flatland sessions.
By the end of October we brought you this awesome split edit with Chijoke Okafo and Chris Cadot.
In the fourth and final piece of coverage from the Oregon trip Aaron wrote about the history of Airspeed Skateparks in the Oregon area.
We talked about tabletops with James Van De Kamp.
Then, without warning, Jeremy Deme released this 9:00 promo to let everyone know that he’s working on a new Presence DVD.
We put out another iPhoneography feature, this time with Greg Henry.
Riley dropped another new video in the middle of November, this time with the three members of Vancouver’s BMX house at 450 Salsbury with Jason Teet, Jordan Hango, and Carl Arnett.
We ran an Instagram contest with Timebomb Trading and Etnies shoes to give away a complete bike.
Matt Perrin hooked up this split edit of Winnipeg’s Shawn Franz and Colin Thiesen.
Then Jared Chilko presented this creative pegless edit from Edmonton of Colton Ponto.
In December Zach released this 10 clip edit of Amos Franke at the Burrard DIY bridge spot in Vancouver.
Soon after Zach also released this edit of snowbird Andrew Lazaruk.
We put up a photography feature and interview with Shawn Duffield.
Before the year was over Riley dropped an edit of his own riding with a scary manual at the end.
We announced the release of the fourth and final issue of Union Press newspaper.
And right as the year ended we released this interview Aaron did with Joe Prisel about the Burlington Bike Park.
So that’s our year in review for features and exclusives we brought you in 2013. It was a great year for us, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of our audience, fans, friends, and advertisers. Here’s to an even better year ahead!