Phil Hossack’s been around the block more than once in this business.
Despite his father’s concerns about an art degree not sustaining a meaningful profession, Phil graduated from Ryerson University with a bachelor’s degree in Photographic Art. A couple of years later, he was convinced to join the team at the Brandon Sun where he honed his skills in photojournalism. Phil’s never looked back.
Joining the Winnipeg Free Press in 1983, he’s won a mess of recognition locally, nationally and internationally. His images, featuring events and personalities from his home province of Manitoba as well as international events, grace pages of newspapers and magazines worldwide.
In the fall of 1993, 10 years after joining the Free Press, Phil found himself in Moscow between Boris Yeltsin’s troops and rebel forces bent on reconstructing the Iron Curtain. It was supposed to be a holiday indulging his personal interest in Russia and its people.
His images of the last coup attempt in the former Soviet Empire won recognition from the World Press Organization. His winning image — a babushka with rebellion on her mind facing Red Army tanks as she carried a riot shield (dropped by fleeing police) to rebel forces holed up inside the Russian Parliament — earned the World Press Organization’s award of excellence.
One of Phil’s National Newspaper Award nominations is of lightning striking by an old grain elevator close to his home near Sanford.
Another NNA nomination came out of an expedition to Nicaragua documenting work done by a team of Winnipeg orthopedic surgeons, nurses and support staff. Spending a couple of weeks in Managua, Phil produced Walk of Life, complete with videos, audio, still photos and stories, garnering the NNA nomination as well as awards from the News Photographers Association of Canada (NPAC).
A bit of a night owl, Phil figures the evening shifts at a newspaper are where the action is and haunts the city streets, arenas and concert halls in the dark hours. He’s worked nights for pretty much his entire career at the Free Press.
A naturalist, Phil enjoys a country lifestyle with his partner Tesia, drawing inspiration from his own history growing up and working in rural Manitoba (Killarney). His daughter Kathlyn is finishing a sports therapy degree at the University of Winnipeg. She’s a competitive rider and trains both riders and horses.
Lifestyle and wilderness tripping in his kayak keep Phil’s creative juices flowing. A leave of absence in 1998 to paddle the Arctic Ocean with the late Victoria Jason, a trip on which the Ukrainian grandmother from Transcona re-introduced kayaks to the Inuit led to more images and stories. Did we mention he is nationally certified as a sea kayak instructor and teaches and guides in his few spare hours?
After more than 35 years as a photojournalist in this province, Phil isn’t showing signs of hanging up his cameras just yet. His passion for the art of photojournalism still takes him places.
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