New Westminster, British Columbia. Status Fitness Magazine will be in attendance fully supporting the sport of bodybuilding and fitness at the BC Cup. Each year many British Columbia Amateur Body Building Association athletes are featured in Status Fitness Magazine – online and in the print version that is seen on newsstands not only across Canada but also the USA. Be sure to watch for our detailed coverage of the BC Cup.
Leigh and Dean Brandt have been successfully promoting shows in British Columbia since 2009. Dean reflects, “In 2009 I ran the first bikini model class and had to bring in my own judges and run the event during intermission because the organization at the time didn’t recognize bikini as an official class. PVL owner Jim McMahon, Fitness Cover Model Annette Milbers and Rodney Jang, the Editor-in-Chief of Status Fitness Magazine, were my celebrity judges.” Dean likes to be on the cutting edge of what makes a show exciting and entertaining, yet convenient and comfortable for the competitors.
[Dean and Leigh welcoming the audience at a recent show.]
Top industry photographer and journalist David Ford recently caught up with Xtreme Promotions' Dean Brandt to talk about the upcoming Traditional (Natural Tested Stream) BC Cup - the provincial level show for this stream.
[Sample of David Ford's stage photography as well as solo shoots with elite models, competitors and UFC fighters.]
I met Dean and Leigh before they began promoting shows. In fact, I did one of Leigh's first photoshoots for publication and the result was a prestigious Status Fitness feature. I have seen Dean and Leigh's passion and drive to better the fitness industry and to provide quality opportunities for their clients and the industry as a whole. I will be photographing the BC Cup for the competitors and for a show review on Status Fitness and am looking forward to this event. I am excited to be select a most marketable competitor - male or female - from the show for my Rising Star prize package that consists of a photo shoot valued at $1000 as well as exposure opportunities with Status Fitness Magazine. It was great to sit down with Dean Brandt and discuss what all will be happening with the BC Cup this year.
DF: Dean, tell us about the upcoming BC Cup. This is your second year promoting the Traditional stream show. We know you have many exciting things planned. Please tell us a little about the show.
DB: Being in its second year, we are expecting growth with the number of competitors competing, sponsor’s and all those attending. We are excited to announce the guest appearance of the “Hall of Fame” Bodybuilder MIKE O’HEARN along with IFBB Figure Pro Mona Muresan and IFBB Pro Sharon Bruneau.
[Heidi Gawehns - Overall Women's Physique Winner]
DF: This show will continue to grow and with your energy and expertise it will undoubtedly be very exciting. Mike O’Hearn is an icon in the bodybuilding industry and his regular column in Status Fitness is always a highlight of the readers. Sharon Bruneau was one of my all time favorite bodybuilders. I'm excited to see her at your show. You always pull out all the stops. You have been promoting shows for the BCABBA since 2009 and each show is more entertaining and well run than the last. You are a National level physique competitor. Tell us a little about yourself and your lovely wife Leigh?
DB: Yes, we are both very passionate about the industry and sport and both of us continue to compete each year. Leigh of course was the first ever IFBB Bikini Pro card winner in Canada, and I’m still competing at the national level in master’s men’s physique. We live health and fitness 24-7 running our BodyByBrandt Personal Training Gym during the week.
DF: Your passion is evident and you both have a quite the extensive resume. How does your experience competing help you with promoting?
DB: Competing, working supplement company booths and also attending other shows as a Team Coach and Trainer has given both of us the insight from all areas - about what it takes to put on and run a successful show that everyone in attendance - as a sponsor, competitor or spectator - leaves feeling entertained, inspired and motivated in some way to also live a healthy active lifestyle.
DF: Natural shows have been growing in popularity over the past decade. It is great to see the BCABBA build a Traditional stream to prepare competitors for the higher level of competition at Nationals and Worlds. How do you view this addition - to the Open stream - and where do you see it going in the future?
DB: I think it’s great and long overdue! In the past, there was only ever one “tested” BCABBA show and then competitors had nowhere else to go to complete locally. As a coach, I was also hearing from natural clients that they felt pressure to compete in the open or “non-tested” stream. So when the idea was talked about to have a Traditional or “tested” BC Championship show, I was one of the first promoters to jump at the chance to host this prestigious event.
[Denean Arntson - Overall Figure Winner]
DF: The BCABBA uses WADA compliant testing for the Traditional Stream. This is Olympic level drug testing. This of course separates the BCABBA and CBBF from many other organizations. How important is it to you to be involved with an organization that has integrity to create the fairest platform possible for competitors?
DB: It means everything and is very important, as its gives great credibility to whole process of collecting of samples and the high standard of ethics behind the WADA organization.
DF: A lot of competitors simply look up a brand name or the common name on many ingredient lists and not always the chemical compound name when searching the WADA lists. This is very important information. Most common names will not necessarily be found on the WADA list, yet the chemical compound names may be. Propriatary blends can be the worst offenders as they are often very vague. Due diligence is vital especially knowing a number of competitors fail these tests every year. How important is it for competitors to educate themselves on what products are acceptable and not accepted under WADA rules and lists?
DB: It’s very important for every natural athlete competing in these “tested” shows to familiarize themselves with the WADA rules and regulations and do their due diligence in knowing what’s in all their supplements for example that there using, just like they do with looking at all the foods and the ingredients they consume to prepare their bodies for these competitions. Never assume your coach/trainer, training partner or another competitor at your local gym knows about the current WADA rules for the show you are competing in. Visit the WADA website and BCABBA website to get the correct info.
DF: What can the audience expect to see at the BC Cup this year?
DB: This year we are extremely excited to have the Legend “MIKE OHEARN” as our guest poser. We are excited to announce IFBB Pro Sharon Bruneau and Steely Springham will be our Masters of Ceremony.
[Kade Vilio - Overall Men's Physique Winner]
DF: Fitness icon Mike O’Hearn and his lovely lady Mona will be visiting for the weekend. What exciting activities can we expect?
DB: We have set-up another “Train With the Pro’s Charity Event” on the Sunday following the show at Body by Brandt Gym, 1100 Lansdowne Drive, Coquitlam. This is once again in support of our FITNESS4CANCER FUND and Erin Danielles, the local Figure competitor who is currently going through chemo treatments + after a double mastectomy. Mike O’Hearn, Mona along with 20+ other local IFBB Pros will once again be attending in support. We welcome everyone out to participate and support this local cause.
DF: Status Fitness will be providing an exclusive show review at this year’s show and in it, will feature many competitors. This is something that has been lacking in the industry for several years. What does it mean to have the full support of publications behind the scenes supporting your hard work?
DB: It is great and much appreciated by the promoters and athletes as it gives great exposure to these people competing with their personal stories and remarkable body transformation. This in turn inspires future fitness competitors and help bring even more much needed exposure to the sport.
DF: I am looking forward to photographing your show Dean and awarding one lucky competitor my award that I have been giving out since 2004. What does it mean to have my “Rising Star” award at your BC Cup show?
DB: David, you are a true icon in the industry and your award can help launch athlete’s careers in the fitness industry. I have seen this first hand with many past competitors from the show’s we have promoted. They have been featured by you and then gone on to land supplement sponsorships, jobs, and even magazine covers.
[Taylor Musseau - Overall Bikini Winner]
DF: The BC Cup is on May 20, 2017. The event will be held at the popular Massey Theatre in New Westminster. Where can people pick up tickets to the BC Cup?
DB: People can pick-up tickets 2 different ways. 1) from the promoters website at www.xtremepromotions.org as we offer discounts for family & friends of people competing in the event or 2) the Box Office Website at www.ticketsnw.ca
DF: Volunteers play a huge part in the success of a show. Who would you like to especially thank for helping you out at this event?
DB: Yes they do! And without the amazing BCABBA Volunteers & Our personal friends & training clients that help out at all our shows.
DF: Anything more you would like to include Dean?
DB: I encourage everyone to attend one of these shows, even if you don’t know someone competing or if you’re even just thinking about getting into fitness because seeing these athletes and what they can accomplish with their bodies through proper nutrition and exercise can be very motivating & inspiring.
Xtreme Promotions is known across the country for putting on exciting & well-organized events. Leigh Brandt is Canada’s first IFBB Pro Bikini competitor and has been competing in the IFBB Pro League since 2011. Dean Brandt is a national level physique competitor who has successfully finished in the top 3 at the CBBF Nationals for the past 3 years. This husband and wife team continue to be active competitors, trainers & while successfully promoting shows and coaching large team’s of clients for amateur BCABBA shows around the province.
If you would like to know more about this show or others promoted by Xtreme Promotions, be sure to visit the website: www.xtremepromotions.org
Special thank you to David Aboody of TwixPix for supplying the competition stage photos from the 2016 BC Cup.