Vistek is a solutions-oriented Canadian photo retailer that serves the professional, prosumer and consumer photographic markets. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Vistek currently operates in Canada through five retail stores and an online store. Vistek Ltd. is a privately held company.
Vistek (derived from the company's slogan, "The Visual Technology Experts") began its operations in 1976 as a studio rental and strobe lighting consulting business operated by Toronto commercial photographer Ron Silverstein out of his photography studio as a supplement to his existing Commercial Photography Business.
In the late 1970's, Silverstein began to realize there was a need for a Canadian photographic retailer that could offer professional level photographic equipment to photographers and opened Vistek's first retail storefront located at 100 Queen Street East in downtown Toronto.
The original Queen Street storefront continued to sell and rent lighting gear, but also featured a large-format camera department as well as becoming a dealer for medium-format products. As other professional oriented consumables (products) from manufacturers such as Nikon and Canon began to be offered to customers, Vistek expanded its operations by taking over the adjacent retail space.
In 1990, with retail operations continuing to grow, Vistek moved its Toronto store and corporate headquarters to its current address in the historical Dominion Brewery building located at 496 Queen Street East in what is known as the "Corktown" area of Toronto.
In 2013, Vistek brought in acclaimed portrait photographer Greg Gorman to lecture at the University of Toronto's Hart House. In April 2014, Vistek continued this series with a lecture from Gregory Heisler, who discussed his career at the White House, celebrity and sports photography.
Engagement within the Canadian Imaging Community
Vistek has been and continues to be involved in supporting the imaging community across Canada by providing sponsorship, awards and hosting lectures and industry related events.
Vistek serves Canadian professional photographers, multimedia companies, small businesses, government organizations and national institutions, as well as individuals purchasing prosumer and amateur cameras, equipment and supplies.
Vistek currently operates five retail stores as well as an online store. Three of the retail locations are in Ontario and two are in Alberta. A third Alberta store located in the Willow Park area of Calgary was permanently closed in September of 2015.
- Alberta locations:
In 2010, Vistek began an annual trade show called ProFusion. Initially focused around professional video, the inaugural ProFusion show was held at the Toronto Congress Centre and included appearances by a variety of pro video brands. At the event, Canon unveiled their XF305 and XF300 pro camcorders at the show, and Panasonic revealed their AG-3DA1 Integraded Twin-lens 3D Camera Recorder. The first ProFusion also included numerous seminars and presentations by film makers, cinematographers and other professionals including Philip Bloom (filmmaker).
2011 - 2013
In 2011, ProFusion incorporated still photography equipment into its promotion, based on the idea that photo and video were converging in much of the newest equipment. Companies attending included Nikon, Fujifilm and Sony. The still photography combined with the professional video resulted in a more diverse presentation of equipment.
In March 2014, Vistek announced that the 2014 ProFusion Expo would be moved from its traditional, June date to October 15-16th and be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Documentaries, videos and podcasts