Volunteer Leo Yu (above) helped spread the word about this year's contest awards at the launch of the 10th annual photo contest on June 2. Since then we received more than 4,000 submissions from the 213 participants!
This weekend our panel of esteemed jurors will help select the "top 40" winning photos. They'll be looking for images that capture this year's contest theme - What I Value About My Community. They will also select winning photos in the categories of Best Portrait, Best Urban Landscape, Best Colour and Best Black & White.
We want to introduce you to this year's nine judges. Read on to find out about their art practices and life experiences...
Since the age of 12 Casey has always had a camera by his side. As a child he moved from town to town and always had an interest in photographing his new environments. Wanting to take a more serious approach to his passion, Casey attended college and took photography courses. With a Downtown Eastside Small Arts Grants through the Vancouver Foundation and Carnegie Community Centre, Casey produced five large landscape images. One of the photos from this project is currently on display in the lunch room at the Pender Health Clinic; nine more donated images are on display at the native health dental clinic. Recently, Casey's photographs were exhibited alongside works by other local artists as part of DTES SM'ARTS at Gallery Gachet.
Chris Cameron studied the sociology of media and has produced educational videos, worked as a staff newspaper photographer, and has published in most Vancouver newspapers, The Globe and Mail, and the New York Times. For twenty-five years he has been the official photographer for the Vancouver Jazz Festival. In the 1990s, he devoted his time to extensive documentary projects -- in Russia, Central Asia, and later, Cuba. He teaches and mentors in documentary photography, and photographs people both commercially and in support of change with various agencies and groups.
Haisla Collins is a Tsimshian/Celtic artist with a BFA in fine arts. Her work is about the interconnections between everything and everyone and what it means to be alive. Haisla sits on the board of the Eastside Culture Crawl Society and is Co-founder of Raven's Eye Artist Collective and Raven's Eye Studio (458 E Hastings, Vancouver). Currently she is the coordinator of the Aboriginal Artisan Program at the Carnegie Community Centre, director of the Raven's Eye Artist Collective Mentorship Program as well as artistic director of the blessed Kateri mural project. She is also a singer and harmonica player with acoustic blues and roots band "Haisla with Nasty, Brutish and Short". Check her website at www.haislacollins.ca or her community blog at www.thruravenseye.wordpress.com
Originally from Mexico City, Christine Delano is a graphic designer living in Vancouver. Since 2010 she has worked with Hope in Shadows to design the annual calendar. She is currently launching a business called Texture and Finery, inspired by the haute-couture tradition and providing custom designed, hand-crafted letterpess stationery and wedding invitations.
Lorinda is a mother, a Downtown Eastside resident and a Hope in Shadows board member. She is honoured to be a part of the process of selecting images that show the hope and beauty of her community.
I have been actively involved in art and cultural initiatives in my neighbourhood since 2001. My practice involves working with residents, artists, and local non-profit organizations. Together, we work to create and foster long-term sustainable projects that are accessible and valuable to low-income communities. I have contributed to the development of several ongoing community art projects which aim to support under-resourced and under-represented artists, including desmedia (downtown eastside media), The Oppenheimer Park Community Art Show, and Art Cart (an Oppenheimer/Gallery Gachet partnership). Surrounding this work, I have taken opportunities to organize community art forums and workshops, coordinate exhibitions, and produce my own independent collaborations and smaller curatorial projects.
Alexis Macdonald Seto
Alexis is an artist working on intercultural community projects in her neighbourhood of Renfrew Collingwood in East Vancouver. She is a children's art instructor and founding member of the Renfrew Collingwood Multicultural Artist Network. Alexis has a BFA from Emily Carr University with a major in photography. She creates photo-based assemblages from reclaimed objects, and has exhibited in numerous group shows. Alexis grew up surrounded by the creative influences of her Métis mother and her father, a family historian. Revealing the world through the power of a still photo has been a fascination of hers since childhood.
Hello. My english name is Herb Varley. My traditional name is Gwin ga'adihl amaa goot. I come from the Nuu-chah-nulth and Nisgaa Nations. I am 28 years old. This is the first time I have been an adjudicator for the Hope and Shadows calendar and it is an honour. I am co-president of the Downtown Eastside Neigbourhood council and also sit on the board of directors for the Urban Native Youth Association. For the past 12 years I have been a stage actor and have recently taken an interest in photography. Some of my other interests include, Jujutsu (martial arts), canoeing, rock climbing, basketball, and pretty much any kind of outdoor physical activity. I would like to thank all of the participants of this year's Hope and Shadows project, and the ones of the past, because without you there would be no calendar. Thank you for your time. Herb Varley
Andrew S. Wright
Andrew is a passionate conservation photographer and has published two photography books arguing for increased environmental stewardship in B.C. His book Emeralds at the Edge published in 2009 received positive reviews in the Globe and Mail. His current book Faltering Light proposes an end to trophy hunting of bears. He is a member of the international league of conservation photographers. He is also technical advisor to the SOS Marine Conservation Foundation and the Tides Canada Aquaculture Innovation Fund. Since 2008 he has played a lead technical role in the design of the Namgis land based FinFish aquaculture project. He is a contributor to the Great Bear Rainforest agreement and has travelled on numerous occasions to the region. He graduated from the University of Hull, England in 1990 with a PhD in Microwave Engineering. In 1995 co-founded Datum Telegraphic a company specializing in third generation wireless systems. Dr Wright has published numerous IEEE peer reviewed research papers and has been awarded and filled in excess of 50 patents.
Kay is the project coordinator for Megaphone Magazine, where she works with the magazine's homeless and low-income vendors. With a keen interest in non-profit and intercultural arts initiatives, Kay has been an active participant in the Downtown Eastside community. Her involvement includes working as a production coordinator for the Powell Street Festival, where she is a member of the advocacy committee, and facilitating Japanese crafts workshops at the Oppenheimer Park. Kay graduated with a BA from Simon Fraser University with a major in communications. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking.