In March last year, the Town of Qualicum Beach invited photographers of all ages and abilities to enter the ‘Our Town Photo Contest’, to be held over the course of the year. The competition was open to residents and visitors alike to help showcase the best of Qualicum Beach.
The competition was the brainchild of Illana Hester, executive director of The Old School House (TOSH) Arts Centre, who had reached out to the town and offered exhibition space in order to help celebrate and highlight the creativity within the town.
The town was thrilled with the response, receiving more than 200 entries from all ages and skill levels.
The competition was judged by a local panel of four, including local photographic artist in residence at TOSH, Don Emerson; Qualicum First Nation artist Jesse Recalma; Mayor Brian Wiese; and town deputy corporate administrator, Weslie Gould. The judges went through three rounds of deliberations, basing their decision on adherence/appropriateness to theme, impact, composition, technical quality, the ‘story it tells’ and creativity. The People’s Choice Award was chosen through public forum.
The competition asked entrants to focus on five different categories, with winners announced on Jan. 12 during a virtual opening of the TOSH exhibition:
• Winner – Angie Ooms for the photo A Tribute to Another Time
• Runner Up – Larry MacDougall for the photo Waiting for the Next Dive
• Winner – David Cotton for the photo After the Rains
• Runner Up – Jo-Anne Monahan for the photo Qualicum Sunset
• Winner – Bill Majercsik for the photo Vying for Top Honours
• Runner Up – Kevin Wheeler for the photo Salmon Breaching
• Runner Up – Juliette Sottiaux for the photo Memorial Fall
• Winner – David Cotton for the photo Snow Along the Boardwalk
• Runner Up – Angie Ooms for the photo Springtime
• Winner – Angie Ooms for the photo Outdoor Dining
The winners for each category won a $100 gift card and runners-up won a $50 gift card to a local business, with both recieving a framed copy of their image and to have their work exhibited at TOSH from Jan. 11 to Feb. 26, 2022.
The People’s Choice photo will be hung in the mayor’s office for one year.
In a news release, the town expressed that it “would like to congratulate the winners, and thank everyone for their support of the contest and the opportunity to celebrate the amazing place we call ‘our town’”.
The online exhibition can be found at theoldschoolhouse.org/our-town-photography-contest, and all photo entries can be viewed at qualicumbeach.com/photocomp.
– NEWS Staff, submitted