Paul Nicklen in the field. (Photo submitted by Paul Nicklen)

Nanoose Bay photographer given Order of Canada, inducted into International Photography Hall of Fame

Paul Nicklen: ‘It was all very humbling’

It was a big year in 2019 for Paul Nicklen, who was recently given the Order of Canada and earlier inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame.

The Nanoose Bay photographer has worked for National Geographic on assignments around the globe. He’s been a photographer since the mid-1990s, when he was in his twenties.

Nicklen is also the co-founder of an ocean conservation organization called SeaLegacy, which he started with his partner, Cristina Mittermeier. The organization aims to educate people about the state of oceans while trying to catalyze lasting change. He quit his job as a wildlife biologist before working with National Geographic, something he knew he always wanted to do.

“I knew I wanted to work for National Geographic, but I don’t think I thought about much beyond that. I did everything I could to make it happen; I quit my job as a wildlife biologist with the government in the Northwest Territories, and I ended up in a really low place after that. I was angry with the world. I was miserable and depressed,” he said in an email to the NEWS. “I started goal-setting, and I eventually ended up under the mentorship of Flip Nicklin, the great whale photographer, and Joel Sortore.”

READ MORE: Soft Shore exhibit brings permanent multi-media gallery to Parksville

Now, Nicklen has six million Instagram followers and a successful TED talk under his belt. Still, he says being given the Order of Canada and being given a place in the International Photography Hall of Fame are overwhelming honours.

“For the International Photography Hall of Fame, I was overwhelmed just to be standing amongst the other inductees. They are amazing people that I’ve always looked up to. It was all very humbling. I had to pinch myself a few times,” he said. “I know that awards like the Order of Canada are not given away lightly. This acknowledgment will allow me to take politicians and corporate leaders to task on the issues that Canadians care about more than I could before.”

Nicklen points to SeaLegacy as a priority alongside his photography.

“Things are going very well with SeaLegacy. We just finished an end-of-year campaign that resulted in 1,000 new people joining The Tide. The Tide is SeaLegacy’s monthly subscription program where members get exclusive, behind-the-scenes insight into our work,” he said. “We can’t take everyone on an expedition with us, but this is close!”

In terms of his goals for 2020, Nicklen said he wants to continue being vocal about what he cares about, while using his photography to get his message across.

“I am going to keep speaking out, standing up and using my art to break down the walls of apathy. My goal is to do what we’re already doing but bigger, with more impact and in a way that reaches more of the global population.”

cloe.logan@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Order of Canada musician Phil Dwyer pens ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’

Qualicum Beach lawyer notes provincial health officer has become a ‘folk hero’

COVID-19: Latest update from City of Parksville

Playgrounds remain closed, bylaw officers to support enforcement of rules

Parksville, RDN moves to Stage 2 watering restrictions as of April 1

‘Snowpack accumulation has been below average’

PQB crime report: Resident provides banking information after email saying they had won lottery

Fraud, theft among 240 complaints received by Oceanside RCMP in one-week period

PQBeat Podcast: Talking cars with Philip Wolf and Peter McCully

Listen: Chat includes best and worst vehicles, dream rides and more

‘The Office’ star John Krasinski offers Some Good News in trying times

‘The human spirit still found a way to break through and blow us all away’

COVID-19: List of postponed/cancelled events in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Send your organization’s updates to editor@pqbnews.com

B.C. worker advocate group calls for more sick days, protected medical leave

COVID-19 highlights need for changes to workers legislation: Retail Action Network

Sweet treat helps make workers at Island health care centre feel complete

Girl Guide cookies always in good taste when showing appreciation

New rules issued for B.C. construction projects, work camps for COVID-19

Coastal GasLink, LNG Canada, Trans Mountain and Site C carry on

Nanaimo sheep farmer voices fears over flung dog feces

Deborah Wytinck worries parasites in dog feces tossed into pasture could infect her sheep

Canada to spend $2B more on procuring medical supplies for COVID-19 fight

Government has signed deals with three companies

Most Read