A winning photo from the Reflections of Hope program.

Great photos make up Reflections of Hope calendar

Photos are unveiled as part of the Reflections of Hope program in Smithers.

Mary Beaubien saw her shot on a bright day last June.

Standing by the now-demolished Rainbow Alley building on Main Street, Beaubien looked through the viewfinder of her single-use film camera.

She had only one shot left, and her subject—a portrait painted on a plywood wall cover—was about to disappear.

“The thing was, they were dismantling it and I wanted to get a picture of that before it was all gone,” said Beaubien.

Luckily for her, a young man who knew her daughter passed by and offered to be in the shot (Shown at right).

A scene came together: the step ladder, the painted figure, and the young man all at angles that drew the eye. She took her last shot.

Now, months later, Beaubien’s photo has won Best Artistic Expression award in the third annual camera project run by Positive Living North.

Inspired by Hope in the Shadows, a photo contest and calendar shot by low-income residents living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, the Smithers camera project is the only other contest like it in B.C.

“It’s really rewarding,” said Melanie Monds, the Positive Living North manager who coordinates the contest. “It’s shocking to me, the buy-in by the people who are part of the project.”

Monds said 48 people joined in this year. They picked up disposable cameras from Positive Living North, shot the roll, and returned the cameras a few weeks later.

From over 1000 photos, photographer Virgina Pohl chose the top 40. Those were mounted on a board and voted on by people who saw them at the Smithers farmer’s market or outside Mountain Eagle Books.

Voters chose a shot by Robert Nicholas for Best Photo—Nicholas captured a carver finishing the totem pole that now stands outside Northwest Community College.

Voters gave the Best Landscape award to Sylvester Morris, who took a picture of a wooded spot where he said older Wet’suwet’en people used to get together.

Funding for the photo project comes from sales of the Reflections of Hope calendar, which are now available at SpeeDee Printers and Mountain Eagle books.

Positive Living North is a community organization that offers daily drop-in programs to people living on lower incomes in the Bulkley Valley.

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

Just Posted

Smithers man leaves $1 million to children’s hospital

Jim Bolster wanted to help out children with health problems like his own

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

New ownership resurrects BV Taxi

The new owners expect to be taking fares by mid-August

Tahltan Nation closes hunting and recreational activity access points

The remote and vulnerable territory has limited medical capacity

Kinsmen plan to host scaled-down version of Telkwa BBQ

Club hoping to serve traditional Beef on a Bun and keep status of longest running event in B.C.

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Most Read