NWT residents share talents, landscape with Love the Land Contest

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by Dali Carmichael, Northern Journal, November 17, 20142015 CPAWS calendar cover

http://norj.ca/2014/11/nwt-residents-share-talents-landscape-with-love-the-land-contest/ (click to view the slideshow!)

The Northwest Territories covers over 1.3 million square kilometres of land and water, a collection of diverse landscapes from the dense green forests of the South Slave up to the tundra above the 90th Parallel.

For the third year running, photographers of all skill levels from the NWT entered their best works capturing some of these Northern natural treasures to the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) Love The Land photo contest.

CPAWS added a special category to the contest this year, calling for photos from Thaidene Nene near the East Arm of Great Slave Lake in an effort to show support for the movement to turn the stunning area into a federally protected national park.

“As with previous years, we kept it open to entries from across the territory,” said Erica Janes, conservation outreach coordinator for CPAWS. “This year we wanted to encourage people to send in photos from Thaidene Nene because we are working in partnership with the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation to protect that area.”

Since the contest was launched in May, almost 150 photos have been submitted, of which about 60 came from Thaidene Nene.

“It’s a way that we can connect with people across the territory on a shared basis of loving and appreciating what we’ve got here in the territory because it’s pretty special,” Janes said. “People here still have really close relationships with the land and those relationships and that value on the natural world is the focus of our work as a conservation organization.”

According to Janes, the photo contest is an easy way to reach out to those land lovers.

“It’s a fun way that people can share their love of the land and their skills as photographers,” she said. “It’s a way for us to build our community and have dialogue with people out there about what they’re doing and what’s important to them.”

A panel of volunteer judges selected the top 24 photos from all that were submitted. The winning photos demonstrate in one way or another the people’s love of the land using interesting composition techniques.

The top 12 winners are featured in the 2015 Love The Land calendar, with a dozen “runner up” photos included as inserts. In a launch party Nov. 13, the winners also received prizes for their entries, including a framed photo of the aurora by NWT photographer Tessa MacIntosh and items donated from Yellowknife businesses, like paddles, outdoor gear and a gift certificate for two to attend a glassblowing workshop at Old Town Glassworks.

Calendars are available at the CPAWS website, http://www.cpawsnwt.org/campaigns/love-the-land, for $15 apiece.

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