2016 CPAWS Love the Land calendar winning photos

Click on the slideshow above to view captions and picture credits.

We started the Love the Land Photo Contest in 2012, with the idea to provide a way for both residents and visitors to the NWT to share their love of the land through photography.

Each year, we invite anyone to submit photos featuring people – or evidence of people – on NWT lands and waters, and then our panel of volunteer judges chooses the 24 photos that they feel best represent love of the land. Twelve images, along with personal narratives from the photographers, are used for the main calendar pages, and 12 runners-up are used for smaller inset images in our annual calendar.

We use any profits from calendar sales to directly support our conservation work here in the NWT, but the calendar and photo contest have turned out to be more than a fundraiser – this annual event has turned out to be a great opportunity to connect with people from all over the NWT and Canada (and sometimes from much further away), on a shared basis of love for the land. The photographers’ submissions are often deeply personal testaments to their connections with the land and water, and we are thrilled each year for the opportunity to compile and share this range of voices in appreciation of this spectacular place we call home.

Perhaps you could mention in the story where people can buy the calendar? It will definitely be for sale at the YK BookCellar, and also through our website: http://cpawsnwt.org/campaigns/love-the-land. There may be additional retailers in YK, which folks can find out about via our Facebook page.

January – Following the Caribou Trail by Miriam Körner
At the end of the gravel road past the northern most community in Saskatchewan a trail leads into the NWT and beyond. For days we had followed this old route carved into the collective memory of the people of the North. The cold was wearing on the dogs and us, and we talked about turning south. Then suddenly the last skidoo track was left behind. White silence embraced us and we found ourselves on a trail as old as the land itself – the caribou trail. All thoughts of turning home disappeared and what was left was the pull to follow the caribou. North.

February – Pond Hockey by Leanne Robinson
There is something about pond hockey that has an allure to it that hockey on an indoor rink is lacking. I had never really played hockey nor had any interest in it before moving here, but then again I had never tried it on a lake. It is a different sport and now something that I love. This particular rink is at Blachford Lake Lodge, where I spent a wonderful few days at a learning retreat hosted by the NWT Recreation and Parks Association. I didn’t get a game in that time though as in a few short weeks our son would be born.

March – Suppertime by Miriam Körner
Dogs are the most amazing travel companions. They instinctively know the land. They might follow on old wolf track hidden under the snow to the next portage, crouch on their bellies when the ice feels unsafe under their paws and nestle at night in a bed of snow. They comfort us with their never ceasing enthusiasm, allow us to warm up our frozen hands in their warm armpits. Suppertime is our time to say thank you for a day’s hard work.

April – Spring time on Prosperous Lake by Leanne Robinson
Everything changes so quickly in spring. One week you are skiing across the lake, the next week you are paddling. This particular day, we ventured to Tartan Rapids for a picnic with a friend from out of town. Naturally, as we had a visitor in tow, we tried to pretend that this was a typical day and that we always walked across the lake dragging our canoe with our sleeping baby inside. But of course, these blissful spring days where the line between ice and water is marred happen but a few days a year.

May – Wander Without Purpose by Janice Stein, Yellowknife
I am very fortunate to call the Northwest Territories my home and this beautiful land my “backyard.” I was once told that home isn’t where you are from, but where you belong. Whether exploring on my own or with family or friends, camping for a week, or kayaking for just the day, sailing in +30, or snowshoeing in -50. The land has always offered me an escape, and a chance to explore, grow, and play. The land is not a place I visit. It’s a place I call home.

June – Bug Hunting by Daniel Harrington
They were stopping to inspect various somethings along the rocks. Collecting, skipping stones, shells, then bugs, so I documented their findings. A couple caterpillars, a couple snails and an injured dragonfly later, the large clouds behind us had rolled in and we called it a day. We left, taking the dragonfly and it’s friends along with us.

July – Frost Creek by Adam Zier-Vogel
Frost Creek Valley is one of Nahanni National Park Reserve’s hidden gems. Tucked away in the Ragged Range, this stunning area has a quality that is simultaneously soothing and exciting, begging to be explored. Lush, rolling alpine meadows abound with marmots, ground squirrels and pika, surrounded by pristine lakes and streams. Truly a northern Shangri-la!

August – Cirque of the Unclimbables by Adam Zier-Vogel
Rugged, remote and wild – in my opinion Nahanni National Park Reserve’s Cirque of the Unclimbables is one of the best places on the planet for an adventure in the mountains. Seeing the Cirque’s towering granite faces and spires from this perspective never fails to leave me in awe.

September – Feeling a Bit Small by Adam Hill
Sometimes when you go out looking for photos of the aurora it’s hard to look at them purely as a photographic subject. They are, after all, amazing curtains and ribbons of light swirling all around you. It’s amazing that this phenomenon exists. Sometimes you have to just look up and realize how amazing a world we live in and how small we are in it.

October – Chilly Fall Evening at the Treeline by Sandra Moore
I can’t think of a more welcoming sight than camp at nightfall. This picture was taken in early September. Cold enough to need a fire in the wood stove, but mild enough to walk on the esker and enjoy the fall colours in the evening light. Thinking ahead to tomorrow, I’ll go fishing, berry picking and maybe hike to an old wolf den to take photos.

November – Moosehide Fun by Barb Cameron
My three-year-old son Charlie is climbing on this tightly stretched moosehide clutching a moosehide ball. He was having so much fun playing alongside older students who were learning first-hand about working with hides at the W?ìl?ìdeh camp. It was a memorable “on-the-land” experience with Yellownives Dene First Nation Elder Judith Charlo and her daughter Verna Crapeau. They shared their knowledge of tanning a hide from start to finish with hundreds of students. Their teachings were inspirational, showing how to get the job done with a balance of honest, hard work while allowing for the amusement of a youngster.

December – Christmas Harvest by Rich McIntosh
Pulling up a net full of whitefish on Yellowknife Bay was the perfect gift over Christmas holidays. The temperatures flash froze the fish but the light was incredibly warm.

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