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Casting Ballots for Hope in Shadows Photos

Casting the ballots

The votes are pouring in as Hope in Shadows selects the prize-winners and photos to go into this year’s calendar. We trekked all over Vancouver, asking supporters to cast a vote for their top photos in the public vote. With just one more day left for people to see the Top 40, the voting stations are soon coming to close.

Last weekend, Paul and I made our way down to Jericho Beach to set up a voting booth at this year’s Folk Fest. Hope in Shadows volunteers stood out the rain all weekend, welcoming music lovers and Hope in Shadows supporters to check out the Top 40 and vote for their favorite picks.

This summer Vancity also invited Hope in Shadows to their Vancity Fresh Air Movie Tour, an outdoor movie festival organized by Vancity across Metro-Vancouver.

Next week will be the last chance for supporters to see the photos at the final leg of the movie tour on Wednesday July 27 at Victoria Park. The film showing is E.T., beginning at 9:30 p.m. The Hope in Shadows booth will open for voting from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. This is the final time we show the top 40 before the results for the winners are revealed in October.

Voting has become an integral part of the contest, giving the Downtown Eastside community and supporters outside the community to have input into what goes into each calendar. We have two separate voting sessions: the community vote in which members of the Downtown Eastside community vote and the public vote, opened to anyone outside the Downtown Eastside. Voters are asked to select their top 3 photographs and the results help choose the winners for prizes and which photos go into the calendar.

When voting, many told me how surprised they are to see the sheer quality of the images, given the fact they were produced from single-use cameras. The quality of each photo and their ability to capture a distinct message truly reflects the artistic merit that exits in the community.

 Voters also quite admired the unique representations of the community that aren't often exposed. Whether it was shots of kids hanging around, the community garden, important community centers, or provoking portraits, they were drawn to images that took away from the negative light cast on the Downtown Eastside to show the humanity and culture in this community.

So far we've had over 300 people vote in the public vote to add to the 655 votes cast in the community. From what I've been told by voters, this year's Top 40 are remarkable and the calendar is bound to be one of the best ones yet, so stay tuned  when we reveal the results!