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Photographic Magic from Vancouver's Eastside

Vancouver, October 4, 2011 - Today the photos chosen for the annual Hope in Shadows calendar are being unveiled, showing the magic of the Downtown Eastside Vancouver community.
 
The calendar, which is in its ninth year, is a collaboration of photos taken by Downtown Eastside residents in the annual Hope in Shadows photo contest. Over 200 single-use film cameras were distributed to residents in June resulting in over 4,000 photographs. The top 38 images were chosen by a panel of judges and voted on by the Downtown Eastside Vancouver community.
 
The photographers will be recognized today in five winning categories – the “Downtown Eastside Community Choice” award, the Julie Rogers Memorial Award for “Best Portrait,” “Our City Landscape,” “Best Black & White” and “Best Colour.” A total of $2,500 in prizes will be awarded with the top-prize taking $500.
 
Kim Washburn is the co-winner of the “Downtown Eastside Community Choice” award. His photograph of Christiane Bordier captures the spirit of the Carnegie Community Centre and graces the cover of the 2012 calendar. Kim is one of the carvers of the memorial totem pole at Oppenheimer Park, is a writer and storyteller, and has become a pillar and advocate of the Downtown Eastside community.
 
“I don’t think I have to portray the drama, or trauma, or the destitution [in the Downtown Eastside]. I think that has already been well accounted for in print and imagery,” Kim says. “I would just like to show the good parts, ‘cause there are so many, some of the most beautiful things I’ve had or experienced in my life came from the Downtown Eastside.”
 
Other winning photographers with images in this year's calendar include James Witwicki, a past contest winner who is also a vendor of the calendar and published poet in Megaphone magazine; Sarah Oullette who is a regular participant in Megaphone magazine's writing workshops and recently completed a journalism class at SFU Woodward's; and Mike McNeeley who is also a previous Hope in Shadows contest winner and studied art at Emily Carr.
 
Project Director Paul Ryan believes that this project showcases the talent of Downtown Eastside community members. “It astonishes me to see the incredible photography that has come out of this contest every year,” says Paul. “The images show the beauty and humanity of the Downtown Eastside community, and are a way for community members to represent the neighbourhood through their own eyes. The broader community connects to the Downtown Eastside through these photos, and directly and when they meet and interact with a calendar vendor on the street.”
 
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
 
Paul Ryan, Hope in Shadows Project Director, cell 604 782 2861
Hope in Shadows office, tel 604 255 9701

Hope in Shadows facts
-          This is the ninth annual photo contest and calendar.
-          13 images in calendar chosen from 4,000 taken in the photo contest held over three days in June 2011.
-          More than 200 people entered the contest.
-          Last year more than 200 people attended a training session to sell the calendar. Vendors sold 13,500 calendars on the streets of Vancouver and Victoria, compared to 1,500 sold on the streets in 2003 of the 2004 calendar.
-          17,000 copies of the 2012 calendar printed.
-          Exhibition with 38 winning photos to be exhibited in Pendulum Gallery in the HSBC Building from October 11-22.
-          Trained vendors, who are homeless and low-income, earn 50% of the income generated from the sale of the calendar. Vendors start with one free calendar, then buy the calendar for $10 and sell for $20
-          Since 2003 more than $500,000 has been earned by local residents through the Hope in Shadows project
-          The calendar is printed locally on 100% recycled paper and is carbon neutral.