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Canadian Bondar Challenge Winners

The Canadian Bondar Challenge was a photo-contest for Canadian youth ages 13 – 18 that occurred in August 2014. This challenge encouraged young Canadians to appreciate and capture the beauty of the natural world around them. At the end of each week in August (each Friday), youth were encouraged to submit one photograph that demonstrated the weekly theme along with a mini-essay (max. 200 words) explaining their image and why they chose it.

Week 3 Theme: IN THE CLOUDS

Content closed: August 22, 2014


Photo of tree branches against sky

Name: Tiffany Quon
Age: 17
Photograph Location: False Creek, Vancouver

The tree brushes with gentle strokes, fluttering little flecks of colour against a blue-white summer sky. It is not yet autumn but warm colours are already beginning to emerge and compete against the brilliance of the summer light — they shy away from it, allowing the sun a solo, the chance to bask in its own magnificence. From the ground of False Creek in the heart of Vancouver, I look up admiringly at the branches weaving through my vision, the leaves forming a mosaic in the sky, the veins that carry life into this hot summer day. And as I stand in the protective, motherly shade of the tree, I join it in celebrating nature. I could be anywhere, beneath any tree, and feel the same awe for the environment around me. But I am under this tree, and despite its residence deep in the city, it thrives and connects the ground to the sky, life pulsing through its map of veins and bursting at the tips of the leaves dancing above me.


Contest closed: August 15, 2014


Iceberg against pink sky

Name: Mike Ge
Age: 15
Photograph Location: Nachvak Fjord, Labrador

Water is mankind’s most basic necessity and, to many, easily accessible by turning on the tap. However, to follow this water to its source, we are often presented with a landscape like none other.
The Nachvak Fjord is one of the largest fjords in Labrador and a precious water source for many Inuit communities. The fjord is a mixture of both freshwater, from melting glaciers and icebergs, and saltwater, from the mighty Atlantic Ocean.
As a result of this uniquely sustained fjord and its pristine environment, both the people and animals of the North can be assured that their way of life will be supported for years to come.
I chose this photo to represent a water source that many Canadians may not immediately think of: glaciers and icebergs! Because over half of the freshwater on Earth is found in this state, we must be careful to protect and preserve these locations from destructive human activities.
It is also interesting to note that although the iceberg and “bergy bits” appear massive already, there is an even greater chunk of the ice below the water level!

Rocky beach with waves and barnacles

Name: Alex Whitney
Age: 18
Photograph Location: Bay of Fundy

My family and I are down along the Fundy Coast camping! I just took this photo of this “cay” along the coast while out for a walk. Didn’t have much time to take it because the tides come in so fast here! I love this picture because the barnacles and sea life is so detailed, and I love the ocean. This picture kind of represents the Bay of Fundy in a way such that the sea floor emerges everyday as the tide descends and shows itself to the world.

Honourable Mention:

Skyline of Vancouver across water

Name: Tiffany Quon
Age: 17
Photograph Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

I live in Vancouver, British Columbia. This city hugs the water, literally—and embraces it in the process. We treasure water as a precious resource and an environment for growth. The urban landscape doesn’t stop us from appreciating the Pacific at its fullest. We walk between it and the trees, kayak along its peaceful and graciously pure waves, and admire it at heights that dare to touch the clouds. I chose this image because it represents the unique relationship that Vancouverites have with the environment—one that nods to modernism and urbanism, but also acknowledges, appreciates, and celebrates our roots in nature.


Contest closed: August 8, 2014


Dragonfly on a daisy

Name: Issie Watson
Age: 14
Photograph Location: Barnum Lake, Haliburton Highlands, Ontario

I took this photo two weeks ago at my friends cottage on Barnum Lake in Haliburton Highlands. I thought this photo fit with the theme “Colours of Canada” because the colours on the daisy (yellow and white) really pop out against the green background behind the flower. I think the dragonfly also adds to the theme because it is many different shades of brown, and brown is one of the most common colours to see in nature. I also chose this picture because you can see the sunlight shining though the trees and without sunlight you would be able to see the beautiful colours of Canada and I like how the background is blurry. I chose this angle because I wanted to show what the world looked like from the dragonfly’s eyes. I chose to be this close up to capture the detail of the flower and dragonfly without completely cutting out the background. Although I could have been more focused on the wings because I didn’t quite capture their intricate design and I should have tried to include more colours into my picture (like red or orange.)

Trees across lake with reflection of orange and pink sunset

Name: Miranda Elder
Age: 14
Photograph Location: Northern Ontario

I chose to submit this photograph because I believed that it demonstrated northern Ontario’s beauty at sunset. When taking photos of this sunset, the sky changed so rapidly that each photo was very different from the last. This photo exemplifies diversity in the colours naturally occurring in the environment. The reflection of the sunset seems even more saturated and realistic than the actual sunset, bringing a different perspective to the sky and photograph.

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