In celebration of the termination of the grizzly bear hunt in British Columbia in 2018, we embraced the shift from triggers to tripods by holding a photo contest to award the Canadian Amateur Grizzly Photographer of the Year. It is with great pleasure we can now announce the winners!
We hope this contest highlights the importance of wildlife viewing as a useful conservation tool. Ecotourism, in particular wildlife viewing, is a proven model that helps to generate sustainable development and empowers communities to preserve the ecological value of the land and wildlife. Wildlife viewing can diversify local economies while at the same time safeguard our wild plants and animals.
Furthermore, ecotourism experiences are important for their role in inspiring compassion and care for the flora and fauna visitors interact with. With the tourism industry projected to grow an average of 3% per year until 2030 according to the UN (1), ecotourism is an important economic strategy for Canada.
It is clear by the overwhelming amount of entries that Canadian’s deeply appreciate the grizzly bear as an iconic animal worth protecting, not hunting. Open to amateur photographers, we received over 200 entries to the contest - the full gallery can still be viewed here.
We wish to congratulate Taylor Green, Shea Wyatt, and Marlo Shaw for placing 1st, 2nd, 3rd respectively, to Summer Cannell for winning the Young Amateur award and to Susan & Stephen Johnson for winning the People’s Choice Award!
“This photo was taken in an estuary on the central coast of BC. Springtime is the mating season for grizzly bears, and this adult male was courting a young female who was busy foraging in the intertidal zone. He patiently hung around as she concentrated on the mussels and shore crabs, seemingly disinterested in the male. Eventually he moseyed up to the top of this sedge bank where he took a nap until she was ready to move on.” - Taylor Green, Vancouver BC
“After a busy afternoon fishing for salmon, a mother grizzly and her two cubs-of-the-year returned to the forest to take a break on top of a massive nurse log. As the mother dozed the twins played, wrestling and taking turns falling down to the mossy floor. The victor of the most recent match, this cub took a break to stretch and relax while waiting for their sibling to climb back up and continue their game.” - Shea Wyatt, Victoria BC
“We were floating down the river in a skiff when I spotted this young female up on the bank. We parked the boat and watched quietly as she climbed up on the nurse log to get to the salal berries that were up high. When she turned around she paused for a moment to look at us before stepping down and continuing on her way. It was a special moment I won’t forget.” - Marlo Shaw, Terrace BC
“As avid outdoors people, we spend our day off together, every Sunday in our local forests around Squamish and Whistler, and highlights of our day and camping trips are spotting the plethora of beautiful creatures in our environment. We have been fortunate enough to repeatedly view a family of local grizzlies over the past couple of years, and were even more fortunate that Stephen was able to capture a few photos of them catching and feeding on spawning salmon.” - Susan and Stephen Johnson, Squamish BC
"This mama spent over an hour searching for salmon while her three cubs played in the background. The cubs kept trying to get the mother's attention but she remained focused. The cubs played, dug in the mud, and chased leaves in the wind while she looked. Eventually she caught a salmon and they all ate happily." - Summer Cannell, Vancouver BC
Thank you to those who voted on the People's Choice award, and thank you to our judging panel including Doria Moodie (Artist), Ellie Lamb (Artist), John E Marriott (Photographer), and Nicholas Scapillati (Executive Director, Grizzly Bear Foundation) for lending us their expertise.
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