Marieke de Roos, Communications Coordinator

As our 2020 Photo Contest came to a close last week, it was striking to see the high caliber of photographs submitted from the far reaches of our province. Photos were judged anonymously based on technical photographic merit, and – more importantly – on the photographer’s ability to capture heritage in keeping with our category themes. With over 500 photos submitted, the judges had a difficult task in front of them!

The winning photo in our Living Heritage category depicts an honest and humble scene; a little girl rolling dough for a blueberry pie made with fruit she and her brother picked. The judges felt this photo exemplified living heritage; those ways of living inherited from the past that inform our present and bring us into the future. The second-place photo captures a woman fancy dancing. The judges were impressed with the technical aspects of this photo, and appreciated a beautiful moment captured. The movement of the dancer’s regalia invite the viewer into the picture, allowing us to imagine her next move.

For our Living Heritage Youth category, we asked those 18 years old and younger to photograph what parts of living heritage matter to them. It was interesting to see the themes that emerged! Photos depict life on the farm and at home, or snapshots of adventures with their families and friends. The winning photographs did just that. The judges were so impressed with the talent and understanding of heritage displayed in this category, that a bonus prize was awarded. Check out the first-place photo, second-place photo, and bonus-prize photo.

In creating the Urban Places category, we hoped to see entries that show streetscapes, buildings, and unique views of town and city life that indicate why these places are meaningful to us. The first-place photo is of a little girl skateboarding in an empty parking lot in her family’s neighbourhood. The judges enjoyed seeing the recreational side of city life, and how families dwell here. The second-place photo, however, is completely different from its first-place counterpart in mood, tone, and theme. It is an abstract-style photo that features an architectural scene in Regina, effectively demonstrating the reality of urban life in Saskatchewan.

Our climate and geography determine how we live. It tells our stories, and anchors us in place. For this reason, it is no surprise that Landscape & Nature was our most popular category. These photos show just how connected we are to the natural world around us here in Saskatchewan. Like our youth category, the judges awarded a bonus prize in addition to our first and second-place winners, as there was such an impressive display of talent. First-place photo, second-place photo, bonus-prize photo

In our final category, COVID-19 Culture, it was gripping to see how diversely this theme was captured. Some showed how they spent their time cooking, exploring, or being crafty. Others showed the stark reality of the public world through empty parking lots, “closed” signs, and yellow tape. Our winning entries both demonstrated how the photographers and their families coped with isolation. Our winning photo shows a young family out for a hike. The second-place photo depicts several generations in front of a computer as they enjoy watching video messages from family and friends.

We thank all the photographers for their excellent submissions. We'd also like to thank our volunteer judges who lent their valuable knowledge and expertise.

Be sure to look through all entries on the Photo Contest Gallery!