OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 6, 2012) - A praying mantis hanging from a curved blade of grass. A mother loon feeding her chick on a tranquil lake. A soaked grizzly bear scrambling up shoreline rocks. These unique moments are among those captured in the Canadian Wildlife Photography of the Year exhibition that opens June 8, 2012 at the Canadian Museum of Nature.
The fourth edition of this popular annual show features 31 winning photographs from the 2011 Canadian Wildlife Photography of the Year Contest, which was organized by Canadian Geographic in partnership with the museum and the Royal Canadian Mint. The photos will be on display until August 26, 2012.
"We are delighted to present with our partners these award-winning photographs from Canadians across the country," says Meg Beckel, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Nature. "This exhibition is the latest in a series of nature-themed art shows we are presenting that engage visitors to connect with, explore, and be inspired by the natural world."
This inspiration is evident in the range of colours, subjects and situations that caught the keen eye of the photographers. Winners, runners-up, and honourable mentions were selected from thousands of entries submitted to Canadian Geographic.
"Canadians have a deep and abiding connection with our natural world - the land and its wildlife inhabitants. The Canadian Wildlife Photography of the Year contest attests to the artistry, talent and determination of the photographers who are keen to share their fascination with wildlife," said André Préfontaine, Executive Director of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. "As a result of the unique partnership of the Canadian Museum of Nature, the Royal Canadian Mint and Canadian Geographic, Canadians will have unprecedented access to this year's winning photos that are featured in the exhibition, on a collector coin and in Canadian Geographic magazine."
The grand prize winner, Robert Ganz of Montreal, caught an image of a praying mantis delicately hanging from a blade of grass that bowed under the insect's weight. For his efforts, the award winner will have his image reproduced on a special collector's coin created by the Mint.
"The Royal Canadian Mint is proud to celebrate both our nation's talent and natural beauty by reproducing a stunning Canadian wildlife photograph on one of our renowned collector coins," said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. "The breathtaking moment captured by the lens of Robert Ganz can now live on for the enjoyment of coin collectors and nature lovers worldwide thanks to the crafting of a fine new silver collector from the Royal Canadian Mint."
Other winning photographers and images featured in the show are:
- Karen Dillabough of Halifax, who won in the mammal category for her subtle shot of a fin whale about to break the water surface off the coast of Cape Breton Island.
- George Whalen, of Cambridge, Ontario, who earned first place in the category of insects, reptiles and amphibians for capturing a dew-covered, red-legged grasshopper hanging onto a leaf on a crisp August morning.
- Bill Maynard of Ottawa, winner of the bird category, who caught the yellow eyes and intense gaze of a Northern saw-whet owl during a trip to Amherst Island, near Kingston, Ontario.
- Monica Urycki Evenden, who lives near Peterborough, Ontario, won in the category of people and pets by catching her grandson's hound dog in a rare moment of stillness, as his owner fished on a dock along the Otonabee River.
- Sixteen-year-old Jonathan Franchomme of Gatineau, Quebec, who took top honours in the young photographers category for his close-up shot of a hummingbird hawkmoth collecting pollen on a flower.
The photographs for the 2011 Canadian Wildlife Photography of the Year Exhibition can be viewed at http://photoclub.canadiangeographic.ca/photos/wildlife_contest/default.aspx
The Canadian Museum of Nature is located at 240 McLeod Street, Ottawa and is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. as well as Thursdays and Fridays until 8:00 p.m. Visit www.nature.ca for more information or call 613-566-4700. Follow the Museum on Twitter (@museumofnature). Become a fan on Facebook.
The Canadian Museum of Nature is Canada's national museum of natural history and natural sciences. It promotes awareness of Canada's natural heritage through permanent and travelling exhibitions, public education programmes, active scientific research, a dynamic Web site, and the maintenance of a 10.5 million-specimen collection.