Back in August I got a call from Parks Canada asking me if I’d be available to fly up to Churchill to take some photos for them. Being in the middle of wedding season and having lots of photo sessions to get done (while 5 months pregnant!) I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to wing it. But after some short time thinking about it and some clever planning, we figured that I could make it work if I flew out there in the middle of the following week. So 3 days later I was boarding a plane for Churchill – a Northern destination that I was eager to discover for the first time.
I had heard nothing but good things about Churchill, and as I approached it by jet plane, I started getting really excited about finally seeing such a vastly different part of my home province. And what an experience it was! The landscape is truly beautiful, the locals are incredibly friendly and welcoming, and being there as a photographer was truly a huge privilege. Day one was spent delayed at the Winnipeg airport in the morning and finally in Churchill by the afternoon to take photos of Prince of Wales Fort. We took a boat ride at high tide to the peninsula where this impressive fort stands and on the way there and back we were greeted by some beluga whales. Breathtaking! What an experience being so close to those giant animals…
Day two was spent in a helicopter: first taking aerial photos of Prince of Wales Fort in the morning sunlight, followed by a longer flight through Wapusk National Park to take aerial and ground photos of this spectacular landscape. I saw polar bears (trying to stay cool in the summer heat), caribou, geese and lots of fascinating vegetation in this subarctic region. I also got to visit Nestor One, a research station in the middle of the park where a group of university students were spending a week as part of a research class. Being able to travel through this park where flights by helicopter are the only mode of transportation during the summer months was nothing short of amazing. It was a fantastic opportunity to visit the Churchill region and to see first hand all its beauty and vastness. Being given the task of photographing such an awesome place is truly humbling and I hope the photos I took will draw many to come explore this rich corner of the province of Manitoba.
A big thanks goes out to the Parks Canada staff who escorted me around and shared their wealth of knowledge about the historic features of the fort and the scientific aspects of the park. Another thanks goes out to our helicopter pilot for accommodating so many fantastic aerial angles that you see in these photos. And finally a big thanks to the Polar Inn and Gypsy’s Restaurant for keeping me cozy and well-fed while on the road.
For more information about visiting the area, check out Parks Canada’s website.
To see the gallery of images on my Facebook page, click here.