The month-long festival highlights the many talents and skills of photographers from the West Coast and around the world.
The Vancouver Capture Festival runs from April 3-30 and it spreads across Metro Vancouver. The event has various art installations, exhibits and much more that portray the works of numerous recognized photographers. The festival is the largest event of its kind in Western Canada. It is dedicated to present the most appealing, lens-based artwork from both local and international photographers.
With the photography world becoming more digital and physical images having a decreasing presence in the world, this festival increases the importance of exhibiting material photographs to the public. Digital photographs can often lose the intimacy with the audience and lack the full meaning and symbolism photographs once had. The director of the Capture Photography Festival, Kate Henderson, agrees that “images are a major facet of our everyday life. We scroll through endless images on social media, and we are bombarded by images in advertising, television and online almost every minute of our lives. The ability and ease with which we can take and share photographs is astonishing and has definitely changed our relationship to images and photography. Unfortunately, sometimes this phenomenon dilutes and renders images meaningless,” she said.
The Capture Festival was launched in 2013 and, since then, the importance of a physical festival has been highlighted. “Festivals are important because they bring people together…While many facets of our lives happen online now, it is still very important to get together, create discussion and dialogue and take part in all of the exhibitions and events that this festival has to offer. There is an energy during the festival that is infectious and exciting,” Henderson said.
Contributions by Indigenous artists hold valued significance for the festival. “The majority of us are settlers on this unceded territory. We may feel a deep connection to this place, but it is not our land. There is a vast, millennia-old history here that has been obscured. It’s important that the stories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Peoples are heard and respected.” This year, this aspect of Canadian history is shown by the festival through working with several Indigenous women artists, including two local Musqueam and Semiahmoo artists. Through ‘lens based arts,’ the festival seeks to tackle the issues Indigenous peoples face every day.
Capture also seeks to inspire the next generation of photographers. By both running galleries as well as hosting workshops for youth to participate in, Capture wishes to “support emerging artist at all stages of their careers.” This includes the high-school focused Flash Forward program, which is an extra-curricular program that helps nurture a creative process that “they may not be working with within their art class,” Henderson said.
For university students, the appeal can either be simply seeing the many free exhibitions and installations all across the Greater Vancouver Area, or attend the talks, films and tours for students to participate in. The festival is also seeking volunteers to help with the festival in general, so don’t be shy to reach out. Whether it be an administrative position or an opportunity for a photographer, there are many options available for anyone interested in Capture to get involved. More information can be found at the festival’s website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
Capture Festival events are available all over the Greater Vancouver Area, from Surrey to North Vancouver. More information can be found at capturephotofest.com.