Cochrane woman aims for gold at ‘Olympic Games in Photographic Art’

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Cochrane Photographer Vies for Gold in International Photo Competition for Calgary Under COVID-19 Lockdown

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A Cochrane photographer is in the running for a gold medal in a prestigious international photo competition representing Calgary during the COVID-19 lockdown last spring.

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Jacquie Matechuk is a finalist with Team Canada at the 2021 Photographic World Cup, a competition which she says is considered the “Olympic Games of the Art of Photography”.

The competition involves 38 countries from around the world, each hosting a selection of the country’s best shots in six different categories taken by photographers from all over the country. A bronze, silver and gold medal is awarded in each category by a jury.

Four Canadian photographers, including Matechuk, are vying for a spot on the podium after the finalists were announced last week. She races in the “Commercial” category, which encompasses a range of styles, competing with photographers from as far away as Brazil, Russia and New Zealand.

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“It’s so wide. It’s everything from fashion to marketing materials, things you find in magazines, product advertising to architecture. So it was pretty neat to see the submissions from all the different countries because everyone has a different influence and a different environment, ”she said. “It’s a very interesting and fun challenge to be a part of it.”

The nominated photo of Matechuk is a black and white depiction of the Telus Sky building in downtown Calgary from street level, towering above the viewer.

Jacquie Matechuk's photo of the Telus Sky building during Calgary's COVID-19 lockdown in April 2020 is a finalist in the 'Commercial' category at the 2021 Photographic World Cup.
Jacquie Matechuk’s photo of the Telus Sky building during Calgary’s COVID-19 lockdown in April 2020 is a finalist in the ‘Commercial’ category at the 2021 Photographic World Cup. Photo by Jacquie Matechuk

She said it was shot in mid-April, about a month after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, at the height of public health restrictions that kept all but essential workers at home. She wanted to capture the eerie stillness of the city’s normally bustling heart.

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“I didn’t see a vehicle, I didn’t see people in the park, people on Stephen Avenue, it was just weird. I ended up staying a lot longer than I thought I would, just me and the buildings. It was pretty neat, ”said Matechuk.

“I don’t know if I would have had the same appreciation for the ambiance and the beauty of some of these buildings if it hadn’t been so apocalyptic there. It was literally a city for a million, which was laid bare for me to play with, that’s almost how I felt. “

The medals will be presented at a ceremony in Rome, Italy on April 19. Due to COVID-19, it is not yet decided whether the event will take place in person, but event organizers say they are hoping for a face-to-face ceremony.

Another photographer from Alberta is also among the four Canadian finalists. Spruce Grove family physician Dr. Ammara Sadiq is shortlisted for her portrayal of a Swan Lake ballerina.

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonfherring

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