Photography contest puts Sask. heritage into focus

Heritage Saskatchewan is accepting submissions to its photo contest until September 8. (Heritage Saskatchewan/Submitted)

Heritage Saskatchewan is encouraging people of all ages to break out a camera and capture the culture and heritage around them.

The non-profit organization is hosting its second Heritage Photo Contest, the first of which occurred in 2018. Communications Coordinator Marieke de Roos said they received over 100 submissions two years ago, and wanted to continue to keep people informed and engaged.

“We’re trying to help people understand why heritage is important to us. It’s a past that informs our present that brings us into the future,” said de Roos.

She said the physical elements, like buildings or landscapes, aren’t special to us in itself—they’re special because of the events and memories surrounding them.

“We think photography is an excellent way for people to explore that.”

Heritage Saskatchewan is taking submissions in five categories. The first place winner in each will receive a $100 cheque and second place will receive $50.

The first category is “Living Heritage.” The public is encouraged to submit photos of what they value and recognize as their living heritage, such as as a grandmother kneading bread or symbols of the pow wow.

“Like our DNA, we inherit our living heritage—those values, beliefs, and ways of living received from past generations that we use to understand the present and make choices for the future. It defines our sense of identity as individuals and our relationships with others, shaping our communities and our quality of life,” read a news release.

The second category is the same as “Living Heritage,” but for youth ages 18 and under.

It’s particularly beneficial for the province’s youth to enter because “kids are the stewards of heritage for the future,” said de Roos.

“Our Urban Places” is the third category, designed for photos of infrastructure and buildings. The next category is “Landscape and Nature.”

The last category is a new one. It’s called “COVID-19 Culture,” and is specifically for photos showing how culture and heritage have played a role in your experience throughout the pandemic.

“We’d really like to get some submissions in that category just to demonstrate how people have been spending their time during this unusual era and how heritage has really helped them through or has influenced them during this time,” emphasized de Roos.

Heritage Saskatchewan started receiving submissions on Monday. So far, it hasn’t received any for the youth or COVID-19 categories.

You can visit to enter and to view the photo gallery of all submissions. The deadline to enter is September 8.

A panel of judges will choose the winning photos. Entries will be judged on technical skill and photo merit, including composition, clarity, creativity and visual impact, and how the photo captures the meaning behind its category.

Heritage Saskatchewan is also launching a separate project dedicated to documenting heritage and COVID-19 experiences.