Emma Willoughby never imagined she’d win the Imagine Culture photo contest, but she decided to make a submission anyway.
A grade nine student in Yellowknife, Willoughby was awarded first place in the intermediate category for her photo entitled A Northern Blend.
The photo shows a pair of traditionally beaded Dene mitts perched on the seat of a snowmobile, which she says captures the fusion of traditional and modern cultures in the North.
“The photo represents the traditional aboriginal cultures and European settler cultures that have merged to make us people of the Northwest Territories,” said Willoughby.
The national contest was put on by Passages Canada, which is a program of Historica Canada – an organization that brings awareness to Canada’s history and citizenship.
Over 300 entries were reviewed by a panel of volunteers with arts backgrounds.
Willoughby’s submission came about during a winter camping trip with her family, when she noticed the mitts on top of the snow machine.
“I think we (aboriginal and settler cultures) have a really cool relationship, especially in the north, even though there have been rough patches along the way,”
The idea worked, winning her first place and an iPad mini.
“I was pretty surprised,” said Willoughby. “I wasn’t expecting to win at all. I just entered for fun, but it was really cool and a great experience.”
The winning entries can be viewed here.