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Images from around the world chosen by the photo desk at the Brandon Sun.

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  • April 22, 2016

    Exposure: Elephants in Thailand

    Seeing an elephant up close is a rare and wonderful experience. These animals combine great power with a surprising grace and renowned intelligence. They are the only animal, apart from humans, that exhibit signs of post-traumatic stress disorder after experiencing violence or traumatic events. Sadly, there are no shortage of traumatic events facing elephants in Thailand. They have steadily lost much of their natural home because of deforestation and other human industry and many are starved or overworked in forest camps or in unethical tourist operations. Some who used to work at logging forests have been replaced by machinery and end up being used for begging or plying tourists in the megacity capital of Bangkok. One organization has stepped forward to rescue elephants from exploitation. The Elephants World sanctuary, located a few hours north of Bangkok, was started in 2008 by a Thai veterinarian to provide a place of safety for them. They call themselves a “retirement home” for elephants that have been injured during their work, or are too old to continue toiling in circuses, tourist camps or forestry operations. They run as a non-profit organization, funded exclusively by visitors and donations. Visitors can see and interact with elephants close up, while learning more about their care and how to enjoy them as a tourist in an ethical manner. More information, including how to visit and how to donate, can be found at elephantsworld.org.

  • Mahouts walk some of the elephants in the Kwai River near the Elephants World sanctuary. Elephants brought to the facility near Kanchanaburi are often rescued from abuse in work camps, unethical tourist operations or even begging in the congested traffic of Bangkok. A space at the sanctuary offers a return to health and an easier life for Thailand's national animal.

    Mahouts walk some of the elephants in the Kwai River near the Elephants World sanctuary. Elephants brought to the facility near Kanchanaburi are often rescued from abuse in work camps, unethical tourist operations or even begging in the congested traffic of Bangkok. A space at the sanctuary offers a return to health and an easier life for Thailand's national animal.

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  • March 11, 2016

    Exposure: An afternoon at the Crystal

    The Crystal Hotel has stood on its current site for more than 130 years — it was first built to welcome travellers from the nearby train station. Plenty of traditions have come and gone and many more changes have been seen over the years, but one tradition that has gone on for at least a decade is live music from the hotel’s pub. Country and honky-tonk, maybe even a little classic rock, can be heard each Saturday afternoon as old friends — the demographic is decidedly on the grey side — meet each week to dance, chat, sip a beer and enjoy the tunes. The weekly sessions are also open mike, meaning anyone with a song to sing can also take part.

  • Patrons sit by a whimsical sign offering “Retiree Parking Only” in the beverage room of the Crystal Hotel on a recent weekend. The downtown
hotel, in operation since 1880, hosts country and honky-tonk bands every Saturday afternoon along with a jam session so anyone can belt out a tune.

    Patrons sit by a whimsical sign offering “Retiree Parking Only” in the beverage room of the Crystal Hotel on a recent weekend. The downtown hotel, in operation since 1880, hosts country and honky-tonk bands every Saturday afternoon along with a jam session so anyone can belt out a tune.

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  • March 2, 2016

    A Show Of Faith

    A ceremony of song and prayer at St. Matthew's Cathedral installed the Rev. William Cliff as the seventh bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Brandon on the first of March. The newest bishop, who now is known as the Rt. Rev. Cliff, replaced Rt. Rev. James Njegovan who retired last summer. After Bible passages were read - first in Cree then in English - as well as a sermon and hymns sung, the audience erupted in applause and the assembled crowd then embraced each other in a show of fellowship.

  • A choir awaits its entrance during a consecration service for the Reverend Canon William Grant Cliff, Tuesday afternoon at St. Matthew's Cathedral.

    A choir awaits its entrance during a consecration service for the Reverend Canon William Grant Cliff, Tuesday afternoon at St. Matthew's Cathedral.

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  • February 12, 2016

    Exposure: You used to call me on a pay phone

    People think of them — when they think of them at all — as an outdated idea, another thing made obsolete in the age of cellphones and mobile Internet. Pay phones, once almost everywhere to help us call whenever we were away from our home landline, have rapidly disappeared as most people — even elementary school students — now carry mobile phones with them. But they still dot our cities and even highways, hiding in plain sight as they fade from the consciousness of more and more people. The exact number in the province is uncertain, although the MTS website says they install “thousands” throughout the province in an ad to entice business owners to put one on their properties. The cost to make a call is still 50 cents — unchanged since 2007, with the last increase (to a quarter) happening in 1983. And most of them still work, giving a familiar, but now harsh sounding, dial tone when you pick up the receiver.

  • Motel and Domo gas station. First Street North.

    Motel and Domo gas station. First Street North.

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  • January 29, 2016

    Exposure: Ice shack villages

    Every winter, little villages pop up on the frozen lakes throughout Westman. Ice fishing shacks of all makes are hauled out onto the ice by anglers eager for the big catch or some quiet time under the prairie sky. Brandon Sun photographer Tim Smith visited Minnedosa Lake, the Rivers Reservoir and Oak Lake to document some of the different ice fishing shacks set up this winter.

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  • December 28, 2015

    Ice Fishing on Bower Lake

    After an unseasonably warm and dry start to winter, westman finally has the snow and cold temperatures we expect this time of year. Despite the cold many people got outside to enjoy the outdoors during the Christmas Holidays. Dustin and Brandi Braun went ice fishing at Bower Lake in Turtle Mountain Provincial Park with their friend Trevor Funk and his daughter Kaylee.

  • It's cold but it's beautiful in the Turtle Mountains. On December 27th Trevor Funk, Brandi Braun, Kaylee Funk and Dustin Braun spent the day ice fishing on Bower Lake.

    It's cold but it's beautiful in the Turtle Mountains. On December 27th Trevor Funk, Brandi Braun, Kaylee Funk and Dustin Braun spent the day ice fishing on Bower Lake.

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  • December 24, 2015

    Exposure: A Year to Review: 2015

    Brandon Sun photographer Colin Corneau showcases his favourite photos of the year.

  • Greg Bartlett dons a pair of battery-powered glasses while awaiting Brandon University convocation exercises at the Healthy Living Centre in May.

    Greg Bartlett dons a pair of battery-powered glasses while awaiting Brandon University convocation exercises at the Healthy Living Centre in May.

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  • December 21, 2015

    Seasons Beatings

    On December 19th the Brandon Boxing Club hosted the Merry Christmas and Seasons Beatings boxing card at the Keystone Centre.

  • The crowd watches as Josh Seeland and Justin Hunkin of the Brandon Boxing Club exchange blows during the Merry Christmas and Season's Beatings event hosted by the Brandon Boxing Club at the Keystone Centre's Manitoba Room on Saturday evening.

    The crowd watches as Josh Seeland and Justin Hunkin of the Brandon Boxing Club exchange blows during the Merry Christmas and Season's Beatings event hosted by the Brandon Boxing Club at the Keystone Centre's Manitoba Room on Saturday evening.

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  • December 18, 2015

    Exposure: A Year to Review: 2015

    Brandon Sun photographer Bruce Bumstead showcases his favourite photos of the year.

  • Clouds move in from the north during a long exposure that captures the night sky over the stone cairn near Kirkham Bridge on the Little Saskatchewan River on a Wednesday night in September.

    Clouds move in from the north during a long exposure that captures the night sky over the stone cairn near Kirkham Bridge on the Little Saskatchewan River on a Wednesday night in September.

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  • December 8, 2015

    Exposure: Clear Ice

    The lack of snow so far this year has created a rare opportunity for winter enthusiasts to enjoy the clear ice at Clear Lake.

  • Jesse Matas of Riding Mountain National Park skates on the smooth-as-glass ice covering Clear Lake in the Park on a sunny and warm Monday afternoon. Matas skated across the lake to the townsite of Wasagaming and back again. The lack of snow so far this year has created a rare opportunity for winter enthusiasts to enjoy the clear ice.

    Jesse Matas of Riding Mountain National Park skates on the smooth-as-glass ice covering Clear Lake in the Park on a sunny and warm Monday afternoon. Matas skated across the lake to the townsite of Wasagaming and back again. The lack of snow so far this year has created a rare opportunity for winter enthusiasts to enjoy the clear ice.

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  • December 4, 2015

    Exposure: Eid-Diwali-Christmas Celebration

    This past Saturday, the Canada India Friendship Association held its annual Eid-Diwali-Christmas Celebration at Knox United Church. Vibrant colours and aromatic spices filled the church as hundreds of guests celebrated with music, dance, food and friendship. Diwali, a Hindu festival also known as the Festival of Lights, is celebrated every autumn and is one of the largest festivals in India. The festival spiritually signifies the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil and hope over despair. It is also well represented in the small prairie city of Brandon. Here is a selection of images from the event.

  • Aesha Patel is reflected in a mirror while applying lipstick prior to performing during the Eid-Diwali-Christmas celebration.

    Aesha Patel is reflected in a mirror while applying lipstick prior to performing during the Eid-Diwali-Christmas celebration.

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  • November 6, 2015

    Exposure: Kicking Cancer

    On Oct. 30, 2015, after 1,157 days of chemotherapy treatment, nine-year-old Colin Clark began a new chapter in his life — living cancer-free. Colin was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in August 2012 and has received steady treatment for the cancer ever since. Part of his story was documented in The Brandon Sun’s 2014 series “Testing Positive.” At the end of October, the treatment ended — a major cause for celebration. Colin’s mother, Cheryl Mauthe, father Mike Clark and their families threw a party, Colin’s “Cancer Kicking Party,” to thank Colin’s many friends and supporters for all their support during his treatment. The carnival-like party included food, bouncy houses, a petting zoo, laser tag, prizes and other activities for both children and grown-ups. The fun afternoon culminated in a fireworks show. In addition, Colin’s school, École Harrison, also threw Colin, his sister Emily and their families a celebration marking the end of his cancer journey. The afternoon event included songs, entertainment and other fun activities for all the students. Here are a few images from the events. Good luck to Colin in this new chapter of his life.

  • Claira Sttit, 8, rolls a pumpkin down the hill while pumpkin bowling, a Clark family tradition, during Colin's Cancer Kicking Party at his grandparents home outside Brandon. Guests to Colin's part enjoyed food, carnival games, prizes, laser tag and other fun activities.

    Claira Sttit, 8, rolls a pumpkin down the hill while pumpkin bowling, a Clark family tradition, during Colin's Cancer Kicking Party at his grandparents home outside Brandon. Guests to Colin's part enjoyed food, carnival games, prizes, laser tag and other fun activities.

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  • November 2, 2015

    Halloween Havoc

    Tim Smith captures scenes of Halloween fun in and around the Westman area on Saturday night.

  • Visitors wait in line to enter the haunted house during the final day of the Grim Acres Scare Away Cancer fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society on Saturday night.

    Visitors wait in line to enter the haunted house during the final day of the Grim Acres Scare Away Cancer fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society on Saturday night.

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  • October 23, 2015

    A day at the races

    Last weekend, members of the Prairie Association of Stock Car Auto Racing (PASCAR) held their final race of the season at their track near Souris and the weather couldn’t have been better for a fall race — sunny and warm. Spectators filled the stands to watch the cars speed by and cheer on family, friends or favourites. Here’s a look at some of the action.

  • A car spits up dirt as it rounds a corner during a heat.

    A car spits up dirt as it rounds a corner during a heat.

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  • October 9, 2015

    Autumn stroll

    If I had to pick a favourite season, I would have to choose autumn. Don’t get me wrong, summer is lovely and considering we experience winter for a majority of the year in this part of the world, autumn edges it out for the follow reasons. First, the changing colours for the trees. Granted, Manitoba colours don’t have the diversity and longevity of the maples and beeches of my childhood living in Ontario, but what a contrast between the yellow aspens against a rich Prairie blue sky. The cooler days, which beckon pulling out a knitted sweater, come in at No. 2. However, one of my favourite attributes ranking autumn as my favourite season is the decline in pesky mosquitoes, making for much more enjoyable walks in nature. And one of my favourite locations is the Brandon Hills. While out for a recent morning walk with my partner, I took some time to record a selection of images with my iPhone, which is much smaller and lighter to carry than my Canon camera slung on my shoulders during regular work hours. Originally captured in colour, which was one of the top reasons I love autumn, I converted the images to black and white — a format I enjoy as much as the season itself — to add to the textures and tones found in the natural world, as opposed to the richness and flash of colour seen in our everyday lives.

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  • July 31, 2015

    Exposure: Street Photography

    Street photography, when you search the Internet, is defined as “photography that features the human condition within public places.” Although a pretty broad description — it doesn’t have to actually feature people or even streets — it sums up pretty well what photographers at the Brandon Sun do each day. When it comes time to set down digital cameras used here at the Sun, though, I often pick up a simple rangefinder camera loaded with black and white film and look for moments that happen within our community and specifically our downtown. It’s these quieter, unheralded and more fleeting moments that I find more interesting. It’s my hope that having these moments strung together like pearls on a necklace that a deeper understanding of our neighbourhood can happen.

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  • July 17, 2015

    Exposure: Off to the races

    In small towns around Manitoba each weekend in the summer, a familiar ritual unfolds — the clapping of hoofs, the tinny voice of an announcer over a loudspeaker and the sight of horses and colourful banners appearing from clouds of dust. The Manitoba Great Western Harness Racing Circuit has been a faithful feature of country life for decades and although changing demographics and the introduction of video lottery terminals and casinos have presented challenges to the gentle bets of the race track, a dedicated band of participants and fans has kept the show alive. Drivers and trainers generally have other jobs, and count themselves lucky to make gas money. For the past 15 years, the circuit has run with 24 days of racing in six to eight different venues. A typical weekend features 16 to 20 races with more than 100 horses competing for purses that range from $1,300-$1,800 per race. This weekend sees the races go to Holland, followed by Miami and Killarney among other stops — full schedules can be found on the group’s website at msri.ca.

  • Racers round the final corner on the first race of the day during harness racing in Glenboro on Sunday afternoon. Racers, trainers and fans from across the province and Saskatchewan turned out for the Manitoba Great Western Harness Racing circuit, which travels to various towns throughout Manitoba, with the action moving this weekend to Holland.

    Racers round the final corner on the first race of the day during harness racing in Glenboro on Sunday afternoon. Racers, trainers and fans from across the province and Saskatchewan turned out for the Manitoba Great Western Harness Racing circuit, which travels to various towns throughout Manitoba, with the action moving this weekend to Holland.

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  • July 17, 2015

    Exposure: Canada Day in Westman

    Brandon Sun photographers Colin Corneau and Tim Smith captured activities in the Westman area during Canada Day celebrations.

  • Morgan Boryskiewich shows her painted face during Canada Day festivities at Wasagaming in Riding Mountain National Park.

    Morgan Boryskiewich shows her painted face during Canada Day festivities at Wasagaming in Riding Mountain National Park.

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  • July 17, 2015

    Exposure: Our Lady of the Prairies

    A little ways south of Holland on Highway 35 sits the Notre Dame Des Prairies (Our Lady of the Prairies) Monastery, where six elderly Trappist monks tend to their large property, make and sell cheese, and spend their days in prayer. The Trappists are a Roman Catholic religious order that for centuries has followed The Rule of Saint Benedict, a book of precepts that describes the ideals of monastic life. The order takes its name from the La Trappe Abbey in France. The monastery sits on a large property with well manicured grounds, gardens, statues and wooded areas. Although the public is not allowed into the monastery itself, they are welcome to explore the grounds as well as visit the church and the small boutique where they can buy cheese, preserves and various religious items. Visitors can get a small glimpse into the lives of the monks that carry on centuries-old traditions in the quiet solitude of the Prairies. However, the opportunity likely won't be around forever, as all of the remaining monks are now in their twilight years.

  • Brother Jacques Besse rings the church bells during the Sext and None prayers in the church after lunch. Six monks currently reside at the monastery.

    Brother Jacques Besse rings the church bells during the Sext and None prayers in the church after lunch. Six monks currently reside at the monastery.

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  • May 22, 2015

    Exposure: The races

    Two Sundays ago, the trails at the Brandon Hills played host to the Stream ’N’ Wood MTB mountain bike race. Riders from across Manitoba challenged themselves in a variety of class categories.

  • Choe Penner leads a group of riders through the Brandon Hills during
Stream ’N’ Wood mountain bike race.

    Choe Penner leads a group of riders through the Brandon Hills during Stream ’N’ Wood mountain bike race.

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  • April 24, 2015

    Bangkok water fight by Colin Corneau

    BANGKOK — Running gun battles in the streets, women and even children targeted indiscriminately and anarchy gripping a major city marked the Songkran festival in Bangkok. But when the temperatures average 35 C, who doesn’t love a good water fight? Songkran, the Thai New Year, is most notably marked by a widespread water fights. Stores and markets sell water guns everywhere and major streets are jammed with people spraying each other and having fun. Originally celebrated as a more gentle observance involving sprinkling water on family members and elders, and to pay respects to the Buddha, it has evolved into three days of wild abandon. It also doesn’t hurt that it takes place in the hottest month of the year in an already very hot country. One interesting tradition is passersby daubing the faces of others with light-coloured mud. After even a few moments, most of the laughing combatants sport a war paint of sorts, marking them as participants in a city (and country) wide event. I decided to make portraits of these people, in between dodging constant streams and buckets of icy water. Here are just a few of the hundreds of thousands of people taking part in one of the best New Year’s parties on the planet.

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  • March 19, 2015

    Prairie reboot by Tim Smith

    I’ve been in a slump. It happens, especially after I’ve put so much focus into one project for an extended period of time. When I finished producing my “Testing Positive” series, the slump hit hard. It’s hard to go from spending so much time and energy on a project and then just stopping. There’s a void. And starting a new project is always the hardest part. So photography has felt a bit emotionally draining these past few months. In early March, I had a free evening and I drove west with my cameras in shotgun. I love driving the gravel roads that intersect the prairies. When I arrived in Hartney, I was the only person on the main street. The setting sun cast beautiful light across the businesses that line the street. I took out a camera and started playing with a project idea I’ve had in my head for years but always dismissed. And god, it felt good. I’m not sure what this project will turn into but I’m excited to be playing with it, producing some different images. The following images are like little vignettes of what I hope to build the project from. My goal is a finished project that looks vastly different from what you see on the page today but you should see a connection to this work. Who knows, maybe it won’t even work out. But it feels good to be trying again.

  • The setting sun is reflected in an old farm house somewhere on the prairie near Virden.

    The setting sun is reflected in an old farm house somewhere on the prairie near Virden.

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  • March 6, 2015

    The Cutting Room Floor

    Our team of photographers are so industrious and creative, often some images fail to make the initial edit. so here are some recent photos you might not have seen in print.

  • Goalie Jordan Papirny with the Brandon Wheat Kings stands for the canadian national anthem wearing a pink jersey during Pink the Rink night in support of the Canadian Cancer Society at Westman Place on Saturday evening. The Wheaties wore pink jerseys during their 6-4 victory over the Kootenay Ice and auctioned off the jerseys raising over $30,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society.  (Tim Smith/Brandon Sun)

    Goalie Jordan Papirny with the Brandon Wheat Kings stands for the canadian national anthem wearing a pink jersey during Pink the Rink night in support of the Canadian Cancer Society at Westman Place on Saturday evening. The Wheaties wore pink jerseys during their 6-4 victory over the Kootenay Ice and auctioned off the jerseys raising over $30,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society. (Tim Smith/Brandon Sun)

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  • February 20, 2015

    Northern getaway

    Ah, winter. It’s one of my favourite seasons. The cold and snow don’t faze me as long as I have something fun to do. Earlier this month, the boys — Ryan Phaneuf, Curtis Honke, Chris Tyschinski, Carter Cairnes and myself — packed up our sleds, gear and food and headed up north to Ryan’s cabin at Child’s Lake in Duck Mountain Provincial Park, roughly three and a half hours northwest of Brandon. So far this year, we haven’t been out sledding locally due to the fact that our trail systems haven’t been groomed because of the lack of snow. So taking the trek up north was worth it. On Day 1 of our venture, we planned to ride from the cabin to Dauphin, about 250 kilometres round trip. The ride started out great — we were greeted by some deer and it seemed like we were going to be the only ones on the freshly groomed trails. We stopped every 20 to 30 minutes so the slower guys could catch up or just to take a break. Everything was going flawlessly for the first two hours into the day. Then my fun was cut short when my sled broke down about a kilometre from Grandview. Luckily Ryan’s grandfather, Lou, was available to come pick myself and my sled up and truck it back to the cabin. While we waited for the help to arrive, we had a pretty good lunch at Kings Lodge in Grandview. After lunch, we loaded my broken-down sled into the truck and I left for the cabin. The boys decided to cut their trip short and they headed back to the cabin as well. On Day 2, we just decided to pack a lunch and rip around the trails at Child’s Lake. The weather couldn’t have been any better — not too cold and not too warm. Duck Mountain is an excellent place to ride trails. There are lots of little lakes that pass through or around the trails and there are a few warming shacks dotted around the trails where you can stop and cook some lunch or just take a break to warm up. Here is a collection of photos I took while on this northern getaway. Enjoy.

  • A turn around trail at one of the warming shacks within the Duck Mountains.

    A turn around trail at one of the warming shacks within the Duck Mountains.

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  • February 18, 2015

    Year of the Sheep

    Some of Brandon's Chinese community gathered recently for a celebration to mark the Chinese New Year. The biggest event on the traditional Chinese calendar is marked with food, dance and fellowship.

  • Performers stage a traditional Lion Dance during a Chinese New Year's party, Sunday afternoon at Calvary Temple. This week marks the start of the Year of the Sheep in traditional Chinese culture.

    Performers stage a traditional Lion Dance during a Chinese New Year's party, Sunday afternoon at Calvary Temple. This week marks the start of the Year of the Sheep in traditional Chinese culture.