Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Editorial News
Multimedia
Classified Sites

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

  • 0 Comments

    8 Total Pictures

    View Full Gallery

  • December 15, 2014

    Tim Smith's photos of the year

    Brandon Sun staff photographer Tim Smith's top photos of 2014

  • Sisters Sadies and Emma Poczik play in their grandparents' above-ground pool, unfazed by floodwaters being held back by a dike and super sandbags just beyond them on the south side of Grand Valley Road west of Marsden Road, hours ahead of the expected first crest of this past summer's flood. I met the sisters during the flood of 2011 as they helped to protect their grandparents' home from the rising Assiniboine River. This time, I was high above Grand Valley Road in a Cessna taking aerial photos of the flooding when I spotted the pool right next to the dike. As soon as I landed I headed down GVR, praying to the photo gods that someone would be swimming. They rarely answer. But on this Saturday I got lucky. I spent about an hour photographing the girls playing in the pool and walking along the dike. I excitedly let my editors know immediately after that I had a great flood feature photo for Monday's front, barring any big breaking news. This apparently angered the photo gods because moments later I received a phone call that Prime Minister Stephen Harper would be visiting Brandon the following day. Then later that evening, a powerful storm wreaked havoc on Brandon's south end. This photo clearly wasn't going to make the front page, but we still gave it nice play in the paper.

    Sisters Sadies and Emma Poczik play in their grandparents' above-ground pool, unfazed by floodwaters being held back by a dike and super sandbags just beyond them on the south side of Grand Valley Road west of Marsden Road, hours ahead of the expected first crest of this past summer's flood. I met the sisters during the flood of 2011 as they helped to protect their grandparents' home from the rising Assiniboine River. This time, I was high above Grand Valley Road in a Cessna taking aerial photos of the flooding when I spotted the pool right next to the dike. As soon as I landed I headed down GVR, praying to the photo gods that someone would be swimming. They rarely answer. But on this Saturday I got lucky. I spent about an hour photographing the girls playing in the pool and walking along the dike. I excitedly let my editors know immediately after that I had a great flood feature photo for Monday's front, barring any big breaking news. This apparently angered the photo gods because moments later I received a phone call that Prime Minister Stephen Harper would be visiting Brandon the following day. Then later that evening, a powerful storm wreaked havoc on Brandon's south end. This photo clearly wasn't going to make the front page, but we still gave it nice play in the paper.

  • 0 Comments

    6 Total Pictures

    View Full Gallery

  • October 8, 2014

    Lunar eclipse

    The moon turned red on Wednesday morning, Oct. 8, as it swept through the Earth's shadow.

  • A blood-red moon turns white on Wednesday morning as the Earth's shadow slides away from the lunar surface in this multiple exposure of the lunar eclipse, seen at 20-minute intervals.

    A blood-red moon turns white on Wednesday morning as the Earth's shadow slides away from the lunar surface in this multiple exposure of the lunar eclipse, seen at 20-minute intervals.

  • 0 Comments

    19 Total Pictures

    View Full Gallery

  • September 6, 2014

    EXPOSURE: Crossfit

    Known at least as much for the devotion it inspires in its adherents as for the extremely tough exercises — and the results — the fitness regime known as CrossFit is a philosophy as well as a workout. Over the last seven months, Tim Smith made repeated visits to the CrossFit Rocked gym in Brandon to photograph enthusiasts in training. There, people take part in a variety of custom exercises, including a Workout of the Day that is a high-intensity surprise when trainees show up. Here is a collection of Tim’s images.

  • 0 Comments

    32 Total Pictures

    View Full Gallery

  • August 23, 2014

    Testing Positive, part two

    Part two of a special feature by photojournalist Tim Smith on a family dealing with cancer. First Cheryl's son Colin was diagnosed with leukemia. Then, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. See the August 16 edition of the Brandon Sun Weekend magazine or visit bdnsun.ca/TestingPositive1 for part one.

  • Cheryl, Emily and Colin spend a quiet Sunday evening at home, playing games and watching television.

    Cheryl, Emily and Colin spend a quiet Sunday evening at home, playing games and watching television.

  • 0 Comments

    32 Total Pictures

    View Full Gallery

  • August 14, 2014

    Testing Positive, part one

    Brandon Sun photographer Tim Smith has been following Cheryl’s family since February during their battle with cancer. He'll continue to do so for the remainder of 2014. See the August 23 edition of the Brandon Sun Weekend magazine or visit bdnsun.ca/TestingPositive2 for part two.

  • Cheryl and Colin, mother and son bonded by cancer, wrestle on the kitchen floor one evening in April.

    Cheryl and Colin, mother and son bonded by cancer, wrestle on the kitchen floor one evening in April.

  • 0 Comments

    13 Total Pictures

    View Full Gallery

  • June 16, 2014

    Manitoba Motocross at Farm Boys Raceway

    On Sunday, June 15th, hundreds of motocross competitors kicked up mud during a variety of different motocross races at Farm Boys Raceway south of Brandon. Brandon Sun photographer Tim Smith spent some time documenting the event.

  • Flag man Peter Hutchinson watches a corner to make sure there are no falls as Carson Wiebe roars past him with other racers kicking up mud during the 250 A final.

    Flag man Peter Hutchinson watches a corner to make sure there are no falls as Carson Wiebe roars past him with other racers kicking up mud during the 250 A final.

  • 0 Comments

    20 Total Pictures

    View Full Gallery

  • June 16, 2014

    EXPOSURE: Portraits from the Manitoba Summer Fair

    Every year, the Manitoba Summer Fair brings in a wide variety of people, all eager to take in the sights, sounds, tastes and thrills of the midway and exhibition. This year Brandon Sun photographer Tim Smith took portraits of a variety of fair goers to create a unique visual narrative from the fair.

  • Kallie White.

    Kallie White.

  • 0 Comments

    14 Total Pictures

    View Full Gallery

  • June 9, 2014

    Behind the scenes at the IDFA Prairie Classic

    On Saturday, June 7, bodybuilders from across the province gathered at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium to compete in the International Drug Free Athletics Prairie Classic bodybuilding competition. The smells of tanning solutions and oils permeated the auditorium as competitors exercised and practiced their poses backstage prior to competing. For many, this was their first bodybuilding competition. A large crowd of supporters cheered for their friends from their seats as they took the stage and the event had a friendly and supportive atmosphere despite being a competition. Brandon Sun photographer Tim Smith spent some time documenting the event from in front of, behind and above the stage.

  • 61-year-old Valentine Payne of Winnipeg lifts weights to pump up his muscles backstage prior to competing.

    61-year-old Valentine Payne of Winnipeg lifts weights to pump up his muscles backstage prior to competing.

  • 0 Comments

    15 Total Pictures

    View Full Gallery

  • June 9, 2014

    Behind the Scenes at the Manitoba Summer Fair Demolition Derby

    As the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba Summer Fair rolls into Brandon every June one of the most popular events is the Demolition Derby that takes place on the last day of the fair. Crowds fill the bleachers and hug the metal fences to watch the carnage of metal hitting metal. Fans cheer as tires kick up mud, engines billow smoke and occasionally fire, and full sized cars are turned into compacts. And behind the scenes, crews of derby enthusiasts work to pound dents out of their chassis, repair brake lines and radiators, change blown tires and rig their cars up to get them running as well as they can for the next heat. In the grand scheme of life, the victories may be small but on this day to those invested in the sport, the wins taste as sweet as champagne and the losses taste as sour as vinegar.

  • Competitors crash and bash each other in hopes of taking home to trophy in the Feature heat.

    Competitors crash and bash each other in hopes of taking home to trophy in the Feature heat.

  • 0 Comments

    7 Total Pictures

    View Full Gallery

  • May 17, 2014

    EXPOSURE: Fantastic Grand Valley Foxes

    I moved to Brandon with my wife and son in 2007 and for the first few years of our life here we lived in an old farm house on 37 acres of land on Grand Valley Road. We were privileged with beautiful sunrises and sunsets, post-shower rainbows that arced across the valley and thunderstorms that lit up the night in short bright flashes. We also were surrounded by wildlife. White tail deer traipsed all over our property bedding down in the ravines and looking for food on the land. A family of Swainson's hawks nested in a tree on the hill above our house. Coyotes would howl the night away from what sounded like right outside our bedroom windows, as would owls. Raccoons would play in the trees throughout the property and snakes and salamanders could be found in our garden. And in spring 2011, a red fox vixen built a den a few hundred metres from our kitchen window. We had close to two months to watch her kits grow as they wrestled outside their den, chased squirrels up and down our driveway and brought their mother to hysterics by leaving the den at night. We know this because we would hear them playing outside our window followed by the screams and howls of their mother trying to locate and protect them. In tribute to Canadian author and environmentalist Farley Mowat, who passed away last weekend, and whose books Never Cry Wolf and Sea of Slaughter I have loved, here is a selection of never-before-published images from the Grand Valley fox den. I think it is important for everyone to experience the wild as often as they can in their busy lives.

  • The bravest and most curious kit settles down for a nap outside the den but something in the grass catches it's interest.

    The bravest and most curious kit settles down for a nap outside the den but something in the grass catches it's interest.

  • 0 Comments

    37 Total Pictures

    View Full Gallery

  • May 3, 2014

    EXPOSURE: New York City Streets

    A few weeks ago, I travelled to New York to meet with editors from the New York Times, Getty Images, Time Magazine and National Geographic as part of a day of portfolio reviews curated by the New York Times. This being my first trip to the city that never sleeps, I made sure to take a few extra days to explore. I love wandering big cities aimlessly with a camera in hand. I had four days and nights to walk the streets and ride the subway, so I decided to stick mainly to Manhattan aside from a quick visit to Brooklyn. I wandered through Chinatown, Little Italy, the Lower East Side and the East Village. I photographed Central Park, Battery Park, Bryant Park and the beautiful High Line park. I passed the high-end shoppers on Fifth Avenue and the Wall Street crowd, as well as the tourists taking the ferry to the Statue of Liberty or craning their necks to take in the visual over-stimulation of Times Square. I strolled through Midtown and rode the subway to Grand Central Station and Union Station. I walked for hours on end and loved every minute. I also had the fortune of having friends from Winnipeg who live in Manhattan who were more than willing to show me around and introduce me to way too much good food. This week's set of images are my attempt at street photography from the city that I grew up getting to know primarily through Ramones songs and iconic skateboarding spots like the Brooklyn Banks. I used a Fuji X100s for the majority of the photos and occasionally pulled out my iPhone and used the Hipstamatic app as well.

  • A man takes a photograph of Times Square.

    A man takes a photograph of Times Square.

  • 0 Comments

    13 Total Pictures

    View Full Gallery

  • February 26, 2014

    EXPOSURE: Festival of the Dance

    When you've covered the same event every year for the past six years now, it can be a soul sucking challenge to approach it with a fresh set of eyes. This year for the dance portion of the Festival of the Arts I tried to create a few images that were different from my usual take. I played with multiple exposures, slow shutter speeds and different lenses to create a few more artistic images alongside my regular photos. All of the effects were created in camera using a Canon 5D Mark III.

  • In this double exposure photograph dancer Delaney Nykorak is framed within her own pupil as she performs in the Variety Solo, Own Choice, 16 Years and Under category during the dance portion of the Festival of the Arts.

    In this double exposure photograph dancer Delaney Nykorak is framed within her own pupil as she performs in the Variety Solo, Own Choice, 16 Years and Under category during the dance portion of the Festival of the Arts.

  • 0 Comments

    22 Total Pictures

    View Full Gallery

  • January 7, 2014

    EXPOSURE: Tim Smith's Photos of the Year

    This time of year always comes way too quickly. In the photojournalism world, part of December or January is typically spent looking over one’s work, picking favourites and editing images for the annual photojournalism competitions. It’s a time to reflect on a year’s worth of work and think to myself “I thought I had better pictures.” On Jan. 1, I’ll start again, full of hope that the new year will yield better results than the prior. Some quick stats. As it stands (with a few weeks to go before 2014) I have filed approximately 3,160 images for the Brandon Sun. Most of them have run in the paper or online. Some readers may be surprised at my favourite images each year. I am drawn to life’s simple moments as well as stories and narratives that I have the privilege of documenting as they play out. My favourite images typically don’t come from big sporting or news events. They don’t come from events attended by Brandon’s elite, of which I cover many. You also won’t find an image from a car crash or a fire in this edit although I did include a few images from this past summer’s big storms. My photographic passion lies in less-seen glimpses of daily life and intimate stories that can only be told by simply spending time with subjects. Along with each photo I have written a bit about how my work process or what I feel makes the image special. Hopefully it provides a bit of insight into how I document life in Westman.

  • JANUARY 4, 2013 - Silhouetted sledders are framed by the colourful Christmas lights on display at Hanbury Hill as the sun sets on the western horizon Friday evening. I like finding different ways of looking at everyday events. In this case my photo matched exactly with the idea in my head. It is a rare and great feeling when that occurs.

    JANUARY 4, 2013 - Silhouetted sledders are framed by the colourful Christmas lights on display at Hanbury Hill as the sun sets on the western horizon Friday evening. I like finding different ways of looking at everyday events. In this case my photo matched exactly with the idea in my head. It is a rare and great feeling when that occurs.

  • 0 Comments

    34 Total Pictures

    View Full Gallery

  • January 3, 2013

    Colin Corneau's Photos of the Year

    The end of the year is always a good opportunity to not only look forward, but back too. Few things help me realize what a year actually is than remembering photos I took three, or six, or 12 months ago. It can seem both a long, long time and over in a flash all at the same time. All of my colleagues here at the Sun are using this opportunity to showcase images that caught our eye or heart, and give a chance to pictures that might not have had one to be printed yet. That’s exactly what I hope to use my chance for. These images stayed with me throughout 2012, and said something about what I thought was important or worth taking a few moments for. I hope they can say the same things to you and what’s important in the community we share.

  • A young Buddhist monk bows in front of a temple in a Tibetan refugee camp near Pokhara, Nepal. The boy had asked to visit his parents and the abbot of the monastery granted him permission, provided he bow 800 times first. When I asked how far he’d gotten as I took this picture, a fellow monk replied, “About halfway, now.”

    A young Buddhist monk bows in front of a temple in a Tibetan refugee camp near Pokhara, Nepal. The boy had asked to visit his parents and the abbot of the monastery granted him permission, provided he bow 800 times first. When I asked how far he’d gotten as I took this picture, a fellow monk replied, “About halfway, now.”

  • 0 Comments

    21 Total Pictures

    View Full Gallery

  • January 3, 2013

    Bruce Bumstead's Photos of the Year

    The year is coming to an end which brings us to a point to reflect on the past twelve months and the images that were made. Having been with the Sun for more than a decade and a half, I can count myself lucky to to be in the company of great colleagues who have been supportive, both personally and professionally. An idea was passed around this year to offer a few words about the images that ranked top in our picks for the “Best of 2012”, and to share that with you, our readers. Because photography is so subjective, what one person likes will differ greatly from the next. So I thought I would share some methods behind what I look for in an image. Advice that I received, as a much younger photographer, boils down good images to three main areas — good angle, good light and good content. If you can incorporate any of these into your images, you have the making of a good picture. Combine all three and now it becomes a great image. This was the advice given to me by Peter Bregg, then chief photographer for Maclean’s Magazine and student advisor at Loyalist College’s photojournalism program. I often repeat this advice went asked “what makes a picture good?” Anyway, I digress. My selections this year have been chosen from different categories. People, patterns, colour, and, because I enjoy nature and the outdoors, for the birds. Within these themes, I have chosen images that try to incorporate the three key ingredients that help create images with impact. From up close and personal to something a little slower, different techniques and timing can create new effects that enhance the content of an image, like the case of the Musical Ride. In most cases, it means being in the right place at the right time to capture an eclipsed sun silhouetting a bird sitting on an old threshing machine. I hope that you enjoy taking a second look at my images that have appeared on the Brandon Sun and I leave you with a personal image, taken at Kakabeka Falls outside of Thunder Bay. I first visited this natural wonder when I was just a young boy, stopping for a night on my visit trip to Manitoba from southern Ontario. Summer holidays seem so hectic and too many times I would take the Highway 102 by-pass missing Kakabeka Falls. While traveling back west with my sister, who was planning a reunion with a dear friend in Kenora, she convinced me to stop at the old childhood memory. Need I say more? Maybe not my best, but certainly my favourite image created in 2012.

  • Students from a local Kung Fu club give a quick demonstration for students from King George School during the school's cultural fair.

    Students from a local Kung Fu club give a quick demonstration for students from King George School during the school's cultural fair.

  • 0 Comments

    20 Total Pictures

    View Full Gallery

  • October 4, 2013

    EXPOSURE: Religious celebration on the riverbank

    Last Saturday members of Brandon’s Ethiopian Orthodox religious community gathered at Dinsdale Park to celebrate Meskel, an important religious holiday within their church. Meskel means “cross” in the language Ge’ez, which originated in parts of Ethiopia and Eritrea and is the language used in the Ethiopian Orthodox church services. The holiday marks the church’s belief that the cross upon which Jesus was crucified was discovered in the fourth century. An important part of the celebration includes the burning of a large bonfire. Prior to the service, church members built up the bonfire and decorated it with colourful fall foliage from bushes lining the Assiniboine River. As the sun slowly made its way towards the western horizon, a large congregation took part in the service. Towards the end of the service, the bonfire was lit. Spectacular orange flames leapt several metres into the sky as the choir led members in song and dance. For Brandon, the celebration represents one of many events taking place that are redefining the Wheat City as we become more culturally diverse. It was a beautiful display that added some colour and variety to our prairie landscape.

  • Betty Yigzaw sports earrings in the shape of the country of Ethiopia. The colours on the earrings are those from the Ethiopian flag.

    Betty Yigzaw sports earrings in the shape of the country of Ethiopia. The colours on the earrings are those from the Ethiopian flag.

  • 0 Comments

    20 Total Pictures

    View Full Gallery

  • May 16, 2014

    EXPOSURE: After the Storm

    One week ago, on the evening of Saturday, July 13, the community of Pipestone received the brunt of a powerful storm that pressed through to western Manitoba from Saskatchewan. In less than half-an-hour powerful winds destroyed buildings and homes, flipped vehicles and trailers, toppled gravestones, brought trees and hydro poles crashing down and caused other widespread damage. Brandon Sun reporter Graeme Bruce and I were already pulling into Souris on Highway 2 in anticipation of what weather radar predicted could be a powerful storm when we received word that Pipestone had been hit and damage was widespread. We arrived in town approximately an hour after the storm. I spent the next three days, two with Graeme, wandering the streets of Pipestone and the surrounding area talking to residents and documenting the destruction. The first night we were there everyone gathered in groups surveying the damage and swapping stories of what they had just been through. Pipestone was full of out-of-towners in for the Pipestone Fun Days and despite the damage and the shock many kept the positive atmosphere of the fun days going by candlelight or car headlights. By the next morning everyone was in clean up mode pulling together to help those who needed it most. As word got out about the storm, volunteers began to pour in and by Monday the town already looked different than in the days previous with many of the large trees that had fallen removed and debris cleaned up. For this weeks Exposure I wanted to create a portrait of the community and the volunteers that is different from the hundreds of images of the destruction and clean-up I had taken for the daily paper. I decided to create a series of portraits of the clean-up effort by combining digital and analog tools. I used both a Canon 5DIII digital SLR camera and my wife's old Rolleiflex twin-lens-reflex medium-format film camera to create the images. They may remind some photo enthusiasts of the filter effects that can be applied to digital photos using camera-phone apps such as Hipstamatic and Instagram but they took a great deal more effort to create. I mounted the Rolleiflex (circa 1960's) on a tripod and using a black shirt to block out the sunlight I pointed my digital camera down at the top-level viewfinder on the Rollei and photographed portraits of the subjects I had framed within. The Rollieflex viewfinder displays images backwards so the images you see are actually flipped 180 degrees along the horizontal plane from how they were in reality. So with the Rollie on a tripod in one hand and my digital SLR in the other I walked around the town meeting people and explaining my project. Despite being very busy with the clean-up almost everyone I met generously gave a few minutes of their time so I could take their photo. The RM of Pipestone has had an unfair share of bad luck when it comes to weather events this year. Here's hoping they catch a break.

  • Shawn Wallace and Lee Jackson sits atop the roof of what was their garage outside their home before removing it with the help of members of Souris River Hutterite Colony. When the storm blew in their front door, Lee fought hard against the wind to force it back closed.

    Shawn Wallace and Lee Jackson sits atop the roof of what was their garage outside their home before removing it with the help of members of Souris River Hutterite Colony. When the storm blew in their front door, Lee fought hard against the wind to force it back closed.

  • 0 Comments

    19 Total Pictures

    View Full Gallery

  • February 14, 2014

    EXPOSURE: Tatyanna's Hope - Part Three

    The past few months have been marked by new milestones for the Zazalak family. Some good. Some bad. On the good side, Tatyanna celebrated her 10th birthday on Feb. 28 surrounded by friends and family. On the bad side she had to be intubated for the first time and spent almost all of January hospitalized in Winnipeg. After a brief hospital stay for pneumonia in October 2012, Tatyanna went on a good run where her health improved to the best it’s been in a year and she stayed healthy right through Christmas. On Dec. 28 the Zazalaks decided to go shopping in the evening since Tatyanna was doing so well. While at the mall things started to go south. Tatyanna’s parents could tell something was off so they packed up the van to leave. Within minutes of getting into the van Tatyanna was in the middle of a status epilepticus seizure — a consistent seizure lasting more than five minutes — and wasn’t breathing. Her parents rushed her to the Brandon Regional Hospital and when doctors there couldn’t get the seizure under control she was intubated and transported to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit of the Children’s Hospital in Winnipeg via Lifeflight air ambulance. After a couple days at the Children’s Hospital she was transported back to Brandon on Jan. 31 to spend New Years Eve at the Brandon hospital and was released on Jan. 1. She was home for six days. On Jan. 6 Tatyanna again suffered a status seizure and was again intubated and transported back to Winnipeg via Lifeflight. This time both she and Janelle stayed in hospital in Winnipeg for more than three weeks until Jan. 31. During her stay, doctors worked initially to control her seizures and then her myoclonis, which refers to the random twitching of muscles that occurs in some brain disorders. Tatyanna’s medications were aggressively increased during her stay as doctors worked via trial and error to find the right combination of drugs to best treat her. During the 26 days Tatyanna spent in hospital, Janelle didn’t leave the hospital once. She barely left Tatyanna’s side except to occasionally rush down to the cafeteria for a coffee. Trent made several trips to Winnipeg to visit his daughter and to bring Janelle fresh clothes, food and other items. Tatyanna’s siblings weren’t allowed to visit her in hospital due to visitor restrictions. Janelle’s sister, who lives in Winnipeg would drop off supper for Janelle in the evenings. On Jan. 31, Tatyanna was transported back to Brandon hospital and she was again released a day later. Since her latest release from hospital Tatyanna has had good days and bad but nothing requiring hospitalization save for one night for observation in Brandon. “We have the resources to manage her better at home now,” says Janelle, referring to oxygen and a higher medication regiment. But what they don’t have at home now is outside help. In the fall Trent and Janelle began the paperwork to change Tatyanna’s designation from URIS B to URIS A at the request of the Brandon School Division. The change means that Tatyanna would be supported at school by a trained medical professional rather than an educational assistant. What should have been a simple and relatively quick change has been stuck in months of bureaucratic limbo, which has meant Tatyanna has been without the support to be able to attend school during her good spells and her family is without support at home as well, while everything is worked out. Because of this Trent and Janelle can’t take a break to go to a movie or out to dinner or even to do things like shop for groceries together. Aside from the trips to the hospital Janelle has left her home only once since Dec. 28 for a meeting with the Brandon School Division and a hair cut. But somehow Trent and Janelle still manage smiles and jokes as they deal with the new realities of the disease that is slowly taking their daughter from them. And on Feb. 28 family and friends got together at the Zazalaks’ home to celebrate a very important occasion — Tatyanna’s 10th birthday, something her parents were unsure she would see during her hospitalization in January. But Tatyanna continues to rally and continues to surprise so her family continues to fight for her and enjoy all the small things.

  • Tatyanna Zazalak celebrated her tenth birthday on February 28, an important milestone and a great reason to celebrate.

    Tatyanna Zazalak celebrated her tenth birthday on February 28, an important milestone and a great reason to celebrate.

  • 0 Comments

    28 Total Pictures

    View Full Gallery

  • February 14, 2014

    EXPOSURE: Tatyanna's Hope - Part 1

    Tatyanna Zazalak is nine-years-old and is living with Batten disease, a fatal autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder. But if there is one thing that her parents Trent and Janelle have sought to give her above all else, it is a sense of normalcy. This is part one of their story. ***Part one also ran in the Oct. 13, 2012 print edition of the Brandon Sun***

  • A nursing resident checks Tatyanna's breathing during a stay at the Brandon Regional Health Centre in May due to respiratory issues.

    A nursing resident checks Tatyanna's breathing during a stay at the Brandon Regional Health Centre in May due to respiratory issues.

  • 0 Comments

    23 Total Pictures

    View Full Gallery

  • May 16, 2014

    EXPOSURE: Club de Skinautique

    About an hour southwest of Brandon lies a beautiful lake that straddles the border between Canada and the United States: Lake Metigoshe. Local cottage owners on the lake joke about the secrecy of the hidden gem, which rivals Clear Lake for beauty in Westman but is certainly less well known. The majority of the lake falls on the North Dakota side of the border, with a bay that juts north into Manitoba just west of Turtle Mountain Provincial Park. For every summer since the late 1950s, the lake has been home to a waterski club that is unique both for its rarity in the region — being one of the only clubs in existence in the northern US — and for its bi-national make-up. The Club de Skinautique waterski club, which operates on the North Dakota side of the lake, is made up of both Canadian and American members. The club is open to anyone, holds practices every weekend throughout the summer and puts on a variety of shows for locals and visitors to the area. Their shows take place in the water bordering Skinautique hill, a grassy slope that provides perfect theatre-style seating for spectators. Boaters also park in the water directly opposite the bay to take in the entertainment. During shows, the club's 30 or so members, who range in age from eight to their early 20s, perform a wide variety of acts from acrobatics to trick skiing to jumping. Sometimes alumni members, of whom there have been a few hundred over the years, join in to show off some stunts. When I learned that such a club existed so close to Brandon, I knew I had to photograph it. Throughout the summer I made a few trips down to the lake to document the team as they practiced and performed on the water.

  • Club President Jamie Teetaert of Brandon kicks up walls of spray while he slalom skis on a sunny and hot Monday morning.

    Club President Jamie Teetaert of Brandon kicks up walls of spray while he slalom skis on a sunny and hot Monday morning.

  • 0 Comments

    18 Total Pictures

    View Full Gallery

  • July 5, 2013

    EXPOSURE: Finding Answers

    Sioux Valley sweat lodge elder Harold Blacksmith has been leading sweats since 1986, helping to keep sacred Dakota songs and traditions alive. The sweats “help guide us to find answers… to find that cultural identity,” he says. In May, Blacksmith partnered with the the Native Alcohol and Drug Addiction Program (NADAP), Mental Health Services and Community and Youth Correctional Services to put on bi-weekly Thursday evening sweats at Sioux Valley Dakota Nation. Young men from the community who are struggling with identity, drug addiction and other issues are encouraged to attend to learn more about their cultural and spiritual history. The sweat lodge also offers them a purpose as they are expected to help in the preparation for the sweat. Travis Mazawasicuna, an addictions councillor and support services worker with NADAP, sees value in using traditional approaches to help his clients on the reserve. “Usually if someone has an addiction, it’s related to mental health,” Mazawasicuna says emotional issues such as grieving, loss and childhood issues play a big part in the clients he sees. The Thursday evening sweats give them another option towards their healing. It is open to men of all ages that are seeking identity, spiritual belief and a different way to learn and to cope. Any of the men at Sioux Valley are welcome to come out to the sweats. Mark Blacksmith, 24, first attended a sweat lodge at age 16. He’s been participating in the Thursday evening sweats since they began in May. “I come for peace of mind,” he says. “It makes you feel good. It makes you feel better anyway. I find it peaceful.” The program has funding for six months and Mazawasicuna is hopeful that it is successful enough that they can apply for more funding in the fall. Recently, I was invited out to Sioux Valley to document and take part in a Thursday evening sweat lodge ceremony. As is the case with many spiritually, culturally or religiously sacred events, I knew that I would not be able to photograph the actual ceremony in the sweat lodge. But I was still eager to go, apparently the first of a variety of invited media to accept the invitation. I photographed the lead-up to and the events after the sweat and put my cameras down and stripped down to shorts and a towel to join the other participants in the lodge for the sweat. In truth, my cameras would have been useless during the ceremony anyway. Once the door to the lodge was closed, it was pitch black under the canvas aside from the faint red glow of the heated stones. After the door was closed, lodge elder Harold Blacksmith used a hollowed out bison horn to pour water onto the heated grandfather stones to create steam. Thus began the sweat. Each “door” — the term for the time when the door was closed for the sweat — lasted between five and 10 minutes and there were four doors for a total of about half-an-hour spent inside. During each door, Blacksmith would alternate between prayer and song in Dakota and others would join in as well. A drum and an eagle whistle accompanied the songs. The experience was incredible and a bit disorienting at first as the sounds enveloped the senses and the darkness took away my sense of bearing or place within the lodge. When the door was opened, the steam would dissipate and a breeze would provide a touch of relief from the extreme heat. During the breaks, Blacksmith would give direction on the meditation for the next door and other participants would speak of their experiences in the sweat. I sweated more than I have probably ever sweated in my life, but it felt good. I’ve been fortunate in my career to have taken part in a variety of cultural and religious events, and even if the beliefs I am documenting are completely different from my own, I am always eager to learn from them. After the sweat, I was invited into a nearby teepee for a feast as is tradition. We talked about the sweat and a few other things and then we smoked a pipe and the event was over. I look forward to further documenting the sweat and taking part again the future. Many at Sioux Valley get frustrated by the many negative stories from the community that appear in the media. They want outsiders to know that there are positive stories, too. And I know that this is true because I have visited Sioux Valley on several occasions and I have photographed the little celebrations of daily life that take place in the community. Sioux Valley does have some serious problems but there are also great stories coming out of the community. This is one of them.

  • The sweat lodge is seen inside a wind break at Sioux Valley Dakota Nation. The frame is made from choke cherry branches and it is covered in canvas. Participants sit in a circle around a dug-out depression where the heated stones sit.

    The sweat lodge is seen inside a wind break at Sioux Valley Dakota Nation. The frame is made from choke cherry branches and it is covered in canvas. Participants sit in a circle around a dug-out depression where the heated stones sit.

  • 0 Comments

    30 Total Pictures

    View Full Gallery

  • December 1, 2012

    EXPOSURE: Seasons in Solitude

    Clare Haralson has lived alone on a farm south of Erickson for 26 years. Brandon Sun Photographer Tim Smith has spent the past six month's documenting his daily life.

  • Clare cinches his jacket to keep out the cold as he begins his walk north to Erickson on Highway 10 on a cool day in May. The bible scripture was painted on his barn more than twenty years ago and is a common sight for travellers on Highway 10.

    Clare cinches his jacket to keep out the cold as he begins his walk north to Erickson on Highway 10 on a cool day in May. The bible scripture was painted on his barn more than twenty years ago and is a common sight for travellers on Highway 10.

  • 0 Comments

    36 Total Pictures

    View Full Gallery

  • May 16, 2014

    EXPOSURE: The Brandon Snowboard Club's private playground

    Four years ago Jordan Ross, a local skateboarder/snowboarder and owner of Senate Skate and Snow, began working on an idea that had lingered in his brain for many years. He wanted to build a snowboard park. When I first heard about it, I probably rolled my eyes because who just up and builds a snowboard park complete with a rope-tow, lighting and snow-making capabilities? Most people with big ideas quickly abandon hope when they realize how difficult it is to turn dreams into reality. But Jordan got to work and persevered despite setbacks, including a lack of snow last season. He formed the Brandon Snowboard Club, found land to use for the hill and began researching how to build a snowboard park for club members. Then he and a group of dedicated BSC volunteers began building — at the site of the former waterslide park on Grand Valley Road near the Trans Canada Highway. They put in the rope tow, installed lighting for nighttime riding, and used a provincial grant to put a roof on one of the old buildings and make it into a clubhouse. They also built a wide variety of obstacles for snowboarders to enjoy, learned how to make snow, had four members certified as coaches through Canada Snowboard and this year organized evening snowboard camps for 10- to 15-year-olds. Four years of hard work have really paid off this year as the hill has been running smoothly with an abundance of snow since early December. Over the past four months, I’ve been visiting the park regularly to document the season.

  • Thirteen-year-old Journie Pattle boardslides the rainbow rail at twilight on a warm February evening.

    Thirteen-year-old Journie Pattle boardslides the rainbow rail at twilight on a warm February evening.