The Prairies chapter of CAPIC, a national organization advocating for photographers and illustrators, has been gaining momentum through increased membership and a full calendar of events.
CAPIC, the Canadian Association of Photographers and Illustrators in Communications, represents photographers, illustrators and digital artists from across Canada. CAPIC is more than one thousand members strong.
Started in Toronto in 1978 as a not-for-profit group, CAPIC has split into different chapters across Canada. The Prairies chapter presently has around 80 members.
“As visual arts professionals we tend to work in isolation,” said Brett Gilmour, owner of Brett Gilmour Photography and Vice President of Membership for the association. “Through CAPIC we can stay in touch with fellow photographers as well as staying in touch with the industry.”
Brett believes it is beneficial for visual artists to be a part of CAPIC because the association provides members with a means of communicating with other photography professionals. It also helps photographers and illustrators further their professional careers.
“Through the portfolio gallery that CAPIC runs, clients have been able to find and contact me,” said Brett. “Not only that, but if I cannot accept a commission, I can confidently refer the client to another CAPIC member knowing that they have been peer reviewed and professional standards.”
Although it’s a national organization, each CAPIC chapter operates autonomously. The chapters run their own events and memberships. The national association provides members with life insurance policies and discounts from numerous advertising and imaging related businesses.
The CAPIC Prairies chapter has begun to blossom in the past four years and are now looking to boost membership by hosting a number of different events throughout the year.
“We understand that there has to be a reason to join, something tangible that we can give back to our members,” said Brett.
The Prairies chapter holds a monthly xChange night, usually on the first Monday of each month. Photographers and illustrators get together to exchange ideas and new members can meet mentors. The Prairie chapter will be holding an annual Stampede party in Calgary. The inaugural ClipUp night is on June 2, it’s a LoFi 1 night only gallery show of the members work with a competitive twist.
“ClipUp night is great because it allows members from all over the Prairies to participate because they can submit their work electronically,” said Brett, now in his third term as a board member. “Next month’s theme is ‘Transform.’ People will submit their work to one print house. The images will then be hung without name cards and everyone attending will get two secret votes– with the winner receiving the coveted Clipup trophy.”
Brett hopes that the increase of calendar events will encourage more members to join the association as well as providing them with more outlets in which to connect with other visual artists.
“We are really focused on bringing student members to CAPIC,” said Brett. “We realize that in order to develop the future of CAPIC, we must begin at the grass roots level.”
The future of CAPIC looks strong. Members hoping to unify the association nationally in order to create a stronger front and to raise awareness of the organization and its goals.