CAPIC Prairies Stepping Up Their Game

The Prairies chapter of a national organization who promote advocacy for photographers and illustrators has been gaining momentum this year through increased membership and a full calendar of events.

CAPIC, the Canadian Association of Photographers and Illustrators in Communications, encompasses photographers, illustrators and digital artists from throughout Canada and is more than one thousand members strong.

Started in Toronto in 1978 as a not-for-profit group, CAPIC is now split into a number of different chapters, with the Prairies chapter presently boasting 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 that it is beneficial for visual artists to be a part of CAPIC because the association provides members with a means of communication with other like-minded people, as well as helping them to 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 work a job due to prior commitments, I can refer that client to another member knowing that there is a certain level of professionalism in place.”

Although a national organization, each CAPIC chapter operates autonomously, running their own events and memberships, even providing members with life insurance policies and discounts from numerous industry-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, where photographers and illustrators can get together to exchange ideas and where new members can meet mentors. Not only that, but the chapter will be holding an annual Stampede party as well as its first ever ClipUp night on June 2, something that is very exciting to members.

“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, with members hoping to unify the association nationally in order to create a stronger front and to raise awareness of the organization and its goals.

New student members can join CAPIC for a nominal fee of $10 annually. For other membership information contact Brett Gilmour at or (403) 540-5530.