Paul Nicklen in the field. (Photo submitted by Paul Nicklen)

Vancouver Island’s Paul Nicklen given Order of Canada, inducted into International Photography Hall of Fame

Nanoose Bay resident says ‘it was all very humbling’

It was a big year in 2019 for Paul Nicklen, who was recently given the Order of Canada and earlier inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame.

The Nanoose Bay photographer has worked for National Geographic on assignments around the globe. He’s been a photographer since the mid-1990s, when he was in his twenties.

Nicklen is also the co-founder of an ocean conservation organization called SeaLegacy, which he started with his partner, Cristina Mittermeier. The organization aims to educate people about the state of oceans while trying to catalyze lasting change. He quit his job as a wildlife biologist before working with National Geographic, something he knew he always wanted to do.

“I knew I wanted to work for National Geographic, but I don’t think I thought about much beyond that. I did everything I could to make it happen; I quit my job as a wildlife biologist with the government in the Northwest Territories, and I ended up in a really low place after that. I was angry with the world. I was miserable and depressed,” he said in an email to the NEWS. “I started goal-setting, and I eventually ended up under the mentorship of Flip Nicklin, the great whale photographer, and Joel Sortore.”

READ MORE: Soft Shore exhibit brings permanent multi-media gallery to Parksville

Now, Nicklen has six million Instagram followers and a successful TED talk under his belt. Still, he says being given the Order of Canada and being given a place in the International Photography Hall of Fame are overwhelming honours.

“For the International Photography Hall of Fame, I was overwhelmed just to be standing amongst the other inductees. They are amazing people that I’ve always looked up to. It was all very humbling. I had to pinch myself a few times,” he said. “I know that awards like the Order of Canada are not given away lightly. This acknowledgment will allow me to take politicians and corporate leaders to task on the issues that Canadians care about more than I could before.”

Nicklen points to SeaLegacy as a priority alongside his photography.

“Things are going very well with SeaLegacy. We just finished an end-of-year campaign that resulted in 1,000 new people joining The Tide. The Tide is SeaLegacy’s monthly subscription program where members get exclusive, behind-the-scenes insight into our work,” he said. “We can’t take everyone on an expedition with us, but this is close!”

In terms of his goals for 2020, Nicklen said he wants to continue being vocal about what he cares about, while using his photography to get his message across.

“I am going to keep speaking out, standing up and using my art to break down the walls of apathy. My goal is to do what we’re already doing but bigger, with more impact and in a way that reaches more of the global population.”

cloe.logan@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Number of EI recipients up 8.1 per cent in Greater Victoria, but unemployment remains low

Greater Victoria recorded the lowest unemployment in December 2019

Electric BC Ferries vessels on the move in Victoria

Public invited to watch unloading, transport process

Victoria security company sees jump in clients in lower downtown after influx of thefts

Themis Security has signed several new contracts for businesses in lower Yates, Johnson streets area

Saanich’s plastic bag ban won’t be affected by the Supreme Court ruling against Victoria

Council amended Saanich’s ban to align with the B.C. Court of Appeal’s ruling in November

Province rejects two ride hailing operators in Greater Victoria

Two smaller companies rejected in CRD; Uber and Lyft approved in Vancouver

Fashion Fridays: The basics you need for your body type

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Couple wonders who’s in a photo that’s been hanging in their Cariboo home for years

Charles and Lynn Dick believe the image was taken at the 70 Mile Road House

‘I would not go’ to China says B.C. traveller concerned about coronavirus

Alice Li said she goes to China every other year but would scrap any travel plans

Royal Canadian Legion expels B.C. member for wearing unearned military commendations

‘Stolen valour is stolen service and it’s just totally wrong’

‘Latte-sipping urbanites’ need to realize value of mining in B.C., association head says

Industry generates a total of $3.9 billion in sales of goods and service across the province

Uber, Lyft approved for ride-hailing in Lower Mainland

Kater Technologies Inc.’s application was rejected

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

Most Read