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

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Chemainus family pledges $50,000 to Chemainus Theatre Crisis Relief Fund

The Hilton family pledged $50,000 toward a matched fund. If fully matched, it will raise $100,000

Local woman makes face masks to raise funds for LRCA Food Bank

Cheryl Lowrence made 30 face masks and raised $326.25 for the food bank

Ladysmith family creates music video to show appreciation for community in the face of COVID-19

Sheila Richards, 77 is the star of new music video celebrating community kindness in Ladysmith

Burning complaints prompt regulation reminder from North Oyster Volunteer Fire Department

NOVFD has responded to at least 10 burning complaints in since April 1

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Dump truck in Nanaimo snags power lines, snaps hydro pole, crashes

No injuries in incident Monday morning on Old Victoria Road

Ferry sailings scheduled once again at Nanaimo’s Departure Bay terminal

BC Ferries announces that resumption of service June 3 includes four daily round trips

Island Health signs working agreement to turn former Comox hospital into a ‘dementia village’

Island Health has signed a project development agreement with Providence Living to… Continue reading

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

Most Read