February exhibition: "Sacred Headwaters, Sacred Journey"

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Our February exhibition, Sacred Headwaters, Sacred Journey, showcases photography by award-winning wildlife and environmental photographer Paul Colangelo.This exhibit is currently touring North America and comes to Smithers following Mountainfilm in Telluride, CO, and Banff Mountain Film Festival. Paul is a member of the elite group of International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) whose work contributed to the newly released book The Sacred Headwaters by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Wade Davis. We are honoured to have this opportunity to exhibit Paul's breathtaking photography in Smithers.

Exhibition dates: January 31 - February 25, 2012

Opening reception: Meet the artist at our opening reception on Friday February 3, from 7-9pm. All welcome - admission is free and the appetizers are always delicious!

Artist talk: Paul will be giving a 'BreakThru Noon' lunchtime talk and presentation at the Gallery on Wednesday February 8 at 12 noon. Admission is free and open to all - just turn up and bring your lunch!

Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12pm–4pm

For more information: Contact the Gallery at info@smithersart.org, (250) 847-3898


Paul Colangelo is a photographer specializing in environmental issues, wildlife and the crossroads of culture and the natural world.

Paul is a National Geographic grantee and an Associate Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers.

Committed to conservation, Paul documents environmental issues with the goal of raising awareness and support. His recent work on the Sacred Headwaters shed light on this remote region in northern British Columbia and raised international support for its
protection. For his work on this issue, Paul was awarded the North American Nature Photography Association Foundation’s Philip Hyde Environment Grant and Mountainfilm’s inaugural Commitment Grant. The Royal Bank of Canada’s Blue Water Project produced Sacred Headwaters, Sacred Journey, an exhibit on the project to be toured around North America. Paul is a contributing photographer for a book on the Sacred Headwaters by National Geographic Explorer-in-residence Wade Davis.

Sacred Headwaters, Sacred Journey has exhibited at Mountainfilm in Telluride and Banff Mountain Film Festival.

Paul is currently working on a National Geographic-supported project on the world’s largest herd of Stone’s sheep, which lives on Todagin Mountain in the Sacred Headwaters.

Paul is an Associate Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, comprising 100 of the world’s top photographers who dedicate their time to environmental issues. Paul’s work has exhibited in the Smithsonian Museum and has been recognized by the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards and
the International Photography Awards.

To view Paul’s work, please visit:


I first travelled to the Sacred Headwaters in Summer 2009 to photograph Smithers’ Ali Howard during her epic swim of the Skeena River. This was meant to be no more than a short one-week shoot, but walking the valley of the Skeena headwaters and meeting the Tahltan people who have fought and sacrificed so much to protect their land left me wanting to learn and share the story of the Sacred Headwaters. A simple one-week shoot grew to a three-year journey through the magnificent yet imperiled landscape, ecosystems and culture of the Sacred Headwaters. This is a wilderness at a crossroads – the moratorium on coal bed methane development in the Sacred Headwaters expires in December 2012. Our actions this year will determine whether we share this land with future generations or industrialize it as a temporary source of fuel.