Langara College Outstanding Alumni Award for Industry Achievement

June 4th, 2010 by Rick

Langara College Outstanding Alumni Award for Industry Achievement

Yesterday, June 3rd, Vancouver’s Langara College presented me with the Langara College Outstanding Alumni Award for Industry Achievement for 2010.  This honour was given during the 2010 Convocation Ceremonies to an audience of nearly 600 people and streamed live online.

I was also asked to deliver the keynote Convocation Address to all of the Graduates. Speaking on such an important topic in front of a large audience was a first for me. It appears that it was successful as they laughed in all the right places instead of laughing at me.

“Your address was most inspiring – set goals and go forth, everything is within reach.”

“Thank you so much! Your speech was inspiring and very well
thought out. You did a superb job!”

“Thank you for your continued connection and support of
Langara College. Alumni like yourself make us very proud.”

As you can see, I received very positive feedback from some of the college directors, instructors, parents and more than a few graduates. It was most appreciated, as I must say I was on the nervous side when I began speaking.

For those interested, the text of the speech can be read by following this link. Full circle_r_etkin

Video of the presentation can be found by following the link, look for the 3rd ceremony and then scroll to the 30 minute mark

Photos and more comments will be added when they are available.

More information to come.

About the Award from Langara:

Alumni Award Winners

Alumni are an integral part of the Langara Family. Each year we celebrate their outstanding contributions by awarding Outstanding Alumni Awards to exceptional individuals who have enhanced the reputation of the College through their inspirational career, public service, community service, athletics, arts and culture or academic achievements.

Next Stop – Winnipeg to talk about my experience at the Games

May 29th, 2010 by Rick

Here it is late on Friday the 28th and I am still working on my presentation for the photography instructors in Winnipeg. Only about 50 hours till I am on the plane and not really keen on making changes that late!

Its going together very well and I have been getting image contributions from photographers from all over including this one from Australian Christopher Dobie which clearly shows my professionalism during the games. In fact he emailed the image to my photo supervisor at Creekside saying the following:

“I must lodge one complaint though. There was an obvious amateur photographer getting in everyone’s way. I have attached a photo of him. If you recognize him, can you make sure he is banned from all future events.”

Working at Creekside
Photo Manager at Creekside ( me “the amateur”) caught working behind the scenes at the Paralypmic Alpine. Photo by Christopher Dobie

I am already feeling the repercussions of this, even though I was clearly shooting the photographers at work in front of me. It is hard to defend against photographic evidence 😉

Next assignment Siberia or is that Sochi?

CAPIC Vancouver Portfolio Speed Review-the review

May 29th, 2010 by Rick
2nd annual portfolio speed review - capic vancouver

Images from the Portfolio Speed Review at Vancouver Photo Workshop- May 25th CAPIC Vancouver

The following is an excerpt from the review that I wrote about the CAPIC event on the 25th. In my role as Chapter President, I was the MC and host of the Speed Reviews. Aside from almost losing my voice as the “end of session” alarm, it was quite inspiring to see the interaction between the participants and reviewers and great to peek over shoulders to see the portfolios. Really great work being created in Vancouver. Next time my book is going to be in for the reviews!

Thanks to all of the nearly 60 people involved.

The 2nd CAPIC Vancouver Portfolio Speed Reviews

Without doubt, one of the most successful and rewarding events that CAPIC Vancouver has put together! There was a fantastic turnout of reviewers representing the best design houses and advertising agencies in the city including Cossette, Karacters, Emdoublyou Design, and Hangar 18. This was matched by a real cross-section of photographers showing their best work. According to the reviewers, there were some stunning world class quality portfolios being shown.

Reviewers repeatedly noted that artists that they had seen last year, had taken and acted on their advice to greatly improve the overall impact and quality of their books. This was a clear indication to them of the value of the event . The designers all felt that this was time well spent. Meeting new talent, reacquainting themselves with others and being part of the community was worth every minute.

Each of the artists felt the quality of the reviews. Although five minutes often felt like only two, it created a focused and intense session which was truly like speed dating ( for those who have done that) after which they hoped that could lead to follow-up meetings and potential work.

There is no other comparable business environment that brings so many artists and buyers together to meet.

The event committee, volunteers and board members all worked hard to organize this event that saw virtually every participant in the reviews having their portfolio seen and commented on by every one of the 12 reviewers. To everyone’s real appreciation, that exceeded all expectations. A giant thank you to all of the reviewers for staying on to finish!

Comments and Quotes from the evening

It really was a fabulous evening. It was exhausting, but extremely rewarding.
The reviews are a great opportunity for us to offer some guidance on how to get the most impact from a well designed portfolio presentation.
Vida Jurcic – Hangar 18

It was a pleasure. Overall I found the night very organized and quality of work shown to be quite high.
A shame not one illustrators showed up. Local reps should be slapped for not encouraging their clients to attend. 🙁
Thank you again for inviting us to participate,
Mark Busse – Industrial Brand Creative

Thanks for having me last night, it was my pleasure.
Calvin Ho  Vancouver  MacLaren McCann

“Good to see some new younger talent, not sure how you attract this and even getting some of the more established shooters to attend.”
James Bateman – Karacters Design Group

“Thanks for the opportunity to present my work to a variety of art directors in an atmosphere that is both relaxed and analytical. It has been invaluable to my development as a photographer.”
Leanna Rathkelly – Whistler

“If you need a reason to join CAPIC, it is the Portfolio Speed Review. A must attend event for both professionals and amateurs.”
Pooya Nabei -  Pooya Nabei Photography

No question that this event would sell out very quickly next time. It is truly worth the cost of admission and even a better when you are a member. Make sure you express your interest early to insure a seat at the next event. (TBD)

A special thank you to all of our sponsors; without their support these events could not take place.

Rick Etkin

Chapter President

CAPIC Vancouver

What is keeping me busy these days?

May 21st, 2010 by Rick

What is keeping me busy these days?

closing ceremonies

Inflatable moose, part of "Made in Canada" at Vancouver 2010 Closing Ceremonies

Just when I thought I could get back to do what I love the most by shooting as much as I can, there seems to be a thousand deadlines for other important things that all need to be done first.


Before launching an email announcing this blog, I have had to update my website with my new work, juggle placement, run colour tests, revamp my portfolio, and decide on the cover for a new print portfolio. I also have worked on building networks and reconnecting with many people since the games, including attending the Capalino University IDEA Grad Show, The 2010 GDC Graphex Awards Night, and the Langara College Photography Grad show. Of course there were also CAPIC board meetings and the Langara Photography Program Advisory Board meetings, which I sit on.

Yaletown Sunset

View of downtown Vancouver from Granville Island - Yaletown at twilight


Next week (May 25th) is CAPIC’s Portfolio Speed Review, where I am the reviewer contact person and  will be the MC. We have a great panel of reviewers from Vancouver’s top AD agencies and design firms. Cossette, Emdoubleyou Design, Hangar 18, Karacters, Rethink and others, for a total of 18 creative reviewers. I am really looking forward to hearing the comments and getting feedback from both the reviewers and the artists involved.

Kudos to the CAPIC Board and volunteers who have helped make this a reality. A review of the event will be posted after its over.


On top of the smaller items above, I have been asked to make a four hour presentation, on June 1st, to Winnipeg School District instructors, about my experience at the Olympics and on how to inspire students in photography. This all came about during the Olympics, as one of the Volunteer Press Assistants at the Whistler Media Centre (Ron Weston) was the Superintendant of the School system for Winnipeg. He was writing a daily blog for the students and teachers back home, and included some photo related information that I passed on. There were some great collections of 2010 photography at the Denver Post blog that was a big hit with the students (and almost anyone who sees them). The next day Ron approached me thinking that what I was doing was interesting enough to invite me to speak.

So now I am in the middle of writing and creating a multimedia extravaganza that hopefully might get shown in more than Winnipeg.  It’s been great doing research on other photographers’ blogs to see what the results of all the planning that went into the Games’ Photo Services. I will post a link to an excerpt from the presentation when it’s done.

If you have a group that may be interested in seeing part of the finished presentation, let me know!


At the same time as everything else, I am trying to edit my hard drive full of games images into a meaningful collection of my memories of the experience.

Devotees with blue Devo hats

" Devotees" Fans of Devo at Whistler Medals Plaza during the Games- wearing the trademark Devo hat in "Games Blue"

I have had many requests from people to see the “inside” of the Games, so I am making it a priority along with an online gallery linked to my website. Watch this blog for the announcement of the completion of my book.


Lastly, there is the ten minute keynote speaker address that I am writing to present to a potential audience of 500 people, on June 3rd. You will have to wait before I can let you know what this is all about. Come back after June 4th.

28 Years later…BC Place roof comes down

May 4th, 2010 by Rick
BC Place roof comes down

The start of deflation of BC Place Roof May 4 2010

Today I stood and watched the roof of BC Place Stadium, deflate for the last time. The stadium was  home of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies as well as the BC Lions, The Whitecaps, countless concerts, trade shows and film productions.

It was about 28 years ago, when the view was very different, that I stood inside as the inflatable roof was raised, I won’t say it seemed like yesterday but  it really was something that was important to me at the time…. A few months later, I shot an exterior image from the South shore of False Creek.  My photograph became the official poster for the opening of BC Place. I tried to find it in my archives, but haven’t located it yet, thus is the case with film and print archives, searching through digital archives is so much easier.

BC Place Roof halfway deflated on May 4 2010

Bc Place roof all gone

The roof is completely deflated - May 4th 2010 about 11:40 in the morning

It only took about an hour in the sunshine for the roof to come down and change the skyline of the city. A new retractable roof will be in place in about 18 months and the stadium will reopen and once again change the skyline of Vancouver.

These photos were taken from the Eastern Shore of False Creek near the Telus World of Science. There was a very patient crowd taking in the moment. A few photographers were in attendance including one of Vancouver’s true veterans, Andy Clark.

Andy Clark

Andy Clark captures BC place roof deflation on May 4 2010

Oddly enough, a Bollywood film was being shot on the seawall to the south of where I watched. Interesting to hear “Action” and “Cut”in Hindi

Xpose 2010 – CAPIC National show features Rick’s Work

May 4th, 2010 by Rick
Gratitude week Series

Xpose 2010 features 3 images from Rick Etkin

Rick Etkin is pleased to announce that images from a series that he shot for Gratitude in Vancouver are included in the CAPIC Xpose show.  A triptych of three images is being showcased in the exhibition that opened May 2nd,  the Xpose book printed collection and web gallery. (now online)


Photographer           Rick Etkin
Creative Director     Rik Klingle – RikWrites
Production                filmgroup vancouver

Xpose, now in its third year, is a juried exhibition of work from members of the Canadian Association of Photographers and Illustrators in Communications (CAPIC). The images are created by talented artists at the forefront of commercial photography and illustration in Canada.

The exhibition is part of the Toronto Contact Photography Festival in May

Photos: CAPIC Xpose 2010 group show
Where: Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie, Toronto, 416-392-7834,
When: May 1-8
reception 1-4 pm May 2

Chapter President of CAPIC Vancouver

May 4th, 2010 by Rick

Shortly after completing my contract at the Olympics, I was recruited, drafted and voted in (all in one evening) as the Vancouver Chapter President of CAPIC  ( Canadian Association of Photographers and Illustrators in Communications). This is a reprise of the role I held for several years as the founding president of the chapter many years ago. From there, I spent another 6 years on the National Board in one role or another.

It seemed like a good idea at the time…

I am actually quite honoured to be active again in CAPIC. I am certainly more experienced at the handling of volunteers and administration after working at the Games. I now feel that my skills can be put to good use. One of many goals is to increase the involvement of Illustrators in the chapter. Other plans include continuing to raise the profile of CAPIC to our clients to make members the first choice for top photography and illustration.

The board has been well run by Byron Smith along with lots of energetic committed members and volunteers – sounds just like the Olympics.

The Games End…A Blog Begins

May 4th, 2010 by Rick

The Torch reaches Whistler Village to a welcome of thousands of cheering fans

It has been an experience that I will remember forever. For those that didn’t know of my contract with the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games, I have spent the last eighteen months as Supervisor of Photo Services for the Mountains in Press Operations. I started in October 2008  and worked inside the Games until late March. In that time I worked closely with my two colleagues, Nick Didlick – Photo Manager and Alain-Pierre Hovasse – my city equivalent (more about them later) with a photo team that eventually reached over thirty managers and supervisors and over two hundred volunteers. That was just our photo operations team, the whole press team reached over five hundred people and the Games more than twenty thousand.

In 2009 I was the Photo Manager at eight World Cups in the Whistler area and helped with the planning for all of the photo positions, infrastructure and technology that would be required for the 740 photographers accredited to the Games. During the Olympics, I oversaw the photography operations for The Whistler Media Centre and Whistler Medals Plaza as Venue Photo Manager. My work expanded for the Paralympics as I was also the Venue Photo Manager for alpine racing at Whistler Creekside.

I was often working in the best, most exciting places at the Games. You can only imagine what it was like to be standing at the lip of the Large Hill Ski jump at Whistler Olympic park as the competitors launched into space at 100kph or at the Whistler Sliding Centre with a Luge blasting by at over 150hph. Blink and they were gone, but the sound and memories will never fade.

My plans were to start this blog before the Games began and share some of my experiences and photos as it happened. The best laid plans often take a left turn as there simply weren’t enough hours in the day, and since there were maybe only 3 days off from Mid January until  the end of the Paralympics I had to shift my priorities.

Photographers at whistler Creekside

Waiting in a snowstorm for the Medals ceremonies at Whistler Creekside / 2010 Paralympics

I am now gathering my thoughts and images to share, hoping that I can give you a small insider’s taste of what it was like to be involved in the largest event in the world in a role that played on all of my experience as a photographer, producer, manager, planner, film-maker and scheduler….

More to come.