We challenged . . . and you delivered . . . at the first annual Main Farmers Market photo contest!

An exhibition of photographs on display at the Green Door Restaurant in May demonstrated in full colour – and sometimes in black and white – that the Main Farmers Market is a beautiful thing.

Community members and market visitors took the Main Farmers Market Photographic Challenge, and submitted photos that showcased the neighbourhood treasure, capturing its spirit and telling its story.

The best photographs were exhibited at the Green Door in the early days of this year’s market season, showing the market off to the restaurant’s customers – many of whom already have an interest in eating organic, locally-grown produce and other great foods.

Two judges, one an experienced photographer, the other a visual artist involved with another farmers market, chose the winners. They looked for well-composed photographs that told a story about the market.

The Mainstreeter donated prizes.

The contest brought out three budding young photographers who each submitted such stand-out work that the judges felt compelled to acknowledge each one.

Twelve-year-old Keili Shepherd was recognized for her photograph ‘A Sea of Stone,’ 10-year-old Sydney Shelp for her photograph ‘Breads,’ and10-year-old Zane Shepherd for his photograph ‘Patty Pan Squash.’

From left to right, the winners of the youth category: Sydney Shelp, Keili Shepherd and Zane Shepherd. PHOTO BY ALLISON DIXON

"Bread" PHOTO BY SYDNEY SHELP

"Patty Pan Squash" PHOTO BY ZANE SHEPHERD

"A Sea of Stone" PHOTO BY KEILI SHEPHERD

At the exhibition launch on May 7, each received a photo album and 15 Main Farmers Market dollars. Organizers aimed to convince the kids to shop at the market themselves – interacting with the vendors and learning about their produce and other wares.

And while they shopped, organizers hoped the novice photographers would snap even more photos of the market season.

In the adult category, first prize went to Colin Rennie for his photograph entitled ‘Cheese Hands.’ He received a $100 gift card from Henry’s photography.

"Cheese Hands" (first prize). PHOTO BY COLIN RENNIE

Honourable mention went to Peter Croal for his photograph entitled ‘Carrotic Attention.’ A second honourable mention went to Ronald J. Doll for his entry entitled ‘Pies ‘R’ Us.’ Both received $50 gift cards from Henry’s. Mainstreeter Editor Joseph Zebrowski presented the prizes.

From left to right, the winners of the adult category: Ronald J. Doll ( ‘Pies ‘R’ Us’), Colin Rennie, (first prize for‘Cheese Hands’) and Peter Croal ( ‘Carrotic Attention’). PHOTO BY ALLISON DIXON

A silent auction of the photographs held during the exhibition raised $700 for the Springhurst Park Revitalization Project.

Chris Osler from the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre has been instrumental in securing a Community Partnership Major Capital Grant for the project. By May 7, organizers had almost reached their target of raising $65,000 for the park. The city has promised to match the community’s contribution. That would bring the total to $130,000.

Ron Farmer (left), owner of the Green Door Restaurant, presents Chris Osler, from the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre, with $700 raised through the Main Farmers Market Photographic Challenge silent auction. PHOTO BY TANIS BROWNING-SHELP

Through a public consultation, four University of Ottawa student determined three ways the park could be improved: an accessible play structure for older kids (6 – 12 years old), more swings (including a tire swing and an accessible swing) and a fitness circuit for multi-generational use.

Additional ideas for Springhurst were solicited from community members attending the Old Ottawa East Community Association meeting in June, the Springhurst outdoor movie night and the Main Event. Students at Lady Evelyn School also participated in the public consultation.

The money raised at the silent auction could go towards a special project identified by a park improvement committee or towards more programming.

The Second Annual Main Farmers Market Photographic Challenge is now underway. So get out to the market and get snapping!

The deadline for submission of photographs to the Green Door Restaurant is Nov. 15. For more details about the contest, e-mail Tanis Browning-Shelp @ shelp@magma.ca.

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