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100 Views of the World Photography Contest Encourages Community Engagement


Mount Royal community engagement ran high throughout the month of March, marking the fifth year of the "100 Views of the World" Photography Contest.

This annual international photography contest, initiated in 2010 by the Office of International Education to commemorate Mount Royal University's centennial, is an opportunity to share and showcase the international experiences, both here in Calgary and around the world, of our Mount Royal community.

Every year all students, staff, faculty and alumni are encouraged to submit their photographs. This year's contest boasted 73 eligible submissions from across the Mount Royal community, capturing views from around the world and evoking engagement within our community.

The 100 Views judging panel, made up of three staff members from the Office of International Education and one staff member from the Cultural Mosaic Centre of the Students' Association of Mount Royal University (SAMRU), had the difficult task of narrowing down the submissions to the best 'Top 10' photos.

As in past years, photos were judged on three aspects: technical merit, creativity and the "wow" factor. It was then up to the Mount Royal community to cast their votes for the top three winning photos.

100 Views of the World permanent display on the third floor of the Bissett School of Business (EB).


"When first reviewing the submissions for this year's competition, I thought we would have an impossible task narrowing down to 10 photos, as there was such a wide range of wonderfully creative and technically excellent photographs," explains Lorna Smith, Director of International Education and one of the competition judges. "However, to my surprise, there was a high level of consensus amongst the judges regarding the 10 photos that were then put into the on-line voting platform."

Anyone with a Mount Royal ID could vote through the on-line voting platform on MyMRU, created and launched for the first time last year with the instrumental help of the Information Technology (IT) web team. This on-line voting platform ensures only one vote per Mount Royal ID and makes voting easier and more convenient.

"The number of votes has doubled since years prior to this on-line voting platform," explains Leigh-Ann Duke, Coordinator, World Languages and 100 Views committee member. "The on-line voting keeps the contest fair and allows access to viewing of and voting for photos at any time."

For the second year in a row, a booth was set up on Main Street for on-site voting. 82 students voted at the booth this year, two times as many as last year, for a total of over 450 votes.

Public voting ran from March 11 to March 18 with the winners announced and prizes awarded at the Office of International Education starting on March 23. The top three winners were as follows:

"Elephant Up Close and Personal", Francine Masse-Bannon ***1st Place Winner

"Himba Mother and Child", James Baillies ***2nd Place Winner

"Sunbathing", Brad Robinson ***3rd Place Winner

Honourable mention goes out to the other seven 'Top 10' finalists:

"Yoga Galapagos Style", Kathy Dornian
"Turkish Sunlight", Kaden Chynoweth
"Summer on the Lake", Lavinia Moldovan
"Day's End", Jordan Dahl
"No Photos Please... ", Joshua Ereshefsky
"Pa'O: The Children of Dragons", Joshua Ereshefsky
"Generations in the Sahara", Kitty Pryde


The top three winners, all Mount Royal staff members, were pleased to each receive an Amazon gift card award, and shared their thoughts on the importance of the 100 Views of the World Photography Contest as an opportunity for community engagement and the sharing of experiences from around the world.

Third place winner, Brad Robinson, with Community and Health Studies in the Faculty of Continuing Education and Extension, thought the contest was well received and a great discussion piece.

"I chose to participate as I think it is a great initiative that helps build community spirit through art," says Robinson. "The contest is a great way for people to share, with each other, a passion for photography and the world around us."

First place winner, Francine Masse-Bannon, from the Bissett School of Business, took her photo, "Elephant, Up Close and Personal", during a trip to Tanzania in April 2013.

"There is nothing but positive results for an event like this," believes Masse-Bannon. "These pictures encourage travel or study in other parts of the world, a great learning tool for people of all ages."

James Bailles, second place winner from the Media Production Group, submitted his photo "Himba Mother and Child" from a recent six week trip to South Africa.

Francine_1st_Place_100_views Himba_Mother_and_Child_2nd_Place James_Robinson_3rd_place_100_views
Francine Masse-Bannon (left) collecting her first place prize with Leigh-Ann Duke, Coordinator, World Languages, and 100 Views of the World committee member. James Baillies receives his second place award for his photo "Himba Mother and Child". Third place winner, Brad Robinson, with his photo entitled "Sunbathing".


"I think the contest highlights the diverse places and experiences that the MRU community has witnessed during the year," remarks Bailles. "By exhibiting what our community has seen in photographs, it serves to broaden our view of the world."

As a lasting legacy of this popular annual contest, each year's top 10 framed photos can be viewed for one year in a permanent display along the third floor hallway of the Bissett School of Business (EB Building).

Meanwhile, photos from years prior adorn locations on campus such as the International Student Centre (E140), the Office of International Education (EB3021), the EB3047 board room, and the Bissett Art Gallery on the second floor of EB. Please take a moment to stop by and take a look at this year's incredible views!

Marisa Norona, April 2015