A man poses in front of a burning pickup truck after the Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins on June 15, 2011
As 2011 comes to a close, I took a look back at my first full year as a photojournalist. From the Stanley Cup riots to the Occupy movement there were no shortage of great photographic moments. I compiled a short list of my favorite shots of the year.
Around the world many other significant changes took place and with it many powerful images were captured. From the Arab Spring to financial turmoil in Europe to the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, there were no shortage of captivating photos. Here’s a list of some of the top photos for 2011 compiled by various news outlets:
My top-5 news photo events for 2011:
5. The 4/20 pot rally – Every year on April 20 thousands of pot enthusiasts gather at the Vancouver Art Gallery. In 2011, a record 15,000 gathered this time taking aim at the 2011 Canadian federal election and demanding the drug become decriminalized. With four former Vancouver mayors pushing for legal pot later on in the year, there is no doubt that this issue won’t go away.
Jodie Emery, wife of marijuana activist Marc Emery (currently in a U.S. jail for selling marijuana seeds to U.S. citizens) gets ready to speak to the thousands gathered at the 4/20 rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on April 20, 2011.
Marijuana enthusiasts gather around one of the 4/20 rally organizers as he throws outs hundreds of marijuana cigarettes to the crowd.
A girl with marijuana body paint holds a sign showing she has pot cookies to sell at the 4/20 rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery on April 20, 2011.
A man takes a toke at the annual 4/20 marijuana freedom rally on April 20, 2011.
4. Political leaders making their mark – 2011 saw a Canadian federal election and municipal elections across British Columbia. I was able to snap a few photos when then federal Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff stopped by Langara College on the campaign trail in March. And I went to Vision Vancouver’s headquarters when Mayor Gregor Robertson and his municipal party swept the Nov. 19 Vancouver civic elections.
Michael Ignatieff, former federal Liberal party leader, visited Langara College on Tuesday, March 29, 2011.
Mayor Gregor Robertson celebrates with Vision Vancouver supporters his re-election at the Sheraton Wall Centre on Saturday, Nov. 19.
3. Arab Spring hits close to home – After interviewing an Egyptian student about the revolution unfolding in his home country in February, it really hit me just how significant the uprisings taking place in Arab world were becoming. Two months later, I attended a peace rally held on April 9 at Vancouver’s Library Square where many Libyan-Canadians attended to voice their concerns with the events taking place back home. The crowd of nearly 100 was divided on whether NATO forces should intervene with the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his forces. Some of the protesters voiced concerns that the NATO countries had their own motives.
A young girl waves a Libyan flag alongside her family and fellow Libyan-Canadian protesters who support NATO's intervention back home on April 9 at Vancouver's Library Square.
A protester shows his discontent with NATO forces intervening in Libya at a peace rally on April 9, 2011.
An outraged Libyan-Canadian man demands the crowd of protesters understand the need for NATO in his native country where civil war was unfolding.
2. Vancouver gets Occupied – On October 15 Vancouver and many cities across the world joined in with the Occupy Wall Street movement. More than 5,000 protesters gathered on the first day to voice their frustrations with social and economic inequality, corporate greed and government corruption among a host of other topics. The blog post I first created that covered the event generated great interest, especially the unique “We are the Nyan Nyan percent” sign made by a woman who blended the internet meme the Nyan Cat with the popular Occupy Wall Street slogan.
A protester attending Occupy Vancouver holds a sign that blends an internet meme the Nyan Cat with the popular Occupy Wall Street slogan "we are the 99 per cent" while marching downtown Vancouver on Oct. 15.
- Three men dress up in suits and sport pig masks to protest corporate greed on the steps at the north end of the Vancouver Art Gallery during the Occupy Vancouver protests on Oct. 15. (Photo by Jared Gnam)
A protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask holds a sign claiming it's a "nice day for a revolution" during the first of two marches held as a part of the Occupy Vancouver protest on Oct. 15. (Photo by Jared Gnam)
A family of protesters hold up signs protesting the military industrial complex in a sea of bubbles on Georgia Street as they partake in Occupy Vancouver on Oct. 15.
Vancouver, B.C. -- Thousands of protesters gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery to take part in Occupy Vancouver, a peaceful protest that is a take on the Occupy Wall Street protests, on Saturday, October 15, 2011.
1. The Stanley Cup riots – For a journalism student looking to get experience in the field, I can’t think of no better scenario (unfortunately) than a full-blown riot. After the Vancouver Canucks lost the 2011 Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins on June 15 fans turned over and torched cars, smashed store windows, looted while lighting the city on fire. It was a dark day for Vancouver as the Stanley Cup riot gained international attention and a multitude of epic photos including the world-famous shot of the couple kissing shot by Getty Images’ Rich Lam.
Vancouver Canuck fans pose while pouring beer over each other in front of an overturned pickup truck as it burns in downtown Vancouver after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins on June 15, 2011.
A woman, later revealed to be Alicia Price from Surrey, poses in front of Vancouver riot police during the Stanley Cup riot on June 15, 2011. Price is currently one of 27 suspects charged for particapting in the riot.
A woman poses in front of a burning pickup truck and various debris for the many cameras in the crowd, including cameras used by the media, during the Stanley Cup riot in Vancouver on June 15. (Photo by Jared Gnam)
A Vancouver Canucks fan loots hard copies of The Land of Painted Caves from a downtown Chapters store during a riot after their team's loss to the Boston Bruins in game seven of the NHL Stanley Cup final hockey game in Vancouver, June 15, 2011. The 768-page novels were used shortly after to throw at riot police.