Paul Nicklen in the field. (Photo submitted by Paul Nicklen)

Vancouver Island’s Paul Nicklen given Order of Canada, inducted into International Photography Hall of Fame

Nanoose Bay resident says ‘it was all very humbling’

It was a big year in 2019 for Paul Nicklen, who was recently given the Order of Canada and earlier inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame.

The Nanoose Bay photographer has worked for National Geographic on assignments around the globe. He’s been a photographer since the mid-1990s, when he was in his twenties.

Nicklen is also the co-founder of an ocean conservation organization called SeaLegacy, which he started with his partner, Cristina Mittermeier. The organization aims to educate people about the state of oceans while trying to catalyze lasting change. He quit his job as a wildlife biologist before working with National Geographic, something he knew he always wanted to do.

“I knew I wanted to work for National Geographic, but I don’t think I thought about much beyond that. I did everything I could to make it happen; I quit my job as a wildlife biologist with the government in the Northwest Territories, and I ended up in a really low place after that. I was angry with the world. I was miserable and depressed,” he said in an email to the NEWS. “I started goal-setting, and I eventually ended up under the mentorship of Flip Nicklin, the great whale photographer, and Joel Sortore.”

READ MORE: Soft Shore exhibit brings permanent multi-media gallery to Parksville

Now, Nicklen has six million Instagram followers and a successful TED talk under his belt. Still, he says being given the Order of Canada and being given a place in the International Photography Hall of Fame are overwhelming honours.

“For the International Photography Hall of Fame, I was overwhelmed just to be standing amongst the other inductees. They are amazing people that I’ve always looked up to. It was all very humbling. I had to pinch myself a few times,” he said. “I know that awards like the Order of Canada are not given away lightly. This acknowledgment will allow me to take politicians and corporate leaders to task on the issues that Canadians care about more than I could before.”

Nicklen points to SeaLegacy as a priority alongside his photography.

“Things are going very well with SeaLegacy. We just finished an end-of-year campaign that resulted in 1,000 new people joining The Tide. The Tide is SeaLegacy’s monthly subscription program where members get exclusive, behind-the-scenes insight into our work,” he said. “We can’t take everyone on an expedition with us, but this is close!”

In terms of his goals for 2020, Nicklen said he wants to continue being vocal about what he cares about, while using his photography to get his message across.

“I am going to keep speaking out, standing up and using my art to break down the walls of apathy. My goal is to do what we’re already doing but bigger, with more impact and in a way that reaches more of the global population.”

cloe.logan@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Local Monarchist says Saanich Peninsula would be a ‘great place’ for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Bruce Hallsor also expects the couple’s professional opportunities to lie outside Greater Victoria

Court rejects mistrial for accused Victoria drug dealer who fired his lawyer

Horst Schirmer filed a mistrial application on basis of receiving incompetent representation

Saanich seeks young residents to serve on 2020 advisory committees

Youth members must be between 16 and 24 years old

Central Saanich councillor says council may re-examine speed limits in Brentwood Bay

Coun. Carl Jensen says he wouldn’t be surprised if council were to move on the issue

Victoria PD will continue to patrol James Bay for wolf seen Saturday

But police also say they will return to regular duties

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Kobe Bryant killed in California helicopter crash: reports

NBA star was reportedly in his private helicopter at the time of the crash

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

VIDEO: Drone footage shows extent of damage in Highway 4 rockslide

Tofino, Ucluelet still cut off from rest of the island, as crews work to repair roadway

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

Most Read