National Geographic Grantee Exhibition In Whistler: Sacred Headwaters by Paul Colangelo


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The Sacred Headwaters is a sub-alpine basin in Northern BC that is the shared origin of three wild salmon rivers: Skeena, Nass and Stikine.

This environmentally fragile, and beautiful region is now under threat from new mining operations, and through his photography Paul hopes to draw attention to economic activity that could spell destruction for the communities, wildlife and wild salmon at the Sacred Headwaters.

Art might seem like a passive way to approach such an important topic, but the old saying is true “out of sight, out of mind” – and exhibitions like this are great at bringing seemingly distant issues to the forefront of our collective minds.

About landscape photographer, Paul Colangelo

Paul Colangelo is a National Geographic grantee who first visited the Sacred Headwaters in 2009 to photograph Ali Howard, a BC native who swam the entire length of the Skeena River to raise awareness of the threats to its health from coalbed methane drilling and pipeline development.  As a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers, Paul naturally felt compelled to get involved and use his talents to publicize the risks facing the region.

An aerial view of Todagin Creek.

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Paul’s publications and clients include National Geographic News, Canadian Geographic, Maclean’s, Canadian Wildlife Magazine, Mountain Life Magazine, British Columbia Magazine, Pacific Salmon Foundation, Patagonia, and WWF.

Please check-out his website:

Why you should visit the exhibition

The Sacred Headwaters area is rich in mineral and energy resources, and as a result there are several industrial development projects planned for the region. While these projects could have a potentially positive economic impact on British Columbia, the risk of negative impact on the surrounding ecosystems is hard to ignore.

“The show aims to bring people together to hear the history of the area and learn about the fight to keep resource development in the area ethical and safe,” says Anne Perodeau, participating artist and co-organizer of the exhibit. “The show is a visual celebration of a breathtakingly beautiful and important land – one that not only supports an intricate and rich ecology, but also provides home, life and livelihood to everyone in the area.”

Exhibition dates and times

The Sacred Headwaters show started on April 7, 2o15 and will run until June 7, 2015 displaying photography from Paul Colangelo and artwork from the First Nations and BC community members.

Where: Millennium Place, Whistler Village

When: April 7 to June 7, 2015

Cost: Free

Sacred Headwaters Poster 8x11 sm