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Bonnyville Photographer Makes CAAWS Most Influential Women List

Candice Ward, who is the official photographer of the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL and Calgary Roughnecks lacrosse team, has been recognized by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) in their 20 Most Influential List for 2016.

Although living in Calgary now, Ward was born and grew up in Bonnyville. She graduated from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)’s Journalism program in 2008 with a specialization in photojournalism.

“They (The CAAWS) contacted me about a month of and a half before the list came out saying that I had been nominated… I was excited to see it come out.”

When she’s not taking pictures of the Hitmen or Roughnecks, Ward keeps herself with other projects as well. “I’ve been trying to build a solid bank of indigenous dancer photos. That’s something that I’m really interested in just to connect with my culture a little better. It can be extremely challenging to do but it’s fun and it’s very rewarding. It’s great to give those images to the dancers after. It’s a personal project that I feel very connected to and I really enjoy doing.” Ward also likes taking pictures of her family – who still lives in the Bonnyville area – and her dog.

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“I do love coming home,” she adds. “I just don’t tend to make it home that often anymore, once every two years now it seems. I don’t seem to find the time. There’s a lot of games and things that happen on the weekend so it’s really hard to get away. When I’m home I love it. I love photographing things that are a part of my identity when I’m there, it’s just hard to get there sometimes.”

Ward hopes her naming to the list will encourage more women photographers to look at sports as a potential avenue.

“When you’re behind the lens it really doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, it’s whether or not you can take a good photo. They shouldn’t intimidated by the fact that it’s a mostly male dominated industry. When you see a photo, it’s a good photo no matter who took it.

“When you’re talking to other women who want to get into it, it’s just saying there’s no reason to feel like they don’t belong. It’s the end product that really matters. To an editor it should never matter who’s taking the photo so long as they get the best possible product they can get.”

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