CJF-Edward Burtynsky Award for Climate Photojournalism


Toronto – April 4, 2024 –  The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) announced today that the CJF-Edward Burtynsky Award for Climate Photojournalism goes to Vancouver photojournalist Jesse Winter. Winter won for his series of stunning images from the frontlines of B.C.’s 2023 efforts to contain wildfires published in The Narwhal , The Globe and Mail, and CBC News, in Canada, as well as by Reuters internationally. The $5,000 award, launched in 2022 by the CJF in partnership with internationally renowned photographer and filmmaker Edward Burtynsky, celebrates provocative, impactful and inspirational climate photography.

“In Canada, wildfires are one of the most challenging outcomes of the climate crisis that we’re facing as a country,” says Burtynsky, who chaired the award jury. “Last year saw around nine times more than the annual wildfire average, with devastating effects on the Boreal forest – the health of which is key to maintaining a stable climate.

“Jesse’s photos take us into the heart of the battle and show how small a force we are against such a major event. It’s a perspective on climate that many people have not seen, showing the profound consequences for both the forest and for the human beings living in its shadow.”

An award-winning freelance photographer, Winter’s work has taken him from north of the Arctic Circle to the mangrove forests of the Niger Delta. His recent work focuses primarily on social justice, the environment and government accountability. It has appeared in The Guardian, The Toronto Star, The National Post, The Ottawa Citizen, The Winnipeg Free Press, The Yukon News, Up Here Magazine and The Narwhal, among other publications.

Of the award-winning photos, juror Jason Chiu, a visual editor at the New York Times says: “This is the first time I’m seeing firefighting in this way in Canada — up close and deeply personal — and it’s truly impressive. I can imagine the heat radiating out of the image surrounding the firefighter in the burning forest. Jesse’s photos connect the viewer with those who are directly on the front lines, in their battle to protect both the land, property, themselves and the delicate ecosystem that supports it all.”

The CJF-Edward Burtynsky Award for Climate Photojournalism

The CJF Edward Burtynsky Award for Climate Photojournalism celebrates provocative, impactful and inspirational climate photography from around the world. The award recognizes up to three images from a single photographer that collectively furthers people’s understanding of the causes and effects of the climate crisis.

The winner will receive a $5,000 prize presented at the CJF’s annual Awards ceremony in Toronto in June.

Submissions are open to Canadian professional photojournalists employed by Canadian news outlets or working freelance for a Canadian news organization. 

Criteria for submissions are as follows:

  • The images must relate to the climate crisis and/or show people impacted by the climate crisis and/or trying to reverse or mitigate climate change;
  • Images must have been taken between Jan. 1, 2023, and Dec. 31, 2023;
  • Submissions must be from a professional photojournalist employed by a Canadian news organization, or from a Canadian freelance photojournalist published by a Canadian news outlet;  
  • Applicants must include a description of the images (maximum of 250 words) with their submission); and
  • Applicants must include their CV/resume with their submissions.

Each applicant is restricted to one submission. 

This award is generously supported by Marci McDonald and Clair Balfour and Lisa Balfour Bowen and Sony.


Previous recipients

2023 – Dustin Patar