The 2011 winner of the Canadian Journalism Foundation and The Canadian
Press’s Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award is Aaron Vincent Elkaim.
Elkaim, a freelance photojournalist whose work has appeared in the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail and the National Post, and who was one of the finalists in last year’s competition, will be joining The Canadian Press for a six-week internship later this year.
“What an incredible honour and privilege it is to receive this opportunity from The Canadian Journalism Foundation and The Canadian Press,” says Elkaim, who currently lives in Toronto. “This award is going to offer me an amazing opportunity to gain experience and guidance from the staff at The Canadian Press. I am very much looking forward to it.”
Building on the success of last year, the jury was challenged to review an even larger number of submissions and raise the bar in terms of evaluating excellence. Catherine Hanson, Tom’s widow and a member of the selection committee, said she keeps her late husband’s photographic values in mind when judging.
“Tom was the real expert on pictures and he always believed that a human element was essential in a photo. And similarly, I like images that make me feel emotion and create an energy or feeling within,” she says. “Many of the photos submitted this year had that impact and depth.”
Elkaim acknowledges the influence that Tom Hanson has had in the industry. “He was an inspiring photojournalist. I think it’s wonderful that he can live on as a valuable role model for an emerging photojournalist like myself.”
After impressing the jury with is portfolio during last year’s competition, inaugural winner Adrien Veczan spent most of his summer last with The Canadian Press photo team, shooting everything from the G20 to the Pride parade to the Queen’s visit. He is now a regular contributor to The Canadian Press as well as a freelancer for other news outlets in Canada and abroad. In his report, he acknowledged the “great honour” that had been bestowed upon him.
“It was very humbling to be part of Tom Hanson’s second family. Anything but my best effort day in and day out just wouldn’t cut it.”
Elkaim will be presented with the award at the CJF’s Annual Awards Gala on June 7 in Toronto.
About the Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award
The Canadian Journalism Foundation and The Canadian Press teamed up in 2009 to launch a new photojournalism award in memory of Tom Hanson, an award-winning photographer who travelled around the world and across the country, shooting some of the most iconic news and sports images of the last 15 years. The Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award offers a six-week paid internship at The Canadian Press head office in Toronto for a photojournalist in the early stages of his or her career. For more details, visit http://cjf-fjc.ca/awards_tomhanson.htm.