Press Release: Canadian Celebrities Take to the Other Side of the Lens for Canon Canada's Celebrity Photo Exhibit

When you're a celebrity, having your photo taken often comes with the territory. But this summer, the tables were turned when Canon Canada gave Canada's top celebrities an opportunity to be on the other side of the lens to participate in the company's latest charitable venture. Canon Canada's The Other Side of the Lens - A Canadian Summer is a series of photographs taken by leading Canadian celebrities that are now being featured on Canon's Web site and in an exhibit in Toronto's Distillery District.

From June to September 2005, Canon Canada engaged a number of Canadian
celebrities - artist Robert Bateman, sportscaster Rod Black, actress Cynthia
Dale, radio show host John Derringer, Toronto Blue Jays' President and CEO
Paul Godfrey, musician Avril Lavigne, speed skater Catriona Le May Doan, news
anchor Peter Mansbridge, artist Christopher Pratt, designer Sarah Richardson,
figure skater Elvis Stojko, musicians Sum 41 and scientist and broadcaster
David Suzuki - to take pictures of a Canadian summer. Each participant was
given a Canon PowerShot SD500 digital camera, a SELPHY CP-400 compact photo
printer and a large memory card. Celebrities were invited to take photos
related to the summer theme. In exchange for their participation in the
project, Canon Canada is making a donation on behalf of each participant to
the charity of their choice.
"We live in a world that is very focused on the comings and goings of
celebrities," said Stan Skorayko, Vice President of Corporate Communications
at Canon Canada. "In fact, celebrity watching has reached the point now where
there seems to be an endless supply of new and candid photos of celebrities
every week on the news stands. We wanted to know what it would be like if we
reversed the roles and gave the cameras to celebrities and let them take the
picture, not be the picture."
For their part, the celebrities welcomed the role reversal and enjoyed
the experience of being on the other side of the lens.
"I'm not a photographer and the last thing I need is to carry around a
heavy camera," said David Suzuki. "But after talking with Canon and finding
out that there were no restrictions on what they wanted me to photograph, and
they were going to supply a cool little camera, I thought 'Why not? This could
be fun' so I decided to participate."
As part of his contribution to the exhibit, Mr. Suzuki traveled to
Canada's far north and photographed caribou in their native habitat.
Additionally, his midnight sun image of the tiny community of Tuktoyuktuk on
Canada Day 2005 will certainly make people look twice.
Paul Godfrey, President and CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays, accepted his
invitation readily but provided a caveat long before he took his first snap.
"In our house, my wife takes all of the pictures, so don't expect great
art," Mr. Godfrey said. "This was a neat challenge for me because it forced me
to really look at summer and what that means to us, especially in Canada
because our summers are so short."
Newfoundland artist Christopher Pratt is considered by many in Canada's
artistic community to be one of this nation's great talents. A loyal fan of
film, Mr. Pratt said his participation in this project has certainly provided
him with a whole new appreciation of digital photography.
"I have had an absolutely wonderful time with this camera," said
Mr. Pratt. "I have always been a huge fan of film and this little camera is
the only thing that could have gotten me off film. I love it."
Unlike some of the others celebrities who participated in this program,
Mr. Pratt didn't touch any of the camera's multiple settings.
"I wanted to be like an ordinary guy with ordinary talents," Mr. Pratt
explained. "I left the settings on automatic and just took 'snaps', the same
way most other people do it. I have to say, I am very impressed with the
The celebrities' photos can be seen on-line in a virtual gallery at, from September 19, 2005 to March 18, 2006.
Selected prints from this collection, printed on a Canon photo printer, will
be on display at the Real Time Gallery at The Distillery District in Toronto
from September 24 to October 10, 2005.

About Canon Canada, Inc.
Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, the company employs 1,500 people
at its offices nation-wide, servicing the Canadian market from coast to coast.
Innovation and cutting-edge technology have been essential ingredients in
Canon's success. Canon's leadership in imaging, optical and document
management technology and solutions is based in large part on the thousands of
patents the company has secured throughout its history. Canon Inc. is among
the top five US patent recipients over the past 19 years.
The company's comprehensive product line includes networked multifunction
devices; digital copiers (colour and black and white); printers, scanners,
image filing systems and facsimile machines; calculators, digital camcorders,
digital and analogue cameras and lenses; semiconductor, broadcast and other
specialized industrial products.
Canon supports programs that help preserve and protect the environment.
The company instituted the Clean Earth Campaign in 1990, which assists various
environmental and recycling initiatives. The Campaign has also supported
leading environmental organizations, such as The Nature Conservancy of Canada,
the World Wildlife Fund of Canada and the Canon Envirothon. For more
information, visit

Posted: Mon - September 19, 2005 at 03:13 PM