News / Vancouver

DTES photo contest proves nothing is more valuable than love and friendship

Amy Wilson didn’t know what to say.

She thought he did, but when her name was called as the winner of the 2012 Hope in Shadows Downtown Eastside photography contest Tuesday the right words were hard to come by.

“I was shaking and tearing up,” Wilson said after the award ceremony. “I was just happy to get the pictures for myself because I don’t own a camera, I didn’t know I would win.”

Now her photo will be immortalized in the annual calendar produced by the Pivot Legal Society, which went on sale Tuesday.

Wilson’s winning shot, “Never ending friendship”, is a simple self-portrait of herself and her best friend.

“We’ve been through a lot, been there for each other through thick and thin, good and bad,” said Wilson. “When I was turning in my camera, I had a couple of shots left. I threw my arm around her and gave her a big hug.”

It’s a photo that resonates on a personal level for Wilson.

The bond between her and her friend has been passed down to their children, who go to the same school together.

That bond also resonated with the judges, tasked with choosing the photos that best represent this year’s “what I value” theme from 200 community participants.

“I think it shows the community values and how important it is,” said Pivot’s Carolyn Wong, the Hope in Shadows co-ordinator. “It’s a story of two strong women who represent what this community is all about. They’re family to one another.”

Participating vendors are selling the $20 2013 Hope in Shadows calendars on the streets of Vancouver, with half of the proceeds going directly to the vendors for the holidays.

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