It is with great pleasure that I share with you the news of the appointment of my dear friend, master photographer Hans-Ludwig Blohm, to the Order of Canada. His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, made the announcement earlier today. Hans is now a Member of the Order of Canada, and as of today, he has the privilege of appending the letters C.M. to his name. Hans has receives this honour for “his commitment to preserving Canada’s northern heritage through the lens of his camera”.
http://www.gg.ca/document.aspx?id=14390I met Hans a little over two years ago. On July 2, 2009, right after boarding the Lyubov Orlova for a cruise along the Labrador coast, one of the passengers attracted my attention : a tall white haired man wearing a Tilley hat and a photographer’s vest, two Canon cameras around his neck and a beige bag on his shoulders containing a copy of the Above & Beyond magazine. This photographer was everywhere, constantly looking for a scene to immortalise. I had no idea who he was but somehow, I had the feeling he was more than a tourist with a passion for photography.
The next day when he showed up wearing an inuit wool hat identical to mine, I knew that was a sign I had to talk to him. The opportunity came up later that day. As a friend and I were standing on the top deck, we noticed him looking for a spot along the railing facing the front of the boat. We quickly made him some room and invited him to join us. As we chatted, we learned that Hans was of German origin and July 3rd was a very special day for him : he had immigrated to Canada 53 years ago on that specific date! We also discovered that we were almost neighbours as he lives in Ottawa, just a few kilometers from me. Hans very proudly showed us the copy of the Above & Beyond magazine he was carrying. It contained a feature article on him : Passionate Vision: Hans Blohm’s Arctic!! Hans has published over 15 books and he donated copies of a few of them to the Lyubov Orlova’s library. So it was with great interest that I later went down to the library to familiarize myself with his photography.
The more I got to chat with Hans the more impressed I was with all of his accomplishements : 17 books to his credit, his photos were used on 13 stamps, major photo exhibits that toured the globe, he travelled all across the Canadian Arctic, over 180,000 of his photographs are now in the custody of the Library and Archives Canada, he was a pioneer at microchip photography, …
To get a better feel for Hans’ multiple accomplishments during his 40 some years as a photographer, I invite you to take a look at Hans’ wikipedia page. There is no doubt in my mind that you will also agree that Hans deserved the honour of becoming a member of the Order of Canada. Congratulations, Hans!!