Celebrating 10 Years of Creative Impact!

It was a family reunion of sorts for the Compassionate Eye Foundation (CEF) last week as past and present volunteers, board members, photographers, and project partners gathered in Vancouver to celebrate a decade of creative impact.

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Back in the city where ten years ago he held CEF’s first photo shoot, CEF’s founder, Robert Kent, gave a heartfelt reflection on the past decade and growth of the organization. This was followed by a moving song by guitarist, Jonah Ocean.

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Steven Errico, who has shot for CEF each year, shared photographs and memories from his trip to Cambodia to see some CEF projects firsthand. Our project partners in Cambodia, Rick and Adrianne from Kids International Development Society, also gave an update on their projects and shared a framed Certificate of Thanks from the community where  the latest school build we helped fund was recently completed.

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Board Chair, Dan Rogers, acknowledged CEF’s global community of volunteers, partners, photographers, and other contributors who were missed at the event. CEF would not be where it is today without this incredible network of dedicated and talented individuals – including our stellar production team in the UK – Kate Stevens and Philippa Cooper, and former creative director, Fiona Watson.

As an example, this has been a busy couple of weeks for CEF. On June 14, Christopher Robbins was shooting in New York City. June 18 was a big day with four photographers in two cities – starting in London with photographers Kelvin Murray and Oli Kellett and later that day with Robert Kent and Steven Errico on an education themed shoot in Vancouver with producer Amy Jones (see photos below). On June 24, there will be a photo shoot in Toronto with Kara Dillon and Vicki Schelstraete.

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So far our tenth year has been a big one, and there’s more to come! Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up to date. We will also be sharing memories throughout the year and hope you will too. Post your CEF memories on social media and tag them with #CEF10x10. Thank you for helping us have a wonderful first decade of making a positive difference around the world!

Many thanks to Gavin Kennedy for these great shots from the 10 year anniversary party and behind the scenes Vancouver photo shoot. Be sure to check out our Facebook page to see more!

Photo of the Week

In Hye Lee, Social Media Coordinator 

Giving Tuesday 2014 was earlier this week. This Photo of the Week is a throwback from our Giving Tuesday 2013 photoshoot with Hubert Kang! The images from this sports-themed shoot are now available on our Getty Images collection. Thank you for to all those who volunteer and support CEF, especially those who contributed time, energy, skills and monetary donations to this year’s Giving Tuesday campaign!

#CEFxHeroImages – What’s the Buzz?

Jenn Laidlaw, Blog Manager


You may have noticed the #CEFxHeroImages countdown on our social media channels this month. Perhaps you are seeing #CEFxHeroImages for the first time and wondering if it’s an algebra equation. Either way, you are likely asking yourself what does it all mean? Now is the time to find out as we are only 1 day away!

On September 13, photographers from Hero Images, who are based out of Calgary, will be invading Vancouver. But not to worry – this is a friendly invasion, their name does contain the word “hero” after all! They will descend on the city with 4 camera bodies, 12 lenses, 4 laptops, and as many lights, stands, and props as they can fit into their suitcases! These photographers are taking part in their first Compassionate Eye Foundation photoshoot as part of our summer Focus on Change 2014 Photoshoot Tour and we can’t wait to see them in action.

The location: The beautiful Perkins + Will office in downtown Vancouver.

Be a part of the excitement! Bookmark this page and make sure you check back to see the outcome of this exciting photoshoot! If you like what you see, please share it with your social communities and help us increase the buzz about CEF and our partners.Use the hashtag #CEFxHeroImages when posting and sharing online and make sure you are following us on Instagram + Twitter Facebook

Photo of the Week

Sumi Kim, Social Media Coordinator

This photo captures our excitement about our upcoming photoshoot with Hero Images in Vancouver!  This week’s photograph is selected from Hero Images on Facebook. Hero Images produces trade specific royalty-free photography for the advertising and publishing industries.

This is the first time Hero Images has joined CEF and donated their time and talent to us. We would like to thank Hero Images for getting involved in the Focus on Change 2014 Photoshoot Tour event. The photoshoot is scheduled for September 13th. We are counting down the days until it starts! Stay tuned for more updates.



Photo of the Week: Upcoming Business Shoot

Krystele Chavez, Social Media Coordinator

This week’s chosen image is a reflection of an upcoming Focus on Change 2014 Photo Shoot Tour event, which will be a business shoot tentatively scheduled for September 13 in Vancouver! This photo was taken by Beau Lark, who, along with a few other photographers from Hero Images, will spend the day creating stock photography. Money earned from the upcoming shoot will help support Compassionate Eye Foundation‘s global projects, such as the Orphans and Vulnerable Children Program in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia, a Partners in the Horn of Africa project we recently funded.

Stay tuned as CEF’s 2014 shoots continue to heat up!

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Get (more) connected with your community: Timeraiser 2014

John Grant, CEF Contributor

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This week we encourage you to get more connected and aware of the volunteer organizations in your community by checking out a local Timeraiser event if you’re in Vancouver, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Montreal, or St. John’s

Not familiar with the initiative? If you’re interested in art and in volunteering then this is the perfect event for you! Bid time (instead of money) on original local art. The time you bid then goes towards a volunteer non-profit organization who needs some help. Once your bid (hours) are fulfilled then you walk away with a beautiful new piece of art – and one that has a pretty cool story behind it when your friends and family ask about it! 

Read about one of our volunteers’ experience with Timeraiser here!

Photo of the Week

by Krystele Chavez, Social Media Coordinator


This blissful image was taken by Vancouver commercial photographer, Steven Errico. Steven’s involvement with CEF started as being Robert Kent’s full-time photography assistant, and since then, he has been a part of our community as a dedicated photographer for our annual Summer Solstice Shoots.

It is because of our amazing volunteers, such as Steven, that since the Summer Solstice Shoots were first held in 2006, we are able to raise funds generated through image sales on Getty Images. Stay tuned to see more of Steven’s Errico’s 2013 Family – Work, Rest and Play imagery up on Getty Images!

Physical Attraction: Solo Exhibition by Katie Huisman

by In Hye Lee, Social Media Coordinator

physical_attraction_EVITECEF derives its strength from volunteers, including talented photographers like Katie Huisman. Based in Vancouver, Katie first became involved with CEF through our founder, Robert Kent, and is now a five-time contributor to the CEF Getty collection. She has previously described her work with CEF as “one of [her] favourite and most rewarding annual projects.”

Katie dates the beginning of her passion for photography back to when she set up her first darkroom in her family’s basement at the age of fifteen. Outside of her work with CEF, she is experienced in both contemporary art and commercial photography, and offers lectures and seminars at public and private institutions. Her upcoming solo exhibition, Physical Attraction, is a photographic portrait study exploring attraction in couples.

Physical Attraction considers the idea that there is an instinctual attraction between faces that draws people together, using composite photography to compare facial features of people engaged in romantic partnership. The exhibition features fifty couples of various ages, ethnicities, and sexual orientations and studies the similarity of features between people who are romantically involved.

The exhibition is taking place at Initial Gallery in Vancouver.

Location: Initial Gallery, 2339 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC
Exhibition: February 13 to March 8
Opening Reception: February 13, 6 to 9 PM
Artist Talk: February 22, 2 to 3 PM

An Experience in 100 Hours

By John Grant, CEF Contributor

Timeraiser Vancouver is an annual event where attendees can bid volunteer hours of their own time in exchange for artwork by local artists. CEF has been participating in this event since 2010 as a non-profit organization who volunteers can pledge their time to.  The next event is happening May 8th at Segal Place in Vancouver, and you can get your tickets here.

John Grant shares with us his experience as a Timeraiser volunteer:

In November 2012, I took on a big challenge as a participant of Timeraiser Vancouver; I pledged to volunteer 100 hours with non-profit organizations in Vancouver over the next 12 months. In return, I got to take home a highly coveted piece of artwork, which was beautifully crafted by Sarah Mulder. My Timeraiser experience introduced me to a number of interesting and important organizations – including Compassionate Eye Foundation. What initially drew me to CEF was that it is a unique non-profit that marries two of my big interests: photography and support for developing countries. In some ways I thought it was too good to be true that such an organization exists!

I attended several CEF events, including their year-end celebration, Wrap8, and a fundraising event. I found both to reveal a community of very interesting people who I had great conversations with and who shared similar interests – something that isn’t always easy to find.

Chatting with CEF’s Executive Director, Susan McDonald, brought me even closer to the organization as she listened to the skill sets that I had and what my areas of interest were. She quickly identified a few ways that I could give back to the organization, while also building up some nice portfolio pieces for myself.  One of my favorite contributions is creating CEF’s monthly internal newsletter, In Focus.

I managed to contribute around one hour each week for the past year with CEF and met some great people along the way. I was also given some very cool exclusive access to a professional photo shoot; it was kind of a dream come true for an amateur photographer like myself!

You can read all about my experience with CEF and other volunteer groups I became involved with over the past year on my blog. Today, I proudly display my artwork piece in my home as a reflection of completing my volunteer hours. Now that my official Timeraiser experience is complete, I find that the artwork was merely a goal and a catalyst for me to experience something grander: The ability to connect with communities and to experience situations that I normally wouldn’t encounter. For that alone, I encourage you to also find an organization that reflects something that you’re passionate about and offer to provide them with a few hours of your time. In the end, the result will likely surprise you!

A huge thank you to John for sharing his experience with us, and for his continued work with CEF!