Karen McKinnon, a photographer who uses her art to help others deal with difficult moments in their lives, was presented with the Nonny Milne Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts at a volunteer celebration hosted by the Comox Valley Art Gallery on Saturday.
During her 15 years in the Comox Valley, McKinnon has dedicated a great deal of her time to volunteering with organizations such as You Are Not Alone, the St. Joseph Hospital Foundation, groups that work with homeless, among other non-profit associations and individuals in need.
“The camera is a way to give back, by raising awareness and often helping people at really difficult times in their lives. Images can also be a catalyst for change, acceptance, and raising compassion in our communities, ” said McKinnon. “The camera has been my tool to keep learning – it opens a door for me into people’s lives.”
Along with the award, McKinnon received an honorary life membership to the Comox Valley Art Gallery.
This is the second year CVAG has presented the award named after the late Nonny Milne, a former CVAG president and lifelong support of the arts. It will be presented every year to an individual, couple or collective that have made a prolonged and significant contribution to the arts.
The award presentation took place at a celebration to honour all of the gallery’s volunteers. “Since our inception, CVAG has run on the strength of our dedicated team of volunteers. We couldn’t do what we do with them,” said executive director Sharon Karsten.
Karsten said anyone who wants more information about joining CVAG’s team of volunteers should call the gallery at 250.338.6211.
Earlier in the day the gallery also hosted its Annual General Meeting, where local artist John Powell was chosen to be the CVAG president for another term.
CVAG’s current exhibition, Make/Repeat/Alter, will run until next Saturday, April 16. For details visit www.comoxvalleyartgallery.com