A first nations woman checks her hair and makeup in a mirror in a car before a pow wow at Birdtail First Nation.

Birdtail Sioux First Nation - 2010

Kristy Yuzicappi of Standing Buffalo First Nation in Saskatchewan does her hair in the passenger prior to the Grand Entry at the Birdtail Sioux First Nation Powwow.

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Nothing to Break the Light of the Sun

2010 - Ongoing

“I was born on the prairies where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures.” - Geronimo

The prairies. Farmers. Cowboys. Sunsets. Watching your dog run away for three days. Nothing to see here but wheat fields. 1600 km’s of unbroken flat wedged between the Canadian shield and the rocky mountains. Even our elevations are made up of depressions. River valley’s carved into the plain that we eagerly elevate to the status of ‘hills.’ We even ski down them.

The prairies don’t get a lot of attention unless there is a natural disaster or a federal election, in which case politicians and big city journalists flood into the fields to find the true heart of Canada.
Manitoba’s population sits at roughly 1.37 million people as of 2019 and close to two-thirds of the population live in the capital city; Winnipeg. The second largest city in the province, Brandon, only has about 50,000 inhabitants and is still considered rural, especially by the those inside the perimeter of the capital city.

Summer in western Manitoba is brief and beautiful but just long enough to wash away the collective memory of the brutal winter behind us and the impending one to come. There is an urgency to summer on the prairies. You are obligated to make the most of it. 

Hutterite children play tag on a set of straw bales under a rainbow on a rainy evening.

Spring Valley Colony - 2010

Children play tag on a pyramid of straw bales under a rainbow after a light rain shower on a warm August evening.

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A young couple embraces in a street while the woman's pants read love.

Brandon, Manitoba - 2010

Billy Cook and Ashley Soulier share an embrace while saying goodbye.

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Dauphin's Countryfest, Manitoba - 2019

Young men and women drink and socialize along the creek that runs past the site of Dauphin’s Countryfest, the yearly country music festival that attracts thousands to a patch of land just outside Riding Mountain National Park.

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Dauphin's Countryfest, Manitoba - 2016

Red solo cups in a kiddie pool in the campground at Dauphin's Countryfest.

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Geese fly over a grain elevator at sunset in Watrous, Saskatchewan.

Watrous, Saskatchewan - 2017

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A pair of combines harvest grain in a field at sunset.

West of Brandon, Manitoba - 2014

Combines work a field near Sioux Valley Dakota Nation at sunset during fall harvest.

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250 Bridge, north of Alexander, Manitoba - 2015

A combine crosses the narrow Highway 250 bridge over the Assiniboine river during harvest.

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Brandon, Manitoba - 2018

Saint and sinner tattoos are visible on Nolan Clark’s wrists as he lays his hands in the grass during the Revival in Princess Park tent ministry series.

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Brandon, Manitoba - 2016

Speaker Mike Knox of the Austin Gospel Hall addresses visitors to the Brandon Gospel Hall evangelical gospel tent on the Keystone Centre grounds.

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Brandon, Manitoba - 2018

Brandon Boxing Club owner Noel Harding stops to spar with a heavy bag still hanging in the ruins of his club days after Brandon's devastating downtown fire which destroyed five buildings.

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Boxers practice in the middle of a street after their boxing club burned down in a massive fire in downtown Brandon, Manitoba.

Brandon, Manitoba - 2018

Noel Harding (black shirt, red shorts), owner of the Brandon Boxing Club, leads a training session in the street next to the rubble of his former club four days after it was destroyed in one of the biggest fires in Brandon’s history.

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Brandon, Manitoba - 2019

Summer evening softball in view of the Brandon Federated Co-op feed production plant under a blue sky.

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Brandon, Manitoba - 2019

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East Railway Street - Hartney, Manitoba - 2015


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West of Brandon, Manitoba - 2018

Tumbleweeds during high winds.

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A car is washed into a ditch by floodwaters during a spring flood in Manitoba.

South of Virden, Manitoba - 2013

A vehicle is washed off of Highway 83 as floodwaters pour over the highway. 

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Two girls swim in a pool as floodwaters from the Assiniboine River creep closer.

West of Brandon, Manitoba - 2014

Sisters Sadies and Emma Poczik play in their grandparents above-ground pool unfazed by the floodwaters being held back by a dike and super sandbags just beyond them on the south side of Grand Valley Road west of Brandon, hours ahead of the expected first crest of the one-in-300 year flood.

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A young woman poses in front of her convertible in her grad dress during her high school graduation in Watrous, Saskatchewan.

Watrous, Saskatchewan - 2017

Winston High School graduation.

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Two young women hang upside down while riding a roller coaster at a summer fair in Manitoba.

Brandon, Manitoba - 2011

Riding the Ring of Fire at the Manitoba Summer Fair. As a small city, Brandon's summer fair technically happens in late spring, early June, so the midway can move on to bigger cities for the summer.

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Threshermen's Reunion Rodeo, Austin, Manitoba - 2019

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Young cowboys prepare for their events at sunset at a rodeo in Shilo, Manitoba.

Heartland Rodeo, Spruce Woods, Manitoba - 2010

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Bull Mania, Gladstone, Manitoba - 2019

A cowboy pulls the tail of bull while trying to coerce it into cooperating.

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Minnedosa Double Points Rodeo, Manitoba - 2019

Kelly-Jo Marshall rounds a barrel atop her horse under the rising moon.  

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A young cowgirl smiles while watching a rodeo at sunset in Manitoba.

Heartland Rodeo, Spruce Woods, Manitoba - 2009

Eight-year-old Montana Jackson of Brandon watches the 7th Annual Sprucewoods/Shilo Heartland Association Rodeo from the bleachers.

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Stubble is burned producing thick smoke in a field in Manitoba.

North of Brandon - 

Stubble burning after the harvest.

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High school graduates wait to attend their convocation.

Brandon, Manitoba - 

Graduates from Crocus Plains High School prior to their convocation.

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Vintage car enthusiasts chat during a classic car event in Manitoba.

Brandon, Manitoba - 2015

Talking shop at a car show at the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum.


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Brandon, Manitoba - 2018

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An oilfield worker thaws a pump-jack in southwestern Manitoba on a cold winter day.

South of Virden, Manitoba - 2014

Jasmeen Stahl with Silverline Oil Field Services casts a shadow through the steam as she uses high pressure steam to thaw a pumpjack south of Cromer, Manitoba while the temperature hovers around minus 30.

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Ski Valley - Minnedosa, Manitoba - 2016

Telsa and Trina Waldner of Odanah Hutterite Colony at Ski Valley. 

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Minnedosa Lake, Manitoba - 2012

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Lake Wahtopanah, Rivers, Manitoba - 2019

Ice fishing shack with sattelite.

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Rivers, Manitoba

Action at the Rivers Curling Club.

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A hockey player is reflected in crystal clear ice as he skates over Clear Lake in Manitoba.

Clear Lake, Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba - 2015

Jesse Matas skates on the smooth-as-glass ice covering Clear Lake. 

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Fairholme Colony, Manitoba

Sofia Maendel and Tirah Maendel gallop along the shore of the Assiniboine River atop Modesto and Rio, a quarter horse and quarter horse/thoroughbred mix respectively.

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An elderly man eats lunch alone with a cat in his lap by a window in his home.

South of Erickson, Manitoba 

Clare eats lunch by the window in the dining room as Pumpkin sits on his lap purring. Clare has lived alone on a farm for over 30 years.

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A vehicle kicks up dust on a gird road in Saskatchewan.

West of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - 2017

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North of Pine Creek Colony, Manitoba - 2017

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West of Souris, Manitoba - 2019

Burning off marsh created by years of heavy rains on farm land.

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Hartney, Manitoba - 2012

Keira Chevallier bounces on a trampoline in her family's yard.

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Dauphin's Countryfest, Manitoba - 2018

Fans cheer in the pouring rain as country superstars Florida Georgia Line headline the main stage at Dauphin's Countryfest. 

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South of Erickson, Manitoba - 2012

Clare lies in bed in prayer.

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West of Souris, Manitoba - 2019

Flowers grow on an abandoned concrete arch bridge over Plum Creek west of Souris as swallows fly over the creek. The bridge was built in 1921 as part of Provincial Trunk Highway #2. The highway was later relocated to the south.

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Elgin, Manitoba - 2019

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Four Hutterite women stand in a field of canola.

Deerboine Colony, Manitoba - 2010

Rebecca, Deborah, Dahlia and Lana, diene (low german for unmarried young women) from Deerboine Colony stand in a field of canola at sunset.

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Treesbank Colony, Manitoba - 2019

Kids play on an inflatable slide rented from a nearby town during field day, marking the end of the school year.

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Nothing to Break the Light of the Sun

Images from the Prairies

Macleans Magazine - 2019

https://www.macleans.ca/manitoba-summer-photo-essay/

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Nothing to Break the Light of the Sun

Images from the Prairies

Macleans Magazine - 2019

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Nothing to Break the Light of the Sun

Images from the Prairies

Macleans Magazine - 2019

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