The creators initially started The Shooting Range: A Photography Challenge solely as a means of entertaining the YEG photography community while supporting local vendors through the 2020 winter lockdown. As time went on, though, they realised they wanted it to be much more than just a pandemic diversion.
As they began developing the Match Briefs, they realised that they had a unique opportunity to use the competition as a medium for education, communication, and social awareness. As the conclusion of Season One drew near, the creators were already dreaming of ways they could use the competition as a means of doing something BIGGER. Their vision for the future included setting up a not-for-profit society that focuses on the same basics as the competition: education, communication, and social awareness.
Immediate community outreach goals included recruiting established professionals to deliver affordable workshops in remote communities, supporting and promoting new and emerging artists as they find their photographic voice through scholarships and mentorships, and providing a platform for marginalised people to express themselves through photography. Future goals included seeking sponsorships for technology such as cameras and computers, securing discounted access to software for organisations in need, and establishing partnerships with internet providers to provide free or affordable access to the internet in remote communities.
They tried to move ahead in summer of 2020, but the timing just wasn't right - other commitments got in the way and plans were set aside. Once Season Two concluded, this initiative was prioritised and on May 1, 2022 the Rare Earth Photographic Arts Outreach Foundation/Findation pour Communauté d'Arts Photographique Rare Earth was incorporated as a registered Canadian charitable organisation.
If you feel that this is an initiative you might be interested in joining, please visit www.repaof.ca for complete details