Presenting the CPAWS Manitoba Photo Contest Winners

Great grey owl, fox, hummingbird
February 26, 2021

After going through hundreds of submissions, we are pleased to announce the winners of our Manitoba nature photo contest!

There were so many great entries that showcased the province’s beauty. Besides the top three winners, scroll down to see some honourable mentions! We will also continue sharing entries on our Instagram and Facebook.

Top 3 Photos Selected by Our Judges

Our judges were swayed by charismatic and cute animals, as you’ll see in the winning photos below. Which made us realize we need to hold more contests to give images of landscapes, plants and people enjoying nature a fair shot! Be sure to subscribe to our event listings so you don’t miss out on a chance to participate.

First Place: Great Grey Owl at Hecla Island, by Walter Potrebka

“I found this great grey owl feeding in an opening as the sun set. Just before the sun dipped below the horizon, it filled the sky with this wonderful golden light.”

Great grey owl Manitoba

Great Grey Owl, by Walter Potrebka.

Second Place: Fox Pup in Assiniboine Forest, by Colleen Mitchell

“While in Assiniboine Forest, I discovered this brave baby fox on the lookout.”

Fox pup in Assiniboine Forest

Fox pup, by Colleen Mitchell

Third Place: Hummingbird in Assiniboine Park, by Desirée Rolfe

“Every summer, I look forward to the return of hummingbirds. These tiny and feisty little birds continually amaze and fascinate me with their big personality.

Hummingbird in Assiniboine Forest

Hummingbird, by Desirée Rolfe.

Prizes for Photographers

Here’s what the top three photographers won:

  • 1st place: $100 Atmosphere gift card, CPAWS Manitoba hoodie, CPAWS Manitoba T-shirt, CPAWS Manitoba sticker, Up North: Manitoba’s Last Frontier by Hans Arnold
  • 2nd place: $50 Atmosphere gift card, CPAWS Manitoba hoodie, CPAWS Manitoba sticker
  • 3rd place: $25 Atmosphere gift card, CPAWS Manitoba T-shirt, CPAWS Manitoba sticker
Backyard stream and winter in Manitoba

Backyard stream, by Chelsi Malach. Seine River, by Erin Selci.

Chelsi Malach was selected for the random draw among all entries, and Erin Selci was selected for the random draw for people who also posted their entries on Instagram with the hashtag #CPAWSSafeAtHome.

Here’s what they won:

  • Random draw for all entries: $25 Atmosphere gift card, CPAWS Manitoba T-shirt, CPAWS Manitoba sticker
  • Random draw for those who post entries on Instagram with hashtag #CPAWSSafeAtHome: CPAWS Manitoba hoodie, CPAWS Manitoba sticker

Plus, the first 25 people who entered the contest will receive a CPAWS Manitoba “Keep Manitoba Wild” sticker!

Thanks to everyone who entered, and stay tuned for more CPAWS Manitoba contests on the horizon.

Honourable Mentions

It was tough to pick just three winners. Here are some other photos that stood out to the team at CPAWS Manitoba.

Sunset in Steep Rock, by Julie Navitka

Mira Oberman, CPAWS Manitoba Communications and Engagement Manager: “The warmth of the sunset on the rocks makes me think ‘Manitoba’ — it’s a flavour of light that brings me home. The silhouette of a person looking out to the lake tells a story of a quiet moment at the end of a great day.”

Sunset in Steep Rock, Manitoba

Sunset in Steep Rock by Julie Navitka

Sunrise in Hecla/Grindstone Provincial Park, by Lori Janeson

Mira Oberman: “Still waters at sunrise — feels like a painting. Makes me long for the lake.”

Sunrise in Manitoba

Sunrise over Lake Manitoba, by Lori Janeson

Cobweb in Stuartburn, by Sandra Drewniak

Riley Chervinski, CPAWS Manitoba Communications and Events Coordinator: “This photo is so haunting and serene! It makes it seem as if no one is around.”

Cobweb by Sandra Drewniak

Cobweb, by Sandra Drewniak

Orange Frog in Atikaki Provincial Park, by Glen Hostetler

Mira Oberman: “Getting this shot means getting down in the mud — and finding this relatively rare frog in the first place. Great fieldcraft and composition.”

Orange frog in Manitoba

Orange frog, by Glen Hostetler

Red Squirrel in Assiniboine Park, by Desirée Rolfe

Kaitlin Vitt, Digital Marketing and Outreach Coordinator: “I love how whimsical this scene looks. This squirrel, a ubiquitous animal people don’t often give a second look to, seems like it deserves to be the star of a fairy tale.”

Squirrel by Desirée Rolfe

Red Squirrel, by Desirée Rolfe

Bear Cub in Riding Mountain, by Heather Malazdrewicz

Mira Oberman: “A wet bear cub sniffing a dandelion — talk about capturing a moment! Wish I could have been there to see those white seeds fly off the stalk and get stuck in the cub’s fur, or drift around it like fairies. Great fieldcraft.”

Bear in Riding Mountain

Bear in Riding Mountain by Heather Malazdrewicz

Kayaker in Whiteshell Provincial Park, by Richard Marusyk

Mira Oberman: “This image makes me long for summer. The morning mist off the lake, the sun behind the trees, the kayaker drifting from shadow into the light. Beautiful composition.”

Kayaker at sunset

Kayaker, by Richard Marusyk

Safe at Home in Nature

Nature has been here for us during the pandemic.

Parks became a refuge for people seeking safe spaces to escape the stress of the world. Provincial campsites were fully booked on summer weekends. Trails were so popular parking lots overflowed onto highways.

CPAWS Manitoba wants to help maintain and grow this positive connection to nature. That’s why we’re providing resources and online events that connect people to nature from the safety and comforts of home. Let Manitoba’s wild spaces be a refuge for you and your family.

This contest is meant to encourage Manitobans to safely spend time outdoors, appreciating the beauty of our wild spaces, as part of our Safe at Home efforts.

Help Keep Manitoba Wild


CPAWS Manitoba has helped establish 23 parks and protected areas thanks to people like you.

With your help, we can protect half our lands and waters for future generations of people and wildlife.