As the summer continues, Canadians are continuing to spend time outside, engaging in their favourite pastimes and passions and heading to work while dealing with the new reality of social distancing and mask wearing in the COVID-19 era.
The eight photos below were submitted as part of the Canada Covid Portrait challenge, which encourages those across the country to help document this time in our country's history. If you'd like to take part, you can use the hashtag #CanadaCovidPortrait on Instagram or email your photo to email@example.com.
We'd like to know which of these eight pictures is your favourite! Here's more about them:
Derek Oliver's photo shows a new reality on construction sites across Canada: social distancing. His image features a crew in Port Dover, Ont. working on an old dam during the pandemic.
"First, some repairs are necessary to fix the crumbling superstructure, before raising it to the height of the old steel bridge across the dam, seen here covered with netting, which will ultimately be reminded," he said. "Due to COVID-19 bylaws, the workers are expected to maintain social distancing and/or wear face masks."
The photo Aleksandra Vujicic submitted shows her daughter Maja enjoying one of her favourite pastimes: swimming. The image was taken by Steve Roberts during an underwater photoshoot and captures the importance of engaging in hobbies during the pandemic.
"Close your eyes and think of all the wonderful things in your life – enjoy the moment," Maja said. "I am grateful."
Bonnie Gilroy's photo was taken at the Sturgeon Valley Golf & Country Club in Sturgeon County, Alta, north of Edmonton. The image shows (L-R) Terry, Maggie, Connie, Lorraine and Linda at the Ladies' President's Cup, which was held despite the pandemic. Everyone wore masks and followed social distancing rules. Lorraine won for overall low net and Linda took the overall low gross prize.
"Although [we are] under health restrictions such as social distancing, mask wearing and many other safety precautions, we are still able to swing a club," Bonnie said. "Being open at the club and able to golf has been a wonderful thing for everyone's well being. There is less stress when one can enjoy a wonderful sport such as golf."
Christy Turner's photo shows Cheyann Clarke-Colbourne in an outfit she planned to wear at her high school graduation. Unfortunately, it was cancelled due to COVID-19. So the family improvised, taking a picture of Cheyann on a horse, gesturing at a rainbow behind her, on a farm just outside Calgary.
"As we made our way [out to the farm], I was not sure the shoot was even going to happen as there was a torrential downpour of rain, hail and thunder," Christy said. "[But] as we got Cheyann's horse ready for the shoot, I saw the storm retreating, the sun setting and thought maybe, just maybe, we'd get something a little dramatic to work with. Not only were we gifted with an entire sky filled with mamatus clouds, but also a rainbow, just in time for Cheyann to hold a piece of it for her photo!"
Rupinder Plaha's photo, taken in Calgary by Ed Quan, shows her holding the couple's third child just hours after giving birth.
"We were quite anxious as I am immunocompromised and at higher risk of complications if I contracted COVID-19," Rupinder said. "Two months prior to the birth, I only left the house for my prenatal checkups, wearing a mask, and worked exclusively from home. I checked the hospitalization utilization rates daily leading up to the birth, grateful that they were low – secretly thanking all of my fellow Calgarians for doing their part to keep us safe.
"My greatest fear was that one of us might have a fever and then as protocol dictated, we would have to be separated from the baby. Despite our anxiety, everything worked flawlessly and the care was exceptional. The nurses, doctors and staff expertise and kindness made us feel safe and I felt they were in complete control. Everything turned out fantastic, and we welcomed our beautiful baby girl just after midnight on May 4. Our lucky Star Wars baby! May the Force be with her, always."
Bridget Potasky's image shows her during a recent trip to an art gallery. The photo was taken by Cailey Bisgould. Their outing was much different than their previous art gallery visit in January.
"At that time, our only worry about going out was wondering how much coat check would cost and if there would be enough time to grab drinks later," Bridget said.
"After a seven-month hiatus, our return to the art scene was quite different. The building was empty and quiet, with only a small number of employees on sight. Cailey and I had to mask up and sanitize our hands before entering the exhibit and made sure not to linger for too long so the next group of people could make their way in. This time our main concern centred around being able to maintain appropriate physical distance as both of us live with high-risk people.
"While the contrast between life before and after COVID is glaring, it's promising that many of us can still find ways to enjoy our favourite activities in new ways that are conducive to ensuring the safety of ourselves and family."
Wayne Eardley's photo, taken in Peterborough, Ont., shows his mother posing in front of some hay bales during one of their weekly drives. Wayne's father passed away just before the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, so he started taking his mother to shop in Peterborough during the pandemic to help her out. It became a weekly routine, travelling to their destination on "random roads."
"I would pick Mom up and we would just drive – somewhere, anywhere, it didn't matter," Wayne said. "Before Dad passed, he and I would have long conversations – about politics, hockey, the grandkids, everything. He was so very inquisitive, and we were very close.
"Mom and I now have this incredible time together, on the road, exploring new scenes and discovering stories of my family that I had never had. Her stories. I was so busy talking to Dad all the time.
"This scene reminded me of my youth, bringing in hay and straw for local forwarders, all day in the hot sun, taking great pride in stacking things perfectly. There was balance in the world then, and there is balance in the world now when I listen to my Mother's 'matter of fact' explanations of how we became and who we are. So maybe I should call this image 'Mother's Balance.'"
Kwadwo Kyeremanteng's photo shows him receiving a PPE delivery at a hospital in Ottawa. He works as a palliative care and critical care physician at the city's Montfort and Ottawa hospitals. Frontlines First, which has been supplying hospitals with PPE during the pandemic, made the drop-off and the group took this socially distanced photo, showing off their joy at helping out critical workers during the pandemic.
So, which one of these photos is your favourite? Let us know by voting in the poll below!