Last year, Chan saw a need to find a medium in which Edmonton could showcase and celebrate local photographers and build a community around that. UrbanYEG was created on Instagram and became that medium. Today, UrbanYEG is more than just about looking at photos on a social media platform. UrbanYEG has core values which are about respecting one another’s work, having a positive attitude, and cheering on the success of other people instead of just focusing on your own. The group focuses heavily on inspiring everyone to rise above their circumstances, helping people to tap into their creative aptitude, and as a resuslt of all of the above, it inspires everyone to make their community better by being a contributor. By promoting and demonstrating these core values, we feel that it will develop and strengthen relationships within the community, promote peer learning, build positive self esteem, and facilitate an environment of sharing expertise to help everyone in this community be the best they can be. In essence, UrbanYEG is about building and developing a community with these core values and photography is the way we can reach people.
In addition, UrbanYEG has rallied together beyond Instagram to provide mentorship in photography, raise awareness about mental health issues, and volunteer for such organizations as Ronald McDonald House, Ribbon Rouge, and HIV Edmonton. The work of Edmonton’s photographers are appreciated around the world with having close to 14k followers in just one year.
UrbanYEG as a group has garnered much attention by getting interviews from the CBC, interest with the City of Edmonton for community projects, and collaborations with the Art Gallery of Alberta.
The work UrbanYEG has done for the community is emmensley beneficial and we want to continue being a leader in what we do as there’s no other community group quite like UrbanYEG. The best part: it’s all run on a volunteer basis.
UrbanYEG brings together an online community to a physical one by hosting InstaMeets – a photography meetup that is open to anyone. Its purpose is to facilitate a place to make some new friends, put a face to an Instagram handle, and share photography tips and tricks.
UrbanYEG InstaMeets have been instrumental in building stronger relationships within the photography community. Upwards to 90+ people show up!
CBC Interview – October 2015
Image courtesy of CBC.