Roberta Bondar, O.C. O.Ont. MD PhD FRCP FRSC ICD.D

As a photographer, Dr. Roberta Bondar is known for her large landscape portraits and breathtaking panoramas. Influenced by her view of Earth from her space shuttle flight aboard Discovery’s First International Microgravity Laboratory, Dr. Bondar determined to share her view of Earth’s landscapes that, from the space shuttle, were endlessly stunning and a rare insight into the environment.

Her efforts to try to duplicate that unforgettable viewing impact, reward the gallery patron with eye-filling vistas that capture the awe of seemingly infinite depth that she felt looking down upon the planet from a space shuttle window.

Continue reading about Dr Bondar as Photographer


Susan Chow, BScH BEd

Susan Chow’s early career was dedicated to teaching secondary school science and art. ­Beyond the classroom, she coached many school teams but found the greatest reward in mentoring Envirothon, an international ­Olympic-style team environmental competition.

Her teaching career was periodically interrupted as she pursued additional university studies in fine art. She enrolled in as many studio courses as possible and gained valuable experience in drawing, design, painting, photography and printmaking. She also excelled in her studies focused on Art History. Throughout her teaching years she painted in her spare time. She has had solo exhibits, most recently at the Art Gallery of Algoma.

Her painting of the launch of Roberta Bondar into space, titled Discovery, hangs in the Ontario Science Centre, Toronto where it is seen by approximately 10,000 students each year.

Since retiring from teaching Ms. Chow has been able to focus on her artwork. She has a studio at Pine Island, which is close to her home in Sault Ste. Marie, where she also maintains a work space.

Ms. Chow’s subjects, intensely observed during moments of ­stillness include landscapes, canoes, and figures in natural settings. The scale ranges from small watercolors to very large acrylics and oils. Rocks, water and the night sky recur in the images. Her works are highly detailed and realistic but may incorporate unreal ­elements to challenge viewers to look beyond the obvious.

Ms. Chow continues striving to express herself through her art and forcing the evolution of her style. Ideas drawn from her 2010 pilgrimage to the home of her ancestors in China are among her future projects that are in planning stage.

The Foundation is honoured to have Ms. Chow among the judges of the Bondar Challenge.


Betty I. Roots, BSc PhD DSc FRSC

Dr. Betty Roots brings an invaluable combination of academic leadership in the sciences and award-winning photographic talent to her dual roles as a director of The Foundation and a judge of the Bondar Challenge.
A keen photographer, Dr. Roots has twice been President of the Toronto Camera Club and is an accredited judge of the Greater Toronto Council of Camera Clubs. She is the recipient of several awards for her photographs including a Silver Medal from the Photographic Society of America.

Some of her photographs appear in Special Places: The Changing Ecosystems of the Toronto Region, published to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Institute in 1999. This book, of which she is Editor-in-Chief, was short-listed for the Toronto Book award in 2000. 
After retirement, Dr. Roots taught an inter-university field course, Photography for Ecologists for several years with a colleague, Ellie Larsen. She and Prof. Larsen are authors of, and took all of the ­photographs for Flower Guide for Holiday Weekends in Eastern Canada and Northeastern U.S.A., published in 2005 in both English and French editions.

She is Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto where formerly she was Associate Dean (Sciences) at Erindale College and subsequently Chair of the Department of ­Zoology. A distinguished scientist, she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1989.

Whenever possible, Dr. Roots combines photography with ­another interest, travel.


Douglas Tipple, BASc MBA PEng ICD.D

Douglas Tipple brings extensive experience as a senior executive to his role as a director of The Roberta Bondar Foundation. He is also among the judges for the Bondar Challenge. He has pursued his interest in ­photography from his high school days where it was a source of income to today where it is a consuming hobby. Currently his interests lie in nature photography, particularly birds and he has been fortunate to visit a number of locales in Africa as well as North and South America. His next scheduled photographic adventure will take him to Costa Rica.

He is a recognized business leader and strategist whose reputation has been built upon his capacity to drive change and create innovative approaches to weaving multi-disciplinary and complex issues together to achieve successful outcomes.

From his career beginnings as an industrial engineer with a large manufacturing conglomerate, Mr. Tipple has enjoyed progressively responsible and varied roles within the areas of telecommunications, hospitality, real estate and manufacturing. He has been distinguished through his leadership roles within both the public and private ­sectors, including serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of a North American communication services corporation. He has also served as Chairman and been a member of public and corporate sector boards of directors.

Mr. Tipple’s consulting services have focused on value-added strategies aimed at improving the performance of assets through development, redevelopment, repositioning and marketing. He is currently Principal of Creva Group Ltd., a boutique real estate advisory and corporate finance company that provides financial advisory and brokerage services to owners and operators of real estate and related assets.


Arthur R Bondar, PhmB

Fascinated by photography while in high school in the forties, Arthur Bondar experimented with early colour still and movie film. After graduating from the University of Toronto with a Bachelors degree in Pharmacy university in 1952, his combined interests in chemistry and photography led him to set up his own darkroom where he printed black and white photographs and experimented with colour printing.

Active with the Sault Camera Club, Arthur continued to be a strong proponent of photography and through the fifties and sixties, lectured on colour theory and photographic techniques. His photographic clients included Abitibi Research for whom he produced pictures for patent purposes, reports and publicity.

At his pharmacy, Art was also the dealer for Leica and Nikon cameras, as well as supplier to local professional photographers for papers, film and equipment. Art served with the Canadian Army Reserves and retired with the rank of Major. Also retired from working in a pharmacy, Art works as a medical member for the Office of the Commissioner of Review Tribunals. Bird photography is his current photographic challenge and he now enjoys the change from film to digital darkroom.


Michael Burtch, BA (Hons)

Michael Burtch attended Manitoba’s Brandon University where he studied art education, followed by a BA (Hons) in Art History from Queen’s University. An Adjunct Professor at Algoma University College he continues to teach Art History as he has done since 1983.

Michael was Curator and Director of the Art Gallery of Algoma in Sault Ste. Marie from 1981 to 2007. An artist and art historian, his sculptures of the human body are strongly influenced by the movements of modern dance. A good example of this is Corpus Mobilis that was commissioned for the front of the John Rhodes Centre in Sault Ste. Marie. Michael’s works have been installed at Algoma’s Water Tower Inn, Sault Area Hospital, the Civic Centre, the Sault Ste. Marie Waterfront and numerous other sites within and beyond his home community of Sault Ste. Marie.

For Michael, there must be an element of mystery, work that is multi-dimensional that can be enjoyed on dierent levels. He believes that art should contain a secret that is for the viewer to decode, and also that art should also speak to the human condition.

Enjoying both art history and the natural environment, Michael is currently working on a project identifying, documenting and interpreting the Group of Seven’s painting locations.


Guest Judges

From time to time during our Bondar Challenges, guest photographers have been part of our judges team.

Edward Burtynsky, O.C. BAA (Photography)

The Roberta Bondar Foundation is honoured that internationally renowned photographer, ­Edward Burtynsky will be among the judges for the pilot of the Bondar Challenge. Edward Burtynsky is known as one of Canada’s most respected photographers. His remarkable photographic depictions of global industrial landscapes are included in the collections of over fifty major museums around the world, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Bibliotèque Nationale in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in California.

Born in 1955 of Ukrainian heritage at St. Catharines, Ontario, Mr. Burtynsky is a graduate of Ryerson University (Bachelor of Applied Arts in Photography) and studied Graphic Art at Niagara College in Welland. He links his early exposure to the sites and images of the General Motors plant in his hometown to the development of his photographic work. His imagery explores the intricate link between industry and nature, combining the raw elements of mining, quarrying, manufacturing, shipping, oil production and recycling into eloquent, highly expressive visions that find beauty and humanity in the most unlikely of places. In 1985, Mr. Burtynsky also founded Toronto Image Works, a darkroom rental facility, custom photo laboratory, digital imaging and new media computer-training centre catering to all levels of Toronto’s art community. Mr. Burtynsky also sits on the Board of Directors for: Toronto’s International Photography Festival, Contact and The Ryerson Gallery and Research Center.

Exhibitions include Oil (2009) at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. (five-year international touring show), Manufactured Landscapes at the National Gallery of Canada (touring from 2003 – 2005), Before the Flood (2003), and China (toured 2005 – 2008). Mr. Burtynsky’s visually compelling works are currently being exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across Canada, in the United States, Europe and Asia.

An active lecturer on photographic art, Mr. Burtynsky’s speaking engagements include the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, The Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the TED conference, Idea City, and Ryerson University in Toronto. His images appear in numerous periodicals each year, in the past among them are: Canadian Art, Art in America, The Smithsonian, Harper’s Magazine, Flash Art, Blind Spot, Art Forum, Saturday Night, Playboy, National Geographic Society and the New York Times.

Mr. Burtynsky’s distinctions include the TED prize, The Outreach award at the Rencontres d’Arles, The Flying Elephant Fellowship, ­Applied Arts Magazine Book award(s), and the Roloff Beny Book award. In 2006 he was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of Canada and holds four honorary doctorate degrees.


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