Kittie Wong

Kittie Wong

Page designer

The expression ‘variety is the spice of life’ is probably one of a number of mantras Kittie Wong adheres to in life.

Hong Kong-born and Manitoba-raised, Kittie initially wanted to be a journalist — more specifically, a magazine writer.

But she got sidetracked by an interest in photography while she was studying at the University of Winnipeg. After getting her university degree in English and Political Science, she earned her photojournalism diploma at Loyalist College.

During her time at Loyalist, Kittie was given the opportunity to be one of several film runners for Agence-France Presse during the 1992 World Series between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Atlanta Braves at SkyDome (aka Rogers Centre).

The summer of ’93 was spent working for The Canadian Press working as a picture editor, which was where she cut her photo-editing teeth.

In January 1994, Kittie was hired by the late Winnipeg Free Press photo editor, Jon Thordarson, and split her time between working as a night photo editor and as a page designer.

She was pressed into service as a photographer when the 1999 Pan Am Games came to Winnipeg.

Somewhere along the way, she added the hat of web editor as part of her office work gear.

These days, Kittie satisfies her shutterbug fix with her iPhone but still treasures her Nikon FM2.

Outside of work, Kittie fell back into writing a few years ago. This led to self-publishing her first fiction novel, The Raven Sonata, in October 2014. Her most recent fiction novel, Risk, was published November 2018.

 

Recent articles of Kittie Wong

Local photographer chronicles changing landscape of Chernobyl nuclear disaster

Kittie Wong 12 minute read Preview

Local photographer chronicles changing landscape of Chernobyl nuclear disaster

Kittie Wong 12 minute read Friday, May. 17, 2019

On April 25, 1986, the world’s worst nuclear disaster took place at the No. 4 reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station located near the town of Prypiat, Ukraine, formerly part of the Soviet Union.

The explosion resulted from a failed late-night safety test meant to simulate a station blackout power failure. A combination of human error, lack of safety standards and design flaws in the nuclear plant were highlighted in two official reports on the disaster.

Shortly after, 135,000 people were evacuated from the area now referred to as the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. The zone extends 30 kilometres around the Chernobyl nuclear plant. Prypiat, now a ghost city, had a population of 45,000 at the time of the disaster. It was considered one of the best places to live in the former Soviet Union.

For Winnipeg photographer and painter David McMillan, the impetus for visiting the area stemmed from his interest in creating images that examined the tension between the natural world and the environment created by humans.

Friday, May. 17, 2019

Growth and Decay: Prypiat and the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

Winnipeg-raised adventurer chronicles 6,400-km paddling expedition

Kittie Wong, Images courtesy of Jillian Brown 11 minute read Preview

Winnipeg-raised adventurer chronicles 6,400-km paddling expedition

Kittie Wong, Images courtesy of Jillian Brown 11 minute read Friday, Feb. 8, 2019

There are people who live life filled with curiosity and wanderlust in their hearts. Those two traits can lead a person into adventures, challenges and journeys the average person can only dream about. Winnipeg-raised photographer and adventurer Jillian Brown is one such person.

On April 28, 2018, she and fellow Canadian Martin Trahan set out on a 210-day, 7,600-km expedition to paddle across America by canoe, starting from the Pacific coast off Astoria, Ore., and finishing in the Florida Keys.

The expedition, dubbed Coursing Through America, was the result of Canoe & Kayak’s 2017 Dream Adventure Contest. It originally started as a four-person team with Trahan as its leader. But due to work complications for members of the original team, Trahan invited Brown, whom he had only known through her own paddling adventures via Instagram, to form a two-person paddling crew to tackle the expedition. They met in person for the first time three days before the start of the trip.

Friday, Feb. 8, 2019

COURTESY JILLIAN BROWN
Camping at Fort Peck Lake, a major reservoir in Montana formed by the Fort Peck Dam on the Missouri River.

Photographic ode to squirrels 'the cutest thing ever'

Kittie Wong  10 minute read Preview

Photographic ode to squirrels 'the cutest thing ever'

Kittie Wong  10 minute read Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018

Squirrels. Cute. Industrious. Ubiquitous. And opportunistic creatures.

You either love ’em or you hate ’em. There is no middle ground.

Debbie Vokey loves the little rodents. She loves them so much she created a photographic series called It’s a Squirrelly World, which was exhibited at the Millennium Library as part of the Flash Photographic Festival last month.

Her interest in squirrels as a photographic subject began around 2013.

Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018

COURTESY OF DEBBIE VOKEY

Winnipeg photographer documents wife's cancer journey

Kittie Wong / Photos courtesy of David Firman 8 minute read Preview

Winnipeg photographer documents wife's cancer journey

Kittie Wong / Photos courtesy of David Firman 8 minute read Friday, Oct. 12, 2018

Winnipeg fine art photographer and retired architect David Firman and his wife, Gail Perry, a retired lawyer and freelance writer, are walkers. Depending on the time it takes to get from point A to point B, they will always prefer to walk instead of getting into the car and driving to their destination.

Their love of walking has led to pilgrimages in Japan, Ireland, and the Czech Republic and to participating in the Camino de Santiago in Spain.

This year, the couple embarked on a pilgrimage much closer to home.

In January, Perry was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Friday, Oct. 12, 2018

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Gail Perry, with husband David Firman and their greyhound, Styxx.

Mythical herdsmen, mutilated equine featured in art exhibit exploring dark folklore

Kittie Wong 9 minute read Preview

Mythical herdsmen, mutilated equine featured in art exhibit exploring dark folklore

Kittie Wong 9 minute read Friday, Jun. 22, 2018

Challenging and inspiring the sensibilities of the viewer is something Winnipeg visual artist Diana Thorneycroft has always done with her photographs and drawings in her 30-plus year career.

And she continues to do so with recent projects such as her collaboration with partner Michael Boss on his book, The Talking Crow, which features her drawings of its three main characters — a crow, a bear and a mouse. The drawings are based on art historical paintings by Otto Dix (Portrait of the Journalist Sylvia von Harden), Frida Kahlo (Self-portrait with cropped hair) and Edourd Manet (Le Fifre).

More recently, some of her drawings were shown at Cre8ery Gallery as part of The Frost Shield Kerfuffle collective’s first exhibition, The Only Thing We Have in Common is That Some of Us Are Nice.

Thorneycroft’s latest solo exhibition, Black Forest (dark waters), will open June 28 at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba in Brandon. The exhibition brings together two of Thorneycroft’s most recent bodies of work, Herd and Black Forest (dark waters) to explore the mythology of the Black Forest, setting the stage between the dynamic themes of power, violence, ritual, desire and care.

Friday, Jun. 22, 2018

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Visual artist Diana Thorneycroft has a solo exhibition opening June 28 at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba in Brandon.

Silent film star

Kittie Wong 13 minute read Preview

Silent film star

Kittie Wong 13 minute read Friday, Apr. 6, 2018

To the uninitiated, working on a movie set conjures up romantic notions of life in the film industry.

For Winnipeg-based motion picture/television stills photographer, Allen Fraser, those notions don’t exist. What it does conjure up for him is a lot of pride in the images he has captured for the movies he has worked on.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Milla Jovovich, Samuel L. Jackson and Rutger Hauer are just some of the actors he has had the opportunity to photograph.

His 15 years in the industry have centred around Manitoba film productions, travelling as far north to Churchill to ply his trade. But his skillset has also taken him to Saskatchewan and Alberta. Late last year, Fraser travelled to Vancouver to work on a film set.

Friday, Apr. 6, 2018

ALLEN FRASER PHOTO
Lighting a winter set deep in the trees. It’s not an easy job. A person can remain in the basket for hours, regardless of frigid temperatures, to adjust the lamp as needed.

Birth photographer captures intimate first moments of life's journey

Kittie Wong  14 minute read Preview

Birth photographer captures intimate first moments of life's journey

Kittie Wong  14 minute read Friday, Jan. 26, 2018

It was a natural progression from labour and delivery nurse to birth photographer, but it was a journey that took years to unfold for Elliana Gilbert.Over that time, she realized one was a job, while the other was a passion. One was clinical; the other was an expression of art. But both callings were bound together by one of life’s most treasured moments.

“The poetry of birth, what a woman or a birthing person has to go through, what it does to a family and how you see that family transform in the space of a few hours, it’s unlike anything in the world,” she says.

Gilbert swapped out nursing scrubs for a camera several years ago. Since her first post back in December 2015, Gilbert’s Instagram account, @ellianagilbertphotography, has acquired more than 17,000 followers. Not only does the account showcase her striking images, it offers followers a glimpse into the journeys she shares with her clients as they get ready to embrace the arrival of a new life into the world.

Birth photography is a relatively new niche in the Winnipeg, she says. For Gilbert, sacred art and sacred music inform and inspire her work. 

Friday, Jan. 26, 2018

COURTESY OF ELLIANA GILBERT

Photographing science-themed Lego settings the perfect creative release for doctoral student

Kittie Wong 6 minute read Preview

Photographing science-themed Lego settings the perfect creative release for doctoral student

Kittie Wong 6 minute read Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017

Science, Lego and photography are three things most people wouldn’t think would go together.

However, for Yvette Shang, a University of Manitoba Animal Science PhD student at the St. Boniface Research Centre, the three are a perfect fit.

She first picked up a camera after earning her master’s degree more than three years ago. She started with photographing landscapes and nature.

In May 2016, she purchased her first Lego set. Prior to that, Shang had never played with Lego. So, what made her consider buying a set?

Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017

ANATOMY PHYSIOLOGY: The feeling when you are studying anatomy and physiology. I hope you enjoy learning it. (Yvette Shang)

Real or fake? One of the U of M archives' most-prized collections

Kittie Wong   9 minute read Preview

Real or fake? One of the U of M archives' most-prized collections

Kittie Wong   9 minute read Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017

With Halloween around the corner, we can’t help but ponder the idea of ghosts and other worldly phenomena.

One of the most comprehensive collections on the paranormal resides at the University of Manitoba’s Archives and Special Collections.

The Hamilton Family Fonds comprises of more than 600 textual records and more than 400 photographs. They document Thomas Glendenning and Lillian Hamilton’s investigation of psychic phenomena, conducted in their Winnipeg home between 1918 and 1945. It is a collection that has been shown around the world. The images have travelled to Sweden, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and to Maison européenne de la photographie in Paris. And four original photographs will head to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to be part of a larger show.

Hamilton, a medical doctor, school board trustee and one-time member of the Manitoba legislature for the Liberal Party, was introduced to paranormal investigations by close friend and University of Manitoba English professor William Talbot Allison when they travelled to the United States to visit a medium. The paranormal interested Hamilton, but upon returning to Winnipeg, he didn’t initially continue with his investigations.

Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017

Credit: UMArchives_pc012_A79-041_010_0002_033_0002
Group IX, #33a - Mass on Mrs. Marshall's Head (Wide Angle)
Collections: Hamilton Family fonds
Description: A wide-angle photograph of the medium, Mary Marshall, with a teleplasmic mass enveloping her head during a seance at the home of Dr. Thomas Glendenning Hamilton on February 22, 1931.

U of M's head archivist helps preserve and protect collection of 500,000 photographs

Kittie Wong 9 minute read Preview

U of M's head archivist helps preserve and protect collection of 500,000 photographs

Kittie Wong 9 minute read Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017

For Shelley Sweeney, being head archivist for the University of Manitoba’s Archives & Special Collections department is a job she loves and has enjoyed doing since 1998. She is just the second person to take on the role of head archivist in the department’s history.

The university’s archives were established in 1978, but the first collection was acquired in 1962. That belonged to German-born Canadian writer Frederick Philip Grove, also known as Felix Paul Greve, who was one of Canada’s most important Prairie writers. His work included Settlers of the Marsh and In Search of Myself.

Interesting fact: Greve faked his own death in Germany to avoid prosecution (money issues) and reappeared in North America as Grove. This is just one example of the interesting stories one can unearth working as an archivist.

In an email interview, Sweeney opens a door into the world of collecting and preserving the university’s and a part of the province’s history.

Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017

KITTIE WONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Shelley Sweeney, head archivist at the University of Manitoba's Archives and Special Collections.

Flash Fest format sees businesses become small art galleries

Kittie Wong  11 minute read Preview

Flash Fest format sees businesses become small art galleries

Kittie Wong  11 minute read Saturday, Sep. 30, 2017

Winnipeg is known for its festivals — Festival du Voyageur, Winnipeg Folk Festival and Winnipeg International Writers Festival, just to name a few.

But don’t forget the Flash Photographic Festival, which runs the entire the month of October.

With 37 exhibitions in as many venues around the city and in Gimli and Elm Creek, there are a lot of businesses-turned-small art galleries to visit in October. One might ask why local artists and businesses would band together and participate in a festival that has been going four years strong.

Photographers Tacey Coggins, Whitney Light and Dmitry Kirshner are first-time festival participants. Of the three, Kirshner has the distinction of having his images appear in two exhibitions — one in a group show and the other in a solo exhibition.

Saturday, Sep. 30, 2017

Artist: Jacqueline Young
Venue: Barnhammer Brewing Co.

Vignettes: Q&A with photographer John Paskievich

Kittie Wong 9 minute read Preview

Vignettes: Q&A with photographer John Paskievich

Kittie Wong 9 minute read Wednesday, Sep. 27, 2017

It has been nearly 10 years since award-winning Winnipeg filmmaker John Paskievich captured the heart of the North End, the neighbourhood where he grew up, with his ever-present camera.

In celebration of University of Manitoba Press’s (UMP) 50th anniversary, a revised edition of his critically acclaimed book is being released this month featuring 80 new images. Aptly titled The North End Revisited: Photographs by John Paskievich, the book reminds us the North End is where the boundaries of ethnicity, class and culture crossed between Indigenous Peoples and Old World immigrants and helped define the city’s character. |

Wednesday, Sep. 27, 2017

Image from the new book The North End Revisited: Photographs by John Paskievich

Getting fresh

By Kittie Wong 3 minute read Preview

Getting fresh

By Kittie Wong 3 minute read Sunday, Aug. 21, 2011

The Saturday morning sunlight bathes the throngs of people perusing the busy outdoor kiosks filled with fresh vegetables, baked goods and artisan crafts.

As I make my way through the crowd, some of the visitors stroll around with a large coffee cup in one hand and a shopping bag (or three) full of goodies in the other.

Others have brought their children or grandchildren to help carry their purchases. Most likely, the promise of a sweet treat and a glass of freshly-squeezed lemonade was negotiated as an incentive for the children to help out. The vendors are kept busy with sales and are happy to field questions from customers about their products.

As a confirmed night owl, there are very few reasons I would ever get up early on a Saturday morning. One of them is to visit St. Norbert Farmers' Market.

Sunday, Aug. 21, 2011

The Saturday morning sunlight bathes the throngs of people perusing the busy outdoor kiosks filled with fresh vegetables, baked goods and artisan crafts.

As I make my way through the crowd, some of the visitors stroll around with a large coffee cup in one hand and a shopping bag (or three) full of goodies in the other.

Others have brought their children or grandchildren to help carry their purchases. Most likely, the promise of a sweet treat and a glass of freshly-squeezed lemonade was negotiated as an incentive for the children to help out. The vendors are kept busy with sales and are happy to field questions from customers about their products.

As a confirmed night owl, there are very few reasons I would ever get up early on a Saturday morning. One of them is to visit St. Norbert Farmers' Market.