It was the year 1936. Three men, Alex Chalmer, Fred Austin, and Jack Whelams loved to climb the local mountains. One day on Crown Mountain talk turned from mountain-climbing equipment to cameras, after one of the men brought out his camera to record the scene. To the northwest were the Twin Lions, with the endless ranges of the coast mountains, home of the mountain goat, lying beyond. A camera club was formed. It was named initially the Alsukan Camera Club. Alsukan being the Indian word for mountain goat. Club dues were $1.20 per year, payable monthly.
In 1941 the club name was changed to the Lions Gate Camera Club. The club met in Gordon House in the West End. Publicity pictures for the” West End Crier” were supplied by the club, and also in this period exhibitions of the members work were held in collaboration with dealer displays, and with other clubs.
By June 1956 there were 47 active members. The club was affiliated with the Colour Photographic Association of Canada, The Photographic Society of America, the Community Arts Council and the B.C. Council of Camera Clubs.
The club met in many different locations through these early years. It has been at its present location, the Renfrew Park Community Centre since February, 1965.
The Unis Trophy, awarded to the member who contributed most to the smooth running of the club, was the first major trophy to be awarded. By February 1978 there were 12 trophies available for competition winners. Currently the club presents 25 trophies annually to recognize excellence in many areas of photography.
The club’s monthly publication, originally called The Lions Gate Bulletin changed its name in 1981 following a contest in which there were 95 entries! It became “The Photolog”, and had a circulation of 250. The Photolog adapted as time went by to become PhotBlog in 2010.
The Lions Gate Camera Club welcomes anyone interested in photography, whether they be a beginner or an advanced amateur.