Nick Vardy

Nick Vardy

31 Years Old

Class of 2021

Nick Vardy, photographer, and Indigenous Programs Coordinator at Arts Council Wood Buffalo, is originally from Hamilton, Ontario, and volunteers his free time in Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo advocating for Indigenous youth.

He recently spoke with YMM about pursuing his passions, growing his business, and supporting Indigenous people.

YMM: What is the most rewarding part of your career?

NV: The most rewarding part of my job as a photographer and my job at the Arts Council is supporting Indigenous people and artists. I enjoy being able to help Indigenous companies and artists tell their stories through the photos and videos I take. It’s been gratifying to be a part of the Arts Council and watch Indigenous artists thrive in Wood Buffalo, all while reclaiming elements of their culture. Being a part of their journey is very powerful and inspirational.

YMM: What accomplishment are you most proud of?

NV: I am most proud of starting my business. I have always been interested in photography and media. When I was applying to colleges after high school, I applied to a media program in Toronto. Ultimately, I decided to complete a program in Child and Youth because, at the time, it was a safer choice to secure future employment, especially for an Indigenous person. Our society has been slowly shifting and is now giving Indigenous people opportunities to showcase their talents, and I can now pursue my lifelong passion for photography.

YMM: What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

NV: The biggest risk I have ever taken was moving to Wood Buffalo from Hamilton. I had worked with Alberta Future Leaders in Fort McMurray for a few summers, but I would head back to Ontario when the summer was over. One summer, I got offered to work as the Youth Coordinator with a local First Nation, and I accepted. I was in my early 20s, and I went home, packed up my car, and drove from Hamilton to Wood Buffalo. I eventually met my wife here, we started our family, and now I call Wood Buffalo home.

YMM: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve taken on this year?

NV: My biggest challenge has been deciding to take my business to the next level. I am now moving towards including event photography and videography in my portfolio. This change has required me to invest more time developing different skills and learning new ways of editing. Events are fast-paced, and you need to be quick and reactive, especially if your event has outside media.

YMM: How should success be measured?

NV: I measure success internally. I know an event or photo has been successful, not  by how much money I have earned or how many people attend but by how I feel at the end of it. I feel successful when I am putting my best effort in and feel proud of what I have produced.

YMM Weekly
We bring you the current, the quirky, and the uniquely Fort McMurray what’s-a-shakin’s.
No, thank you. I do not want.
Safe & Secure - No spam!