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Michelle Valberg

Photographer, Author, Philanthropist, Co-Founder Project North

Michelle Valberg is a globally recognized and celebrated photographer and storyteller, whose quest to capture the beautiful and unique on camera has taken her to all corners of the world.

In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, Michelle’s photograph of a drum dancer will appear on a coin representing Nunavut, part of a series produced by the Royal Canadian Mint.

A Canadian Nikon Ambassador, Michelle has exhibited her works internationally. In 2011 her work was the subject of critically acclaimed, three-month solo exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Her work is also seen on the tail wings of three First Air aircrafts, while her photo of a polar bear graces the cover of Canadian Geographic Atlas of Canada.

With her well-rounded experience and insight in the fields of business, photography, travel, and the non-profit sector, it is no surprise that Valberg is in high demand on the speaking platform.

Valberg’s stunning, and at times haunting photographs are highly sought after by art collectors globally, and have been showcased in various exhibits and features across North America, including New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. In 2011, Valberg’s work was the subject of a critically acclaimed 3-month solo exhibition at the esteemed Canadian Museum of Nature. Currently, Valberg has her largest permanent exhibition at The Ottawa Hospital, which includes over 70 of her photographs. Regularly featured in publications across North America and Europe, Valberg’s images have most recently been included in National Geographic, The London Tribune, Travel Life, More Magazine, Canadian Geographic and In Style.

Her travels have taken her to Africa, Japan, Europe, New Zealand, Belarus and the Caribbean. In recent years, Valberg has explored her passion for Canada’s Arctic, making more than 33 trips to Canada’s north in the last 6 1/2 years. She has quickly become the ‘go-to’ Arctic photographer for various travel exhibitions, and private clients wishing to capture their once-in-a-lifetime adventure in photographs.

A tireless philanthropist, Valberg founded Project North in 2009, a not-for-profit organization committed to delivering education and sport-based opportunities to youth in Canada’s Arctic. Since its inception, over $600,000 worth of hockey equipment has been delivered to over 20 Inuit communities. Committed to strengthening the community, Valberg has spent countless hours volunteering with The St. Joe’s Women’s Shelter, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and The Ottawa Hospital.

As the founder of Valberg Imaging, Ottawa’s premier photography studio and gallery in operation for over 26 years, Valberg is a trusted and recognized entrepreneur in the Ottawa community. She has received numerous accolades and awards, recognizing her business acumen and commitment to the community, including the YMCA/YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the Arts category (2000), Ottawa’s Businesswoman of the Year (2003), Ottawa’s Top 40 Under 40 (2004), The United Way Ottawa Community Builder award and CHEO’s Order of the Good Bear. She is a two time Premier’s Award Nominee and a four time Karsh Award Nominee and has won numerous Canadian Geographic Wildlife and Arctic awards.

She has self-published three books: Look Beyond… The Faces & Stories of People with HIV/AIDS, Dare to Dream… A Celebration of Canadian Women and most recently, a children’s book about Canada’s north, entitled Ben and Nuki Discover Polar Bears. Her third coffee table book, Arctic Kaleidoscope… The People, Wildlife and Ever-Changing Landscape was released on Earth Day – April 22, 2013.

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Presentations

  • Canada, Through the Lens

     

    A Canadian Nikon Ambassador, Michelle has exhibited her works internationally. In 2011 her work was the subject of critically acclaimed, three-month solo exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Her work is also seen on the tail wings of three First Air aircrafts, while her photo of a polar bear graces the cover of Canadian Geographic Atlas of Canada.

    In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, Michelle’s photograph of a drum dancer will appear on a coin representing Nunavut, part of a series produced by the Royal Canadian Mint.

    There is nowhere on earth where this connectivity, this relationship between people, the landscape and wildlife is more “real” then in the Arctic. Known for her particular passion for arctic photography, Michelle has made over 40 trips to Canada’s north

    This presentation will provide participants with a peek behind the scenes of some of Michelle’s most stunning photographs. Through the use of narrative, imagery and video, Michelle will bring us into each photo. We will be transported back to the time and place to be at one with Michelle and her Canada. For that moment we will reconnect.

  • Creativity In Motion

    We all have an understanding of what it is to be creative. But creativity takes work. To ensure that individuals and business are able to evolve, refresh and renew themselves, we need to create environments that transcend traditional ideas, rules and patterns.

    As a globally recognized and celebrated adventure and travel photographer Michelle Valberg’s constant quest to capture the beautiful and unique has taken her to all corners of the world. She has built a reputation for capturing unnoticed details that change our perception, as well as the implausible vast landscapes that alter our perspective.

    Whether being up close and personal with grizzly bears, polar bears, or swimming in Arctic waters with narwhals, Michelle’s unique ability to challenge the status quo has solidified her reputation as one of Canada’s eminent photographers.

    Michelle constantly pushes the boundaries, recognizing that the next great shot likely exists just outside of her comfort zone. This awe-inspiring presentation provides a behind the scenes look at her most incredible adventures and motivates us to look beyond the status quo to reach our full creative potential.

     

  • Using Your Personal Gift to Make a Difference

    From the very beginning of her career, Michelle has used her photography to make a difference in her community and country. Exhibitions, magazine covers, themed books to raise awareness of critical issues, and the creation of a not-for-profit organization, project north.ca, represent a few of her undertakings.

    This presentation will provide participants with an in-depth look at how philanthropy serves to stoke the fire of your creative spirit. Michelle will discuss the benefits and challenges of giving back. How do you choose what you do? How do you set yourself up for success? Using examples from her altruistic endeavours, Michelle will leave participants with an understanding of how giving back serves to give them more.

  • An Entrepreneurial Spirit: Trailblazing in a Male Dominated Industry

    As a woman in business in a male dominated industry for over 28 years, Michelle Valberg is considered a trailblazer. She has taken photographs of landscape and wildlife in places few people have dared to venture. She is the only woman to be appointed one of six Canadian Nikon Ambassadors.

    Michelle’s work is intense, physically demanding, gritty, fast-paced and often times, slow moving. Sitting for hours in extreme cold waiting for a narwhal to make an appearance channels inner strength, patience and determination. Embracing her challenges with enthusiasm and grace Michelle motivates everyone to do the same.

    Michelle created a new model of collaboration for her industry. Bringing other photographers under the same roof to share technology and expertise is the first of its kind model of a photographer’s collaborative space. Recognized as groundbreaking, Michelle is called upon, from across North America, to share her knowledge on setting up collaboration-spaces based on her model.

    In this presentation, Michelle will give insight into the opportunities and challenges she has faced as a woman in a male dominated field. She will highlight some of the obstacles she has encountered, and will share how she was able to work around them. Participants will come away from the presentation energized and ready to tackle any challenges that come their way.

     

  • Wildlife Photography: Reconnect With Nature

    Nature has always been Michelle’s first love. From the moment she looked through the lens, the images, colours, textures and depth of the natural world left her breathless. Michelle believes nature reflects what we see in ourselves, our beauty, our ugliness, our simplicity, our complexity.

    Most of us have become disconnected from the natural world around us. We live in cities and spend minimal time outside in green spaces. Studies have shown that a walk in the park may decrease anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses. We need to reconnect and acknowledge our relationship with the natural world around us.

    There is nowhere on earth where this connectivity, this relationship between people, the landscape and wildlife is more “real” then in the Arctic. Known for her particular passion for arctic photography, Michelle has made over 40 trips to Canada’s north

    This presentation will provide participants with a peek behind the scenes of some of Michelle’s most stunning photographs. Through the use of narrative, imagery and video, Michelle will bring us into each photo. We will be transported back to the time and place to be at one with Michelle and her subject. For that moment we will reconnect.

  • Workshops

    Michelle offers a series of hands-on workshops designed to provide participants an opportunity to learn the finer details for taking that perfect photograph.

    Going off Auto-Pilot
    Learn how to use ISO, shutter speed and aperture to achieve better results. Take control of your camera.

    Posing tips and how to take a better portrait of others and yourself.
    Especially important in today’s visual world of social media. Michelle will teach tips and tricks of taking a better portrait. She will also discuss the importance of branding with your image.

    Composition – The Art of Seeing
    For all levels of photographers and cameras. Learn the art of seeing with Michelle and discover new ways of creating powerful images.

Canada, Through the Lens

 

A Canadian Nikon Ambassador, Michelle has exhibited her works internationally. In 2011 her work was the subject of critically acclaimed, three-month solo exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Her work is also seen on the tail wings of three First Air aircrafts, while her photo of a polar bear graces the cover of Canadian Geographic Atlas of Canada.

In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, Michelle’s photograph of a drum dancer will appear on a coin representing Nunavut, part of a series produced by the Royal Canadian Mint.

There is nowhere on earth where this connectivity, this relationship between people, the landscape and wildlife is more “real” then in the Arctic. Known for her particular passion for arctic photography, Michelle has made over 40 trips to Canada’s north

This presentation will provide participants with a peek behind the scenes of some of Michelle’s most stunning photographs. Through the use of narrative, imagery and video, Michelle will bring us into each photo. We will be transported back to the time and place to be at one with Michelle and her Canada. For that moment we will reconnect.

Creativity In Motion

We all have an understanding of what it is to be creative. But creativity takes work. To ensure that individuals and business are able to evolve, refresh and renew themselves, we need to create environments that transcend traditional ideas, rules and patterns.

As a globally recognized and celebrated adventure and travel photographer Michelle Valberg’s constant quest to capture the beautiful and unique has taken her to all corners of the world. She has built a reputation for capturing unnoticed details that change our perception, as well as the implausible vast landscapes that alter our perspective.

Whether being up close and personal with grizzly bears, polar bears, or swimming in Arctic waters with narwhals, Michelle’s unique ability to challenge the status quo has solidified her reputation as one of Canada’s eminent photographers.

Michelle constantly pushes the boundaries, recognizing that the next great shot likely exists just outside of her comfort zone. This awe-inspiring presentation provides a behind the scenes look at her most incredible adventures and motivates us to look beyond the status quo to reach our full creative potential.

 

Using Your Personal Gift to Make a Difference

From the very beginning of her career, Michelle has used her photography to make a difference in her community and country. Exhibitions, magazine covers, themed books to raise awareness of critical issues, and the creation of a not-for-profit organization, project north.ca, represent a few of her undertakings.

This presentation will provide participants with an in-depth look at how philanthropy serves to stoke the fire of your creative spirit. Michelle will discuss the benefits and challenges of giving back. How do you choose what you do? How do you set yourself up for success? Using examples from her altruistic endeavours, Michelle will leave participants with an understanding of how giving back serves to give them more.

An Entrepreneurial Spirit: Trailblazing in a Male Dominated Industry

As a woman in business in a male dominated industry for over 28 years, Michelle Valberg is considered a trailblazer. She has taken photographs of landscape and wildlife in places few people have dared to venture. She is the only woman to be appointed one of six Canadian Nikon Ambassadors.

Michelle’s work is intense, physically demanding, gritty, fast-paced and often times, slow moving. Sitting for hours in extreme cold waiting for a narwhal to make an appearance channels inner strength, patience and determination. Embracing her challenges with enthusiasm and grace Michelle motivates everyone to do the same.

Michelle created a new model of collaboration for her industry. Bringing other photographers under the same roof to share technology and expertise is the first of its kind model of a photographer’s collaborative space. Recognized as groundbreaking, Michelle is called upon, from across North America, to share her knowledge on setting up collaboration-spaces based on her model.

In this presentation, Michelle will give insight into the opportunities and challenges she has faced as a woman in a male dominated field. She will highlight some of the obstacles she has encountered, and will share how she was able to work around them. Participants will come away from the presentation energized and ready to tackle any challenges that come their way.

 

Wildlife Photography: Reconnect With Nature

Nature has always been Michelle’s first love. From the moment she looked through the lens, the images, colours, textures and depth of the natural world left her breathless. Michelle believes nature reflects what we see in ourselves, our beauty, our ugliness, our simplicity, our complexity.

Most of us have become disconnected from the natural world around us. We live in cities and spend minimal time outside in green spaces. Studies have shown that a walk in the park may decrease anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses. We need to reconnect and acknowledge our relationship with the natural world around us.

There is nowhere on earth where this connectivity, this relationship between people, the landscape and wildlife is more “real” then in the Arctic. Known for her particular passion for arctic photography, Michelle has made over 40 trips to Canada’s north

This presentation will provide participants with a peek behind the scenes of some of Michelle’s most stunning photographs. Through the use of narrative, imagery and video, Michelle will bring us into each photo. We will be transported back to the time and place to be at one with Michelle and her subject. For that moment we will reconnect.

Workshops

Michelle offers a series of hands-on workshops designed to provide participants an opportunity to learn the finer details for taking that perfect photograph.

Going off Auto-Pilot
Learn how to use ISO, shutter speed and aperture to achieve better results. Take control of your camera.

Posing tips and how to take a better portrait of others and yourself.
Especially important in today’s visual world of social media. Michelle will teach tips and tricks of taking a better portrait. She will also discuss the importance of branding with your image.

Composition – The Art of Seeing
For all levels of photographers and cameras. Learn the art of seeing with Michelle and discover new ways of creating powerful images.

Testimonials

  • Michelle’s passion for capturing nature’s beauty is evident in her presentations, as is her love for sharing the experience with others. Our audience loved her images as much as her authentic journey; I highly recommend Michelle Valberg as a speaker

    Michelle Valberg Kathie Donovan, Producer of Refresh your Passion
  • Michelle is a brilliant and passionate storyteller. Through her imagery, she has motivated and inspired photographers around the world. Her desire to educate and empower others in the industry is commendable.

    Michelle Valberg Amanda Mohammed, NPS Canada Manager
  • Michelle Valberg’s story is fascinating. She immediately engages her audience with her photographs and the stories that accompany them. Funny, inspiring, touching and magical. The evening that we spent with her was all of those things and more

    Michelle Valberg Wendy Onstein, Manager Leeds and Grenville Small Business Centre
  • Your overall presentation was the total package ~ spectacular photos, smooth delivery, mixed with a refreshing sense of humour. It was a very entertaining evening! Thanks for helping us celebrate our 20th Anniversary in style.

    Michelle Valberg Bryan, Northumberland Photography Club

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