Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Photography and community spirit of Prince Rupert's Phuong Nugyen hailed at the BC Legislature Tuesday

MLA Jennifer Rice showcased the work of Prince Rupert photographer
Phuong Nguyen on Tuesday, hailing his work for the members of the
British Columbia Legislature

(photo from Mr. Nguyen's Facebook stream)

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice paid tribute to one of the most popular fixtures at community events over the last number of years, highlighting the work of Prince Rupert photographer Phoung Nguyen for the Legislature on Tuesday.

The popular Vietnamese immigrant's work has chronicled many of the communities major events and his keen eye for nature and city scapes provides for an ever evolving archive of the city from day to day.

In her review. the MLA provides some background to Mr. Nguyen's life and recounts the lengthy list of community events that he can be found at throughout the year.

Her notes for the members of the Legislature serving to highlight the passion that he brings to each event as he captures the spirit of the city through his photographer's lens.

Ms. Rice's tribute came at the start of the Tuesday session for the legislature, the theme of her presentation to the Chamber was as follows:

Phuong is Prince Rupert's unofficial photographer. To say he is an avid photographer and videographer is an understatement. He can oftentimes be seen at multiple community events in one day, capturing Prince Rupert's sport, cultural and community events and publicly sharing his images for all to see. 

While Phuong could easily charge for his photography services, he doesn't. He spends many hours taking and editing hundreds of images and then uploading them all to social media for anyone to see and to take for their own personal use. 

Phuong has been taking pictures for over 15 years, and he does this as a way of giving back to his community. He says he shares his images simply because he likes to make people happy. 

He grew up in South Vietnam, with five brothers and seven sisters, on a farm, harvesting coconuts, rice and bananas. In the late '70s, his sister immigrated to Prince Rupert, opened a restaurant and worked hard to sponsor nine of her family members to find a new life in Canada. 

In 1991, Phuong moved to Canada. After working in restaurants, he became a crab fisherman. Unfortunately, his wife passed away in 2012, and he has been raising two teenagers on his own. 

Photography has been a part of his healing process, including nature photography. Every day he has a story to tell, whether it's a major or minor community event or simply telling the story of Rupert's rain and numerous eagles. Phuong doesn't speak a lot of English, but he does say a lot with the stories he tells and then shares for all to appreciate.

The MLA's statement to the legislature, along with display of his work can be viewed below:

Her full transcript is available from the Legislature archive for Tuesday morning.

For a sample of Mr. Nguyen's remarkable photography and sense of the community he has made his home see his Facebook compilation

For more items of interest from the Legislature see our provincial politics archive page here.

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