About Brenda Castonguay

Brenda Castonguay is an award-winning published photographer with over thirty years of extensive experience in photojournalism and fine art.
At the end of a two year stint in fine art studies at Montreal’s Dawson College, Brenda attended an immersive class in graphic design and photography at The Saidye Bronfman Centre of the arts. It was then that Brenda found her calling in Photography and enrolled at Montreal's Dawson Institute of Photography for commercial photography studies. It was during that time that the infamous Oka Crisis was at its peak that Brenda got to know elite photojournalists from around the world. Under their encouragement and mentor-ship, Brenda chose to pursue her education in photojournalism and started freelancing for the Montreal Gazette and multiple publications.
Soon after, Brenda was accepted with advanced standing to Belleville Ontario's Loyalist College of Applied Arts and Sciences, and earned the Southam Publishing Scholarship. Brenda’s career and love for travel ultimately took her across the country where she finally settled in Calgary and decided to become self employed with options of freelance work in photojournalism.
Brenda then leveraged a small business loan and set up a portrait studio specializing in hand crafted black and white photo-journalistic infant portraiture in the trendy community of Inglewood. For over seventeen years, Brenda’s studio was a staple in the Inglewood community where she catered to a diverse high-end clientele, twice earning Calgary's Child Magazines acclaimed Parents Choice Awards.
Having established a solid client base over the years, Brenda decided to combine her past experience in art with her passion of photography by printing her digital images on an aluminum substrate, (via archival & UV protected dye sublimation transfer) then hand painting the textures and details with different acrylic textured gel mediums, resulting in a highly detailed tactile experience of her stunning landscapes, seascapes and macro florals.
"HAND PAINTED TINS" - Playfully exploring the boundary between image and reality, in the ancient style of Trompe L’oeil.
- Trompe L’oeil, (French: “deceive the eye”) in painting, the representation of an object with such verisimilitude as to deceive the viewer concerning the material reality of the object. This idea appealed to the ancient Greeks who were newly emancipated from the conventional stylizations of earlier art. Zeuxis, for example, reportedly painted such realistic grapes that birds tried to eat them.
The journey begins with a high gloss surface substrate that accents the detailed photograph. Without covering the image, highly tactile acrylic mediums are hand painted to embellish the detailed image.
Using hand painted acrylic textured medium with photography can introduce interesting depth, provides another means to add emphasis on the way light plays off the surface.
By enhancing the details and raising the image into a new dimension, the connection then brings the concept together as one unit of exploration to be enjoyed with the slightest of touch!



Loyalist College, Ontario 92/93 - Photojournalism. Scholarship from Southam Publishing Inc. Dawson College, Montreal 91/92 - Commercial Photography
Saidye Bronfman Centre, Montreal - 1990 Graphic Arts Dawson College Montreal - Fine Art 90/91
Society Of Canadian Artists - New Associate Member
The McMillan Arts Centre - (Artist in Residence 2016-present)
The Old School House Arts Centre - (Artist in Residence Studio #3 June 2021-present) Ladysmith Arts Council
Oceanside Arts Council Fernie Artist Co-op
Elkford Arts Council - Founding Member, Vice President. Calgary Photographic Society - Invited Speaker.
Ontario News Photographer Assoc.
NPPA.ORG National Press Photographers Assoc.
""Studio Nine"" @ The Old School House Art Centre, Qualicum Beach, BC. June 2021- Present Sooke Fine Art Show 2023 Sooke, Vancouver Island
Studio 106, Group Show, October 2022. 106 Superior St. Victoria, BC.
The McMillan Art Centre Concert Gallery, Solo Show 2019.
Exposure Photography Festival, Curated Host Show at The McMillan Art Centre 2020 Exposure Photography Festival Calgary, (Hosted by Image Seekers Gallery 2015, 2017) The Perfect Exposure Gallery, Los Angeles California. Group Show, 2017
The Old Schoolhouse Gallery, Qualicum Beach. Solo Show 2015 Ladysmith Art Gallery, 2014/15/16
Hammond Bay Studio Tour, Nanaimo 2014/15 Filberg Festival Comox BC, 2015
Gust Gallery, Waterton Lakes National Park, 2014
Calgary's Child Magazine Photographer of the year 2004, 2005 Southam Scholarship Award academic achievement Loyalist College
Friends of Hammond Bay, Interview 2021
Island Arts Magazine, Featured Artist/Cover Winter Edition 2021 Shaw Cable, Featured for The Hammond Bay Studio Tour 2015 RedPoint Media, Inflight Magazine Feature, 2004
City TV Calgary, Interview, 2005
Calgary Photographic Society, Feature/Speaker 1992 Photolife Magazine, Feature & Cover 1991
The Montreal Gazette, Freelance 1990-95
Established the McMillan Art Center's E-Commerce shopify website/photography Volunteered website design for the Jonanco Clubhouse Nanaimo BC. Volunteered website design for the Hammond Bay Studio Tour
Founding Member of the Elkford Arts Council/ Elkford Community Art Studio"