There’s an image in Ema Peter’s new photography exhibit that is so magical, it’s hard to believe it wasn’t manufactured. It’s a capture of Surrey’s stunning Grandview Aquatic Centre, designed by HCMA: incredible, soaring roofline, floor-to-ceiling glazing, a pop of yellow from the handrails alongside the diving boards—and a diver in perfect form. The lighting alone would have been incredibly challenging, and paired with the swift movement of the diver? A practically athletic feat for a photographer to capture.  

Regular readers of Western Living will know Peter’s work well. In the last year alone, her photographs have appeared in every single issue, and on almost every cover. I can say without hyperbole that WL would not be the magazine that it is without her incredible work.

One of Ema Peter’s incredible images on the cover of WL in September 2021. You’ll find the original of this image at her current show at the Art Museum of West Vancouver.

And as the entries have been flooding in for our next WL Designers of the Year awards, I know that just about every interior designer and architect is indebted to Ema’s genius behind the lens too. How lucky we are that she lives in Vancouver and supports our local design scene as she does. 

Photographer Ema Peter

Her work is duly being celebrated as part of the Capture Photography Festival. The Decisive Moment runs at the West Vancouver Art Museum until June 3, and the images she’s selected range from local designs to works from around the world and yes, many projects that have been featured within the pages (and on the cover!) of our own magazine.

And gorgeous as they are in WL, they’re downright gasp-worthy when blown up to art-installation size on the walls of the museum. If you’re a fan of West Coast modern architecture, this it captured in its essence, as only Ema Peter can. Go – you’ve got until June 3 to do so. 

The Decisive Moment
April 12 – June 3
West Vancouver Art Museum