A Day in the Life of a Quebec Fire Crew © Charles-Frédérick Ouellet, pour The Globe and Mail, CALQ

For the first time in 25 years, a Quebecer stands out among the winners: documentary photographer Charles-Frédérick Ouellet is among the winners in the North and Central America region, in the Single Image category, for his photograph taken during the forest fires that ravaged several areas of Quebec in the summer of 2023. In this black-and-white photo, auxiliary combatant Théo Dagnaud scans the horizon at the very end of a patrol, to make sure there’s no smoke visible on the horizon. The images in this series were produced with the support of the Conseil des Arts et Lettres du Québec and The Globe and Mail.

Charles-Frédérick Ouellet thus becomes the second Quebec winner of an award from the prestigious international photography competition, 25 years after Roger Lemoyne, who made the list in 1999. Charles-Frédérick Ouellet’s photo will be on display at the World Press Photo Montreal exhibition at Bonsecours Market from August 28 to October 14, as well as in all the cities the exhibition visits around the world throughout 2024. 

Charles-Frédérick Ouellet

“This image is a silent moment, far away from the world of humans. It stands more as a moment where you realize that you are part of the ecosystem, not above it’’, says Charles-Frédérick Ouellet.

“The entire World Press Photo Montreal exhibition’s team congratulates Charles-Frédérick on this prestigious award, which is as exceptional as it is well-deserved. His sublime and sensitive photo will stimulate reflection and introspection, in addition to informing and touching more than four million visitors worldwide”, says Yann Fortier, General Manager of the Montreal event.