VOICE photojournalist Chandra Bodalia, who is fighting cancer, was honoured by the community at Vancouver’s Fraserview Banquet Hall on Wednesday night as they pitched in to raise $300,000 for the most popular and well-known photojournalist in town. Bruce Kehler, seen here (first photo) giving a warm hug to Chandra, deserves fulsome praise for donating $100,000 himself and then challenging others to contribute. Kehler, who is President of Canex Building Supplies Ltd., is well known as the white guy with a brown heart aka The Desi Santa. The affection for Chandra was palpable as politicians, business persons, professionals, journalists and others showered praise on a person who was well known to even former prime ministers Jean Chretien, Paul Martin and Stephen Harper.
CHANDRA Bodalia immigrated to Vancouver in 1976 and started his career as a photojournalist. He is the most famous and respected South Asian photojournalists of the Lower Mainland. In last 40 years Chandra has traveled every corner of this region to click event pictures and captured community stories. If he missed some it was not because of his lack of will, but because of lack of time or clash of event dates and times.
Besides being a photographer, Chandra has also made his mark in the commercial art space of Vancouver. He designed the logo for the Gujarati Society of BC and until today the society uses the same logo. In the past, he’s made decor props for many events and high profile weddings.
Chandra is an artist at heart, and to him photography is also an art. With his commitment to his work and the zeal to capture the most smiles and stories possible, Chandra has a massive collection of more than 3 million images in his library.
He has been awarded more than 20 times for his art and dedication for photography. Many young and upcoming photojournalists looked up to him as a role model.
Photos by Vinnie Combow