Vera Saltzman

The Shacks

Vera Saltzman


Balnaird Chapel

Please see access arrangements below before visiting.

w3w: sudden.warned.twigs
grid reference: NH504604
Heights of Keppoch
Near Strathpeffer

Link to w3w location on google maps

The Shacks – Vera Saltzman

Access arrangements to this venue requires crossing a field, over rough ground, and is at your own risk. Unfortunately, this site is not wheel chair accessible.

As the Saskatchewan winter settles in and the lakes freeze over, temporary settlements appear in solitude on the frigid ice. “The Shacks” replace recreational boats to create a winter escape for those bitten by the fishing bug.

Determined not to be sidelined by the cold, fishermen pull their shacks onto the ice; traditional ice fishing huts built out of converted camper trailers, or carefully pieced together wood and metal sheds, each designed with their own visual uniqueness. The hardy congregate in search of the “big one”, sharing food and drink while dropping their line through the ice. For the onlookers these distinctive communities remind us winter is not so bad after all.

“Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt”

Susan Sontag

These images question how long before “The Shacks”, along with the culture they represent, disappear either as a result of changes through modern technology or worse, climate change.


Born and raised in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, photography has long been a “back burner” interest for Vera, but she didn’t become serious about it until she moved north to Nunavut. Struggling to fit in, she turned to her photography to build a bridge between herself and the Inuit, a friendship of sorts – a visual record of an intangible exchange. 

After returning south, Vera studied full time at the School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa (SPAO), completing their portfolio development program. Through her work, she focuses her attention on issues of identity and the development of a “sense of place,” the passage of time and the fragility of life. She currently lives in Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan.