BLOG: Khalsa Day celebrations at Queen’s Park bring out big name politicians Ignatieff and Layton (and this bored photographer)

What’s there to do on an Easter Sunday afternoon? Actually, not much.

I’d been catching up with office work and doing those pesky taxes when by 4pm realized I hadn’t been outside all day, it was time for some fresh air. Noticed lots of Sikhs flowing into Queen’s Park. A quick google told me it was Toronto’s annual Khalsa Day celebrations and when noticing a ton of media – I figured somebody famous must be here (and now, maybe a picture moment or two.)

Another photographer alerted me that both Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff and NDP leader Jack Layton were both set to arrive and address the crowd. Since we are just over a week from a Federal Election here in Canada – both these guys are pretty big in the news right now (all photos Richard Budman.)

It was time to get the camera out. Decided to use my wide angle lens because I had a hunch there would be some tight press scrums around the party leaders and I would need to get in close for a clean shot.

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff & MP Ruby Dhalla just before they take the stage to address the thousands of Sikhs that had gathered at Queen’s Park.
It was strictly shoes off on the Khalsa Day stage.
What’s this man thinking? If his party doesn’t perform well this election – many will second guess if Ignatieff is the right man to lead the Liberal Party.
I followed Ignatieff’s exit from Queen’s Park. I enjoy very candid moments with political leaders and their security. The Liberal leader would chat with and take questions from anyone approaching him.
I then went to look for NDP leader Jack Layton. There seemed to be a bit more buzz and media attention around Layton I could almost feel. Took me a few minutes to penetrate the circle of media around him, but when finally finding a hole got some nice picture moments.
The “shot” the media was looking for was whether the two party leaders would greet each other. I overheard people with Ignatieff say it wouldn’t happen. But when the Liberal leader exited the stage he would have to cross paths with Layton. It was very fast and Ignatieff gave Layton just a quick handshake and, “hello Jack.” It was very crowded and super fast so not sure if any media got a good shot of it. (mine sucks I think.)
Think they were protesting something.