Canon Central and North Africa have partnered with Ishara Mara to launch the Canon Experience Centre in Kenya, in an announcement earlier this week, The partnership is dedicated to supporting the education and empowerment of people in the region.

Canon’s Experience Centre aims to raise awareness about nature and wildlife whilst empowering the indigenous Maasai people by providing unique and immersive photography, video and print experiences at the national reserve.

Basically, the canon experience roots for:

An Experience for All

From indoors to outdoors, the Canon Experience Centre will offer visitors a range of options to explore the captivating beauty of the national park. Canon’s touch and try the experience at the centre will allow visitors to get their hands on the company’s cutting-edge cameras, lenses with lens bar experience, and binoculars with binocular bar experience along with official Canon Experience vehicles. A dedicated kid’s zone at the centre will offer engaging opportunities for families with children to interact, engage and immerse in the world of photography with products such as Selphy, Zoe mini along with access to Canon’s creative park – Pixma. Additionally, a family photo-booth at the centre with exciting dress-up and back-drop options for adults and kids has been set up to turn moments into memories. Photography enthusiasts will also be able to get their own photographs printed at the print centre.

Chasing the Thrill – Capturing Wildlife

As part of the experience, visitors can also opt for a tour that incorporates wildlife and nature photography lessons at the centre or during game drives along with an option of mentor/teacher assistance. Additionally, the experience centre will also be part of some guided tours provided by external agencies in order to ensure maximum access for the general public. In an endeavour to promote the spirit of creativity and imagination, visitors at the centre will also be invited to participate in the ‘Best Shot’ photography competition with the winning shots being displayed at Canon Mara gallery at the centre. Furthermore, yearly Mara photography awards will be organized to felicitate the best wildlife photographs taken during the year.

“We are extremely proud of this partnership with Ishara Mara that is rooted in spreading awareness and education as well as empowerment of the local communities. Through the Canon Experience Centre at the Ishara Mara, our vision is to create a space where each party be it the visitors or the local communities or even nature itself, can benefit in some way. There is something for everyone at the center and it is the true embodiment of Canon’s core philosophy of Kyosei which means living and working together for the common good,” said Somesh Adukia, Managing Director – Canon Central and North Africa.

Power in the Hands of Local Communities 

As part of the company’s relentless bid to empower people and give back to the communities, Canon’s Experience Centre at Ishara Mara initiative envisions educating and training the local Maasai indigenous tour guides with necessary skills thus transforming them into Canon ambassadors and content creators. The grassroots initiative envisions playing to the strengths of the local Maasai people and their excellent knowledge of the area by placing the power of photography in their hands. The first step of the program is to ensure the local Maasai guides get a thorough understanding of the basics of photography along with comprehensive training on how to use Canon equipment to further enable and empower them to teach guests, photographers, tourists as well as local Maasai people. The initiative also looks at encouraging the local community in the area to become content creators by creating content on various topics such as Human Coexistence with the Environment and Wildlife, Maasai Tribe and Culture, Wildlife Photography, Wildlife Beauty, Protection, Preservation and Environmental Conservation. Likewise, the initiative also looks at promoting and empowering women to become Maasai tour guides by providing various training and educational opportunities. Canon will further support these trained guides to purchase official Canon equipment through its exclusive packages designed for the Maasai tour guides. Moreover, a referral scheme from Canon will allow the Maasai tour guides to earn an added commission should a Canon customer visit the experience centre.