In honor of the City's 50th Anniversary in 2021, we invited residents, businesses, and visitors to participate in our 50th Anniversary Photo Contest, which captured the essence of Irvine — our neighborhoods and residents, open space, history, and events. The City received nearly 500 submissions from community members sharing their favorite photos representing culture and community, historical Irvine, the outdoors, and pets — as well as entries to a special category for budding photographers ages 17 and younger.
A complete collection of all photo submissions can be viewed here.
Photos submitted painted a stunning representation of the events and celebrations enjoyed most in Irvine over the past 50 years; significant buildings, activities, landscapes, and figures from Irvine's history; our great open space, parks, and diverse wildlife; a spotlight on our pets and love for animals; and a photo perspective of what Irvine means to the next generation of younger residents.
Celebrating Our Winners
Winners in each category were featured in the winter 2021–22 issue of Inside Irvine, the City’s award-winning quarterly magazine and activity guide. See the winning photos and learn more about the City of Irvine's 50th anniversary by reading the issue here.
Photographer Hongfang Gan took home the grand prize with her submission to the Culture and Community category, and received a $250 gift card to the Irvine Spectrum Center. Additionally, her photograph was featured on the cover of Inside Irvine.
Additional category winners were:
- Historical: Laura Hayes
- Outdoors: Soung Won Park
- Pets: Anonymous
- 17 & Under: Soren Almeida
50th Anniversary Symposium & Photo Exhibition Reception
Winning photographs were also featured at the 50th Anniversary Symposium and Photo Exhibition Reception on December 7, 2021, at Irvine Civic Center. Twenty-four contest finalists, including the grand prize winner and individual category winners, were recognized at an opening reception, and photos remain on display through February 18, 2022, at Irvine City Hall. See photos from the 50th Anniversary Symposium & Photo Exhibition Reception here.
The event included a special oral history video and symposium highlighting how Irvine came to be the model master-planned community it is today. Watch the video, Irvine at 50, here. You can also view a video of the symposium panel here.
Thank you to all who helped celebrate Irvine by sharing your photography talents with our community!