Upcoming Events

Farewell Canada! Hello Australia!

Christmas & Studio Closing Sale

After nearly ten years of working as an artist in Ottawa, it is time to say goodbye. In January, we will be moving to Melbourne, Australia where my partner, Kristin, has accepted a position at Monash University. Although we are thrilled about this new adventure, it will be hard to leave the many communities that have so enriched our lives in Ottawa.

To celebrate my art and our time in Ottawa, we’ve decided to have one final event: a Christmas Studio sale. This will be the last opportunity to purchase autographed books and art directly from me and to place Christmas orders.


Thank you all for your support over the years. It has been a gift to share my work with you.

Media, Reviews and News


Adrian Harewood speaks with Louis Helbig about his Beautiful Destruction book CBC TV, Our Ottawa, October 17, 2015 Interview by Adrian Harewood “There really is a terrible beauty to [these] images.” “Helbig’s aerial photographs are generating a new kind of... read more

Williams Lake Tribune

Aerial View of Oil Sands Captured in Helbig’s book Williams Lake Tribune, September 29, 2015 by Monica Lamb-Yorski Louis Helbig has returned home to Williams Lake to visit family and share his latest project, an aerial photography study of the... read more

New Scientist

Tar Muchly Serene scene disguises colossal value of Canadian oil sands pages 24-25, New Scientist, August 22, 2015 by Gilead Amit TIME for a moment of reflection. This image of a solitary pumping boat, sailing on the still waters of... read more

the Guardian

Canada’s tar sands landscape from the air – in pictures   A new book of aerial photographs, Beautiful Destruction, captures the awesome scale and devastating impact of Alberta’s oil sands with stunning colours, contrasts and patterns. The book also... read more

Alberta Views

Beautiful Destruction by Louis Helbig (photographer) Alberta Views, June 2015, page 60   Louis Helbig took these stunning photos of the oil sands during several flights over tailings ponds and open pit mines around Fort McMurray between 2008 and 2013.... read more

Prefix Photo

Beautiful Destruction by Louis Helbig by Sarah Munro, page 98, Photo Prefix Issue 31 – Natural Resources (June 2015) In recent years, the photographic documentation – and uneasy aestheticization – of industrial landscapes has become something of a national pastime.... read more

Epoch Times

‘Beautiful Destruction’: A Bird’s Eye View of Canada’s Oilpatch Book portrays oilsands through aerial photos interspersed with essays May 29, 2015   by Maureen Korp     “Beautiful Destruction” is a big book. So, too, is its subject... read more

Letter from Kathleen Wynne, The Premier of Ontario

The Premier of Ontario Legislative Building, Queen’s Park Toronto, Ontario, M7A 1A1 La première minister de l’Ontario Édifice de l’Assemblée legislative, Queen’s Park Toronto (Ontario) M7A 1A1   April 23, 2015   Mr. Louis Helbig 1-149 Patterson Avenue Ottawa,... read more

Alberta Oil Magazine

Oil sands photographer Louis Helbig on oil imagery, politics and his new book People have been arguing about the oil sands for years. That’s why a new book is trying to bring them together for a more constructive conversation. Will … read more

Glebe Report

More than an Art Book. Beautiful Destruction book review April 10, 2015 by Julie Houle Cezer There is no disputing that Beautiful Destruction by aerial art photographer and Glebe resident Louis Helbig is a weighty tome. The result of some... read more

NOW Toronto

Beautiful Destruction: A Q&A with Louis Helbig Artist’s aerial photographs of the tar sands accompanied by diverging commentary from Elizabeth May to Ezra Levant by Adria Vasil  February 24, 2015 1:44 PM Shot through acclaimed aerial photographer Louis Helbig’s lens,... read more

National Geographic Radio

Highlight Sheet Episode 1508 Air Date: February 22, 2014 This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they dangle from a hot air balloon over pristine forest, walk from Russia across Australia, protect... read more

Calgary Herald

Beautiful Destruction photographer hopes book sparks constructive dialogue on oilsands Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald More from Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald Published on: February 15, 2015Last Updated: February 15, 2015 12:09 PM MST From Louis Helbig’s book, Beautiful Destruction. Courtesy,... read more

CBC Kamloops

‘Beautiful Destruction’- aerial shots of the Alberta oil sands from Williams Lake photographer Posted By Samantha Garvey on January 15, 2015 8:13 AM (An aerial shot of the Alberta oil sands from Williams Lake photographer Louis Helbig/Beautiful Destruction, Louis... read more

Calgary Eyeopener CBC interview

Wednesday January 14, 2015 Beautiful Destruction We talk to Louis Helbig author of Beautiful Destruction. A new book that uses art to tell the story of the oilsands. LISTEN: Beautiful Destruction... read more

Radio West CBC interview

Monday December 15, 2014 Beautiful Destruction: a look at Alberta’s oil sands Construction Crane, Photo by Louis Helbig A new book released this month gives readers a bird’s eye view of Alberta’s oil sands. Louis Helbig packed his camera, jumped... read more

Quill & Quire

Q&A: Aerial photographer Louis Helbig on his new book, Beautiful Destruction Williams Lake, B.C. native Louis Helbig began photographing the Alberta oil sands from his antique airplane in 2008. The photos became the basis of a series of art exhibitions,... read more

Globe & Mail

75 book ideas for Christmas, for everyone on your list (and we mean everyone) – Globe and Mail, December 6, 2014 Globe and Mail, December 6, 2014 Beautiful Destruction is on the Globe and Mail’s 2014 Christmas list of recommended... read more

Kickstarter Campaign

Most Successful Crowdsourcing Campaign for a Canadian Art or Photography Project by Louis Helbig, October 15, 2014 Thanks to all the contributors to the Beautiful Destruction Kickstarter campaign! With 226 contributors pledging $43,170 this campaign was the most successful... read more

Ignite Channel

Louis Helbig’s Beautiful Destruction: A Unique View of Our Past, Present, and Future Ignite Channel, September 12, 2014 by Pamela Stewart Slick Sunset by Louis Helbig from Beautiful Destruction At first glance, Louis Helbig’s images are stunningly beautiful, but take... read more

Radio Canada International

‘Beautiful Destruction’ artist/photographer Louis Helbig’s aerial photos of oil/tar sands RCI’s Wojtek Gwiazda spoke to Louis Helbig about the book, and the decision six years ago to start this photo project. Tuesday, September 9, 2014     For the past... read more

CBC Beautiful Destruction Interview

September 06, 2014: The Interviews LOUIS HELBIG Daybreak Alberta’s Chris dela Torre spoke to photographer and author Louis Helbig aboutBeautiful Destruction, published by Rocky Mountain Books. Through Helbig’s aerial photography and a selection of essays from the likes of... read more


John Greer The predicament of industrial civilization 16 March 2014 Louis Helbig  To understand the predicament of industrial civilization, it’s not enough to grasp the outward shape of the crisis of our time: the looting of a finite planet’s stock... read more

Past Events

Ottawa International Writers’ Festival

October 24, 2015

Christ Church Cathedral 414 Sparks Street, Ottawa

Louis Helbig shared the stage with Marq de Villiers and Andrew Nikiforuk.

See summary at Ottawa International Writers’ Festival.

Laurier University

November 12, 2015
Laurier University, Global Studies, Waterloo, ON
Laurier University Louis Helbig talk poster

Beautiful Destruction Exhibition

The General Fine Craft, Art & Design
63 Mill St. Almonte, Ontario K0A 1A0
Exhibition Sept 29 – Oct 31, 2015
Artist Talk Oct 18, 2015

Central Cariboo Arts Centre (old Firehall), Williams Lake, BC

Beautiful Destruction: Using Art to Grapple with the Alberta Tar/Oil Sands

October 3, 2015


University of British Columbia

Okanagan Institute for Biodiversity, Resilience, & Ecosystems Services (BRAES)

Beautiful Destruction: Using Art to Grapple with the Alberta Tar/Oil Sands
BRAES classroom Speaker Series

October 1, 2015

UBC Okanagan Campus


Book Signing, Mosaic Books, Kelowna BC

October 1, 2015

Book Signing – The Open Book, Williams Lake BC

October 5, 2015


University of Ottawa

Thursday, November 19, 2015
Hosted by the University of Ottawa Department of Communication, Media Toil Project.

University of Ottawa Louis Helbig Beautiful Destruction Talk

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