PhotoSensitive: Kids Who Can

Here’s a the short film I created for PhotoSensitive’s exhibit “Kids Who Can” exhibit featuring kids with disabilities at Camp Shawnigan on Vancouver Island. I’m very proud to have participated in this project with my wife Deddeda and fellow photojournalists across Canada. Thank to the amazing Easter Seals staff for their dedication and enthusiasm and big hugs to all the kids – you are stars in our hearts!

Check out the full project: http://www.eastersealskids.com/

Music by Bill Bourne courtesy Cordova Bay Records.

I tried to create a visual poem / dream sequence. The film is like a playing memory focussing on the positive elements of what the kids experience at the Easter Seals camp. I basically wanted to capture and convey the pure and simple essence of the project: beautiful kids having a great time at camp.

The project has a special meaning for me because my sister, Desa, is severely mentally and physical handicapped and requires 24-hour care. She lived at the Queen Alexandra Hospital for Children in Victoria until she was 16. My family went to visit her every Sunday and we often spent long afternoons in the summer at the hospital. My brother and I grew up surrounded by and playing with disabled children. I remember the Easter Seals bus and day camps that would take place on the playgrounds outside the hospital and have fond memories of these kids and their families enjoying the sunshine. The film I made is in a way, a reflection of those memories.

My sister Desa is now 37 years old. She lives at my parent’s home and has a dedicated rotating staff of live-in caregivers. Her life and the aura of love that surrounds her is a constant inspiration for all who know her. Participating in this project has been a deep and moving experience. It’s been an opportunity for me, in my own way, to finally give back and say thank you.

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