OV-CAOS Ottawa Valley Community Arts

The Creative Photography Project

What is this project about?

OV-CAOS and our community partners are working with seniors to honour their lives and contributions to our community. We are doing this by collecting stories and taking photographic portraits of up to fifty seniors. The portraits are taken in a location chosen by the participants.

The stories and portraits will be exhibited publicly at the end of the project and will also be turned into a printed book.

Why are we doing this?

We are challenging existing stereotypes and preconceptions by creating a senior-centred art exhibition and publication where people are presented to the public in a respectful, professional and ultimately beautiful way.

The project will support seniors to explore creative expression on their own or within a group setting.

Through the process the participants will be empowered to show the world who they are and have centre stage.

Who is it for?

This project is for people aged 65 and over. All are welcome and we look forward to sharing the full diversity of our committees here in the Upper Ottawa Valley. If it is safe to do so, the general community will be invited to attend an opening reception of the photographic exhibit.

How can I get involved?

If you’re interested in participating in this project, please contact Anya Gansterer at 613-633-1236, anya@ov-caos.org.

What is the timeline?

June 2020 to October 2021

Exploring and Pondering: Participants will receive a kit that contains a portrait tip sheet to help plan their portraits as well as prompts and suggestions for ways to creatively explore the stories that form our lives.

Consultations: Participants may meet with the photographer and a project co-ordinator to discuss the details of the portrait. This can be done in-person (if it is safe to do so), over the phone or via video conference.

Photoshoot: After the participant has had time to consider their portrait ideas and has met with the consultation team, arrangements will be made for a photoshoot. All arrangements will take into account the current public health protocols. Please see the photographer’s safety standards for portraits for specific details.

January to March 2022: The co-ordinators will prepare the photo portraits for exhibition and work with a designer to layout the Honouring Seniors Photo Portraits book.

Exhibition, reception and book publication: The participants and the general public will be invited to attend the opening reception of the exhibition.

Who is coordinating this project?

This project is brought to you by Ottawa Valley Community Arts.

Andrew Trull and Anya Gansterer, Artistic Directors and Project Co-ordinators

Maureen MacMillan, Portrait Photographer

Kathy Blomquist, Seniors Support Consultant

Community Partners

Community Resource Centre

Jennifer Bennett Pond, CRC Senior Active Living Centre

Barry’s Bay and Area Senior Citizens Home Support Services


New Horizons For Seniors

COVID-19 Considerations

The role of OV-CAOS is to provide people in our community with opportunities to express themselves creatively. Comfort and safety is of foremost importance, so we will be continually monitoring how best to roll out this project in this ever-changing situation.

We will have photoshoots outside this summer with those who are comfortable with this. However, we have arranged this project to span over 18 months so we are hopeful that we will be able to work with the ebb and flow of the pandemic, our seasons and the weather!

COVID-19 Guidelines

Photographers are now able to return to work.
Strict standards are in effect and must be observed at all times.
Clients also have standards to follow.

As a photographer, I agree to:
If I am sick, or have been in contact with a sick person:
• I stay home.
• I contact my client to postpone the session.
Prior to the session I ask questions to screen my clients to ensure that no one is sick, has any symptoms or has been exposed to others with possible COVID-19 symptoms.
I offer access to disinfectant for myself and my clients.
I ensure I only work with people who live in the same household. And I come by myself to sessions.
I must maintain a 2 metre (6 foot) distance between me and my clients during the session.
I wear a mask and make sure it’s clean.
Sessions are all scheduled well in advance.

As a client, I agree to:
If I am sick, or have been in contact with a sick person:
• I stay home.
• I contact my photographer to postpone the session.
If this is a family session, I make sure we are 9 people or fewer, from the same household.
I must maintain a 2 metre (6 foot) distance between me and the photographer during the session.
I follow the photographer’s directions.
I will be patient with my photographer. Delivery times may be longer due to the pandemic.