Ottawa artists publish book collecting stories of seniors
'I see seniors as legacy bearers and natural storytellers.'
Ottawa artist Brenda Dunn wanted to ensure all stories were being heard during Canada's 150 celebration.
So she travelled to the outskirts of Ottawa and rural communities and met with elderly strangers over board games and coffee to hear their stories.
"Seniors are one of those voices that we don't get to hear as much," Dunn said. "I see seniors as legacy bearers and natural storytellers."
Dunn partnered with photographer Shawn MacDonell to create a book that preserved their stories. A year after beginning the project, the stories have been published in a book called Re[place] Re[collect].
"It was a very humbling and very grounding experience," Dunn said. "I'm asking for people to share without knowing me."
Immigration a common theme in book
Many of the stories shared focused on immigration and settling in Ottawa.
"A lot of these stories were things that I read as hardship and I would express my amazement and disbelief, and people would go, 'You know, dear, that's what we did because that's what had to get done,'" Dunn said.
There are only 150 copies of Re[place] Re[collect] being printed and they aren't available for purchase.
The books were gifted to those who attended the book's official launch Sunday afternoon at the Royal Canadian Legion Orléans Branch.
Stories that were not published in the official book are available at artinjest.com.