Workshop teaches art of capturing family history digitally

Workshops are being offered across the province to teach the art of sharing family history through video and audio.

Participant creates touching video story of grandmother's struggle with depression

Fanny Beamish, grandmother to Jan Linnell, dealt with depression and isolation in a time where there was little support for mental health. (Provided by Jan Linnell)

A Saskatchewan woman is proving that learning the art of storytelling can start at any age. 

Evie Ruddy is holding workshops across the province to teach people how to tell their genealogical history digitally. Anyone aged 8 and up is invited to take the course, which is offered through the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society.  

In the two-day workshops, Ruddy begins by teaching participants how to craft a story. That story is then transformed into a digital video, complete with music, narration and pictures. 

"It's trying to find that deeper meaning to the story that will resonate with people," Ruddy said. 

Jan Linnell took part in one of Ruddy's workshops.

She is in her 70s and definitely not a computer geek, but Linnell was able to create a beautiful video to honour her grandmother, Fanny Beamish.

"I thought I could piece together a story and challenge myself to do something in her honour," Linnell said. 

Beamish committed suicide at the age of 43. Linnell's video brings to light what it was like for women dealing with mental health issues such as depression back when her grandmother was alive. 

"It's a hard story to tell, but I think it touches people's lives more when there is pictures to accompany words," she said.

A workshop will be held this weekend in Regina. It will then move to different cities over the next few months including Weyburn, Moose Jaw, Yorkton, Saskatoon, Melfort and Prince Albert.

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