Manitoba

Altona photographer raising money for Syrian refugees through calendar

A Manitoba photographer is teaming up with a print shop in Altona, in a creative effort to raise money for Syrian refugees.

'It's a shame if we don't use our gifts to help other humans,' says photographer Jay Siemens

Photographer Jay Siemens is selling his landscape photography in a new calendar, with all proceeds heading to help Syrian refugees. (Jay Siemens)

A Manitoba photographer is teaming up with a print shop in Altona, in a creative effort to help Syrian refugees.

Jay Siemens, 23, an Altona-based landscape photographer is selling his work in a 2016 calendar to raise money for refugees settling in his community.

Siemens came up with the idea on a recent photography trip to Iceland after receiving requests from people wanting to buy prints of his pictures. 

"At the same time I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and I saw a specific article about the refugees coming to Altona and how it was going to increase the population by one per cent," Siemens said.

"I'd seen other articles before but that one specifically hit me and ... I was like there's got to be a way I can merge these two things together ... and help a cause so close to home."

Siemens said sharing his work through a calendar seemed like a practical and inexpensive way to raise money.
The cover of Altona-based photographer Jay Siemens calendar. (Jay Siemens)

He pitched the idea to Friesen's Printing in Altona the day he arrived home from Iceland. Right away, the company offered to cover the costs of designing and printing 1,000 calendars, he said.

"I was just blown away. It was the best response I possibly could have gotten," said Siemens.

The calendars will feature his travel photography — landscape images from Manitoba, Iceland, Africa and Europe.

It's titled 'Where I Belong' and is on sale online for $20, with all of the proceeds heading to his local church charity, Build a Village

"They're helping five refugee families get their new lives started, helping with their housing and anything else they might need."

"All I know is I have more than I need and I want to help them ... I think we're all given gifts and I think it's a shame if we don't use our gifts to help other humans."

"If this can help them in some small way I'm more than happy to do it."

now