Photos to brighten the day

Seniors at Riverside Place could not be happier with the recent upgrade.

Anne Davison stands with her mother Hilda at Riverside Place seniors home and smiles in light of the new photographs that now embellish the home's walls.

Anne Davison stands with her mother Hilda at Riverside Place seniors home and smiles in light of the new photographs that now embellish the home's walls.

Out with the old and in with the new, sometimes remodelling is long over due.

With the help of the Nechako Valley Photography club, photographs at Riverside Place recently received a long-awaited upgrade and the seniors could not be happier.

“It just brightens everything up in here and makes everything come alive. It’s absolutely beautiful,” said Janet Langevin, a six-year resident of Riverside Place.

Old sepia style pictures that were too small for many of the seniors to see have now been replaced with large colourful blown-up pictures of landscapes and animals from Vanderhoof and surrounding areas.

The idea sprung from Ann Davidson, a member of the photography club, after visiting with her mom Hilda Villumsen 95, who lives at the seniors residence. Ms. Davidson knew that members in her club had wanted to start practising their portrait and black-and-white photography, so she arranged for a senior photography shoot. Since it was around Easter, the photographers brought bonnets, toy chicks and whatever they could find as props. The fun atmosphere of the day is evident with big smiles that are now proudly showcased in grey-style glamour shots located on the big wall right when you walk in the building.

“We had a lot of fun that day,” said Rose Vellieux, a resident at Riverside.

Realizing the difference it made for the seniors, Ms. Davidson decided to apply for a grant and was awarded $2,000 from the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako to continue her project’s fun-spirited agenda and decorate the rest of the building with more of the photography clubs work. Only this time with colour photos and a much larger budget.

“We had all these beautiful pictures and no where to show them. This way everyone gets to enjoy them,” said Ms. Davidson. Many of the seniors grew up on a farm so the  pictures are of things they can relate with such as farming, landscapes, horses, birds, chipmunks, and tractors.

“Mobility is a barrier for some so this way they get to see the outdoors. It’s within reach and is still an adventure,” said Ms. Davidson. “And every time I bring a new picture in it’s stimulating for them because they get up to go look and see where the picture is hiding.”

As more money becomes available the plan is to fill the rest of the wall space in the living room with pictures of animals, and the wall space down the main hall with pictures of antique cars. Many of the seniors have even started suggesting things that the club could take pictures of and has become a real highlight of their day.

“We really want to thank everyone who contributed,” said Fiona Lamprecht, administrator at Riverside Place. “It seemed to happen over night.”