If you have attended one of our annual general meetings or browsed the Programs & Services section of our website, you’ve likely seen our Creative Expressions music videos. If not, please take a moment to go to our website and watch them. (We’ll wait.)
Now that you’ve seen all 25 videos of our members acting like pop stars, we would like to introduce you to the volunteer behind their evolution… behind their creation… behind the camera: Gayle W.
When one of our clients passed away a few years ago, her daughter, Gayle, had taken a much needed rest from being her principal caregiver and from rushing her own children to and from school. She needed time to herself.
That time, however, would be short-lived. The magic she and her mother had experienced in our programs beckoned to Gayle once more. What was meant to be a brief catch-up visit instead became a reminder of how special Gayle felt about the Aphasia Institute. It became the catalyst for her to ask how she could contribute. She wanted to become a volunteer, and the timing could not have been better.
The staff member responsible for our Spotlight Series of annual stage performances was moving to another province. Knowing the program’s benefits to our clients, volunteer coordinator Shannon Hill recommended that Gayle try her hand at something to replace the series. She could do whatever she wanted, with one caveat: As wonderful as our full-scale yearly shows were, we no longer had the resources to do them.
With Gayle’s success as a documentary filmmaker at that time,** she felt she could do something unique by combining music and movement with the language of video. Our clients could experience something really special and, unlike stage performance, their work could be shared anywhere and anytime.
Gayle’s instincts were correct. The program has grown to include about 20 clients and 3 volunteers, and where Gayle used to be the driving force behind all the video concepts, our clients and volunteers now bring in some of their own ideas and even their own props. The group has even created videos for our AGMs and thank you videos for our donors!