Participant Vicki Huva speaks in spring 2019 session of CLICK. Photo submitted

Kalein’s CLICK program looking for seniors for fall project

Seniors and youth will discuss and photograph loneliness and other big issues

Would you like to connect with youth and other interesting seniors while capturing important issues like loneliness, gratitude, and resiliency on your camera (or cell phone)?

That’s the aim of the Kalein Centre’s innovative CLICK program, back for a seven-week program beginning Wednesday, Oct. 24, following a successful debut in the spring.

The program runs again at L.V. Rogers Secondary School after its launch garnered interest from across B.C. and Canada.

“We’re looking for seniors (those 55 and up) who want to explore important issues by talking about and photographing them,” said CLICK program coordinator Mike Stolte. “They also get to really connect and have fun with a Grade 10 class.

“CLICK is the sound of a camera shutter releasing. It’s also that warm feeling you get when people truly connect. That’s what people are often missing in their lives in an age where communication technology can often isolate.”

He argues that governments are starting to grasp the issue. The UK now has a Minister Responsible for Loneliness; the US Surgeon General says social isolation takes more years off of lives than obesity.

CLICK hopes to allow participants and the community to gain more awareness of the issues photographed. Stolte said there is much interest from other communities in B.C. and Canada, after he recently spoke on CLICK at conferences in Vancouver and Ottawa.

“We are the guinea pig. People are really looking at innovative ways to explore and express these big issues that affect us, even in smaller communities. No one has quite figured it out. However, people love expressing through photos.”

At CLICK sessions, seniors and youth talk about one of the topics as a group before discussing how they might capture it with a camera. They then go out into the community to document the week’s theme with photos.

At the following session, photographs are viewed and discussed. The project will culminate in early 2020 with the photos inspiring conversations at Touchstones Museum, Oxygen Art Centre, and the Nelson Public Library. A photo calendar will also be produced.

“Both seniors and youth loved the interaction in the spring session. People learned photo techniques and tapped into creativity they didn’t even know they had. And there were lots of deep rich conversations and many laughs,” said spring CLICK participant Vicki Huva.

The fall session will also add the student-suggested themes of anxiety and depression, and forgiveness and reconciliation.

The program, sponsored by the Columbia Basin Trust and New Horizons Canada, will run for seven weeks with 80-minute sessions on alternating Wednesdays or Thursdays (at either 10 a.m. or 12:25 a.m.).

No photography experience is required. Cameras, instruction and facilitation are provided.

If you are over 55 and interested in participating, contact Stolte at mike@kaleinhospice.org or by calling 250-354-3737 (cell).

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