Winnipeg Arts Council


Memor-Eyes: Capturing Memories of Winnipeg Places with Photo Stories

Memor-eyes is about places in Winnipeg where we can go and remember our stories: places we meet up with friends and remember friends we once knew."  - Kirby, Sunshine House Participant

Sunshine House participants visited outdoor spaces around the City with storyteller Leigh-Anne Kehler. Together they captured photos and shared stories of how these places are relevant in their lives: St. John’s Park holds childhood and young adult memories, the waterfront and Alexander Docks often provide safety and refuge, and Green Hill (garbage Hill) has been a meet up place to enjoy views of the City and listen to concerts at the old stadium. 

The group continued to meet at Sunshine House to go through their printed photos, sharing stories inspired by their visits. Many participants revealed that they hadn’t seen themselves in photos for years, and a common theme emerged of remembering friends and feeling safe to be themselves without judgement. 

They presented the photos with taglines and bits of poetry creating non-linear narratives that hint at deeper meanings, often with a sense of humour, and provide a window into urban outdoor spaces valued by people who may not have a comfortable home to rest in.

Memor-Eyes was celebrated on February 11, 2018 at the Goodwill Social Club with a special performance by the Sunshine Band.

Leigh-Anne Kehler with Sunshine House

About Leigh-Anne Kehler
Leigh-Anne Kehler is a professional storyteller actor and playwright. She has performed at many festivals including the Winnipeg, Regina and Vancouver Children’s Festivals, the Yukon International Storytelling Festival and the Toronto International Storytelling Festival. Schools in Japan and Thailand have enjoyed her Canadian farm stories. She has worked as Storyteller in Residence for the Winnipeg Public Library as well as several Women’s Resource Centres and Newcomer Centres. Theatre Projects Manitoba and Northern Light Theatre Edmonton have produced her stage plays. She has appeared as a principal actor in six short films and has mounted eighteen original Fringe festival plays. With the help of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Manitoba Arts Council, she has produced several touring one-woman storytelling/spoken word productions. Two of these pieces have been invited to the National Arts Centre and she continues to tour The Final Hour (the story of her father’s passing) to hospitals and palliative centres around the world. She began her work as an Arts Educator twenty-two years ago at the Prairie Theatre Exchange School.

About Sunshine House
Sunshine House is a community drop-in and resource centre focusing on harm reduction, population health promotion, and social inclusion. They are a gap-filling organization that works with under-served populations, providing programming that fulfills people’s social, community, and recreational needs.

About Richard
I, Richard Henry, am 54 years old. I was born here in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I am a Métis. I grew up in Winnipeg and enjoyed the Seventies.

The bad side of my life was being taken from my family at a very young age. As you see, I was into trouble a lot, was a very negative person and angry. Was not dealing with my problems correctly. Lashed out at others. The courts put me under Childrens' Aid (Child & Family Services).

As I grew older I became more responsible. Today I still have difficulties but deal with them properly. I am more understanding.

About Gilbert
How I got involved with Sunshine House......The year was 2001 when Chris, my bro, showed me a house on Maryland & St. Matthews. I met the Boss, Carrie, bada-bing!! And we moved to Spence, a house which was too expensive. Then we moved to Logan & Sherbrook which is where we are today.

There we started a Band with JD Ormond. Then we came out with a song called Saturday Night. Then we came out with an Album. That went excellent!!! So we made another Album called Soakin Up the Rays, which went Platinum.

And we did Autoshop and built a van, which lasted 3 years and broke down. Thanks to a friend we got a NEW VAN.

But in the process, we went on tour across Manitoba and a little in Ontario. We even did carpentry.....

And I hope we will keep on running for as far as we can.

Success to all of us at Sunshine House in the future......

About Hilda
Who am I? “Small town girl living in a lonely world.”

Strong Cree woman, proud mother of a free-spirited boy.

Long-term volunteer/staff of Kali Shiva/Sunshine House (Lifer)

Soon to be a Social Work graduate.

About Julius
Hi! My name is Julius Anderson and I like going to Sunshine House and I'm proud going every week when it's open.

About Clarinda (Tickey)
As for myself? Well I had a hard time growing up in and out of group homes til I was 18 years old, then getting in trouble with the law. But now I am older I slowed down, got a place. All my kids are grown up. Nothing to worry about, thank God.

That's my life story!

About Merle
Born in Jackhead Res, but moved to Winnipeg when I was young. I was around 8 or 9 years old.

The first time I met the Sunshine House, I really enjoyed coming to Drop-in because of all the nice people that were there.

The Sunshine House has a lot of fun things to do such as having good food and doing a lot of fun outdoor events for Summer and Winter.

I also now play in a Band called JD & the Sunshine Band. It's really fun for me because I played at a lot of fun places I never been at before.

Ever since I met Sunshine I really never want to miss the drop-in and meet my friends at the Sunshine House.

About Leigh-Anne
She grew up on a small farm and dreamt of becoming an actress. Her father was an incredible story-teller and she has followed in his footsteps. She splits her time between writing, story-telling for schools and communities, acting and raising her 8-year-old son.

Leigh-Anne had a great time visiting “meet up” places around Winnipeg. She is grateful for all the good times she had with the Sunshine gang.

About Roderick
Hi! My name is Roderick Sanders T. I was born February 4th, 1958 at the Pas, Manitoba. I remember going through foster homes and Residential schools. From my early teenage years, the kind of friends I had were kind of wayward like me. I started going to jail in my early years and never really amounted to anything in life.

But throughout my early 20's, I started working off and on, but due to being or sidetracking myself, things didn't really work out the way I wanted it to.

Life isn't really perfect but I try and make the most of it as I can. Just glad I have friends to walk with or rely on. So every day I'm kind of thankful for everything.

About Beryl
Hello. My name is Beryl. I come from a reserve called Beren's River, up north. I'm a Mother of eight all grown up; my youngest is 4.

I'm in a good relationship with Barney. Today I'm a straight person. I eat healthy, gaining my weight back. I used to be 110 lbs when I was a alcoholic. Like my other friends.

But that does not mean they're not my friends anymore. I was once a homeless person, living off my friends. Today I have a nice place of my own. I don't even have a cigarette anymore. I quit that long ago.

I enjoy bingo a lot and reading, watching television and movies. I enjoy coming to Sunshine House, sitting around my friends. They make me laugh and enjoy happiness.

I do not have much to write down right now. That will be all. Thank you

About Barney
My name is Gordon G, grown up name Barney. I used to be a heavy sniffer and a alcoholic, as I was growing up in my early years. I was bad: stealing bicycles to get around, then sell them.

I like smoking up but now, today, I quit my drinking.

I love playing crib and cards, go to Bingo. I enjoy eating healthy food and like being around friends. I like coming to the Sunshine House. That's all I have to say.

About Aileen
Hi: my name is Aileen F. I'm writing to let you know how I got to know about the Sunshine House. It was by a person named Kirby B which also comes here. I started coming here about four years ago.

I learned to do a lot of projects. I also joined the Sunshine Band.

The nurses take care of my toes and finger nails.

I started to meet a lot of good people and interesting friends. They try to talk to me into slowing down on my sniffing and stay out of trouble.

I enjoy the cooks, Mandy and Hilda; they make good dinners. Margaret & JD are right on people. They also have items in the clothing room that I need. And also have a laundry room for others to do their laundry.

I enjoy the picnics and small trips with the crew. The Sunshine House also have safe use for sex and clean needles to use. This place is also a good place to hang out in your spare time, besides going on Main Street to sniff or drink. This is a good place for me to hang out twice a week, on Monday & Wednesday. Thank you!

About Kirby
My name is Kirby B. I am from Berens River. Went to other places and finally I came too Sunshine House. I met other people, instead of being in one place. I enjoy going back to my past the way I grew up, and sharing with others.

About Diane
Mother of four. Like coming to Sunshine House to visit my friends.

About Joey
My name is Joey. I was born in Kenora, Ontario in March, 1971. I came to Winnipeg in 1994, just because I wanted to. Winnipeg is my home now.

I like to walk around. It feels good. I go visit my Mom at the hospital every couple of days. I go to the Food Bank at Nine Circles. I pick up my food there.

I like to come to Sunshine House to eat and visit my friends. My brother is in Kenora. Sometimes I go visit him.

I have a girlfriend name Ruby. I love her so much.

Memor-Eyes digital storybook

Memor-Eyes, making of documentary

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