It had been our plan for a number of years, to take a meaningful family vacation – something that would be enjoyable, educational and provide a lifetime of memories for all.
Since only one of us had ever taken a cross country trip, it was agreed that seeing Canada by road would be a great undertaking. To really make it meaningful, and since we are all Vancouver Canucks fans, we came up with the following novel idea: figure out how many Canadians who have ever been a Vancouver Canuck in the 40 year history of the team [at the time of the trip in 2011, that was their 40th year], and visit their home towns.
After some research [yay Wikipedia], we figured that 379 young men from 179 towns and cities across Canada had found their way to the team. The next task was mapping these towns, determining a route and timetable, and deciding on whether the journey was remotely doable. Much of this and the trip itself, has been documented here – which has since been hacked. We’re working to get the journal back online – or in another way – read on for that idea.
Even before hitting the road, we knew Hay River, NWT – home of Geoff Sanderson (97-98 and 03-04) – was out of the question, given the time available, not lack of interest in the destination. But we still thought we could make a go of hitting the remaining 178 towns. We got close…. well… not really.
By then end of the trip – estimated at 12,000 km before we hit the road and topping out at 16,000 plus – we had visited 84 of them – not quite half. And we completely missed Newfoundland and Labrador – which was definitely at the top of our list of places to see! But the places we did see! And the people we met – we definitely found the lifetime of experiences we were looking for. Yet we didn’t meet a single ex-Canuck. Unless you count Richard Broedeur – definitely counts as an Canuck alumni, but we met him on one of our “dry-run-prior-to-leaving” sides trips.
But the object wasn’t to necessarily meet the players, just experience their home environments, their communities and see if we could find out what motivated them to take that journey on the road to a professional hockey career and at one point, the Canucks organization. Those stories, the trip, our experiences – will become a book – now in the works.
But back to the photographs.
The plan was like this: stop in theses towns and give Carson an opportunity to see what speaks to him – what stimulates the photographer’s trigger finger on the shutter release? And that’s where the subject(s) of the photos originated. Some hockey related, others – not so much. But all, we believe, are interesting and appealing in their own way. And many with some very interesting side stories which we’ll try to share with you here online, or if you have an opportunity to visit us at the exhibits listed, you’ll find we’re always ready to talk hockey!
And there is one more very important background piece of this odyssey. More of that is covered in the NETworthy Project page. But in short, a large part of this effort – the trip, this website, Carson‘s career path in photography – all relates to the fact that everyone, regardless of their abilities – and that means whether they are “differently-abled” or not – have something to share with the world. We believe this to be something beyond simply an ability, call it their innate skills/talents…. their Sacred Gifts – and it’s our goal to see Carson and his peers explore those gifts, hone them and then share them with their immediate communities and ultimately, the world at large.
Sometimes, as a parent of an adult child with challenges /disability, the options presented as possible employment are minimal at best, dismal at worst, but just about always lacking in vision. Job opportunities presented have little to do with what that individual may be interested in, let alone gifted at. If these statements speak to you, then check out the NETworthy Project page.
A Unique Idea
And now the interesting part – how to complete this journey; how to create something to share with the broadest community possible, and fulfill our wish to shed light on exactly who is capable of what.
We knew early on this would find it’s way into a book of sorts – containing not only photographs of these far flung Canadian communities, but as well special stories of the NHL players that called them home and a journal of the trip itself. Now, to complete the catalogue of photographs, we are reaching out to all these towns, asking the local communities and Special Olympics athletes who live there, to submit photos to complete the book. These photos will be part of a contest, prizes will be awarded, and the photos used in the book will result in fair compensation for the photographers, and our hope is that the book itself will be a fund raising vehicle for their home community Special Olympics locals.
If you are interested in purchasing a copy when available, please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until then, we hope you support Special Olympics athletes by being the one thing everyone needs – a fan.